Estate sales are great for buying household furnishings and cookware, but some use the sales to buy jewelry. The sales give you the opportunity to buy pieces that you might not be able to otherwise afford and offers you more vintage options. If you are planning to attend an estate sale, here are a few pointers to keep in mind when buying jewelry.
Check the Inventory
Many estate sales brokers have websites that list the items that are going to be listed for sale. You can also contact the broker ahead of the sale to determine what is available. Knowing which pieces of jewelry is available gives you time to do research on each one.
For instance, you can learn the designers' markings for jewelry in which you are interested. You can use that information to weed out the real from the fake. You can also determine what is a reasonable price for any pieces that you want. Setting a budget for bidding helps to avoid a situation in which you overspend by getting caught up in a bidding war.
Inspect the Pieces
Although a piece of jewelry might be marketed as original and not restored, there is a slight possibility that some pieces are incorrectly labeled. However, a close inspection of the pieces will help you to determine if the pieces are restored. There are certain signs to look for to determine if a piece has been restored.
For instance, most antique or vintage pieces of jewelry are sold as-is. By contrast, pieces that appear brand new that are lacking a dull sheen on them, could potentially be fake. The sheen, or patina, builds up over the years. Unless the piece was restored, the sheen will likely be there.
Ask for a Gemological Report
A gemological report provides you with important information about a jewelry piece. Even though you should have the piece appraised, the report can provide you with invaluable information. For instance, the report can detail important grading information.
The gemological report should be available upon request. As part of preparing for an estate sale, brokers routinely have jewelry pieces evaluated to determine the true value of the pieces.
Buying jewelry from an estate sale helps to give you more options for finding pieces that you will love. However, take your time and carefully research the pieces so that you can walk away feeling good about your purchase.
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