How to Know When Junk Jewelry Isn’t Junk Part II- Vintage vs Junk

So maybe you’re not sitting on the jackpot of all jewelry boxes at your mother’s home. That’s okay. You can still learn how to look for and purchase quality vintage jewelry that may make you some big bucks instead.

I’m a big thrifter and love going to garage sales, estate sales and thrift stores, and while my main goal isn’t usually to find valuable jewelry, I do always take a look at the jewelry on sale. There’s a few, quick, tell tale signs that will let you know if the piece your eying, the really cheap one that should definitely be priced higher, is quality vintage jewelry.

First, for necklaces, take a look at the clasp. While this is not foolproof, chances are, that if the necklace has a lobster claw clasp, it may indeed be older, possibly vintage and often gold or silver. What is a lobster claw clasp, you may ask? Well, it looks very much like a lobster claw, thus the name. There are generally two distinct shape for these clasps- teardrop and rectangular. It is thought that the teardrop clasp is older than the rectangular clasp, though both can be indicators of vintage quality jewelry.

If the price is right- cheap enough that you won’t be too upset if you find out it’s not as valuable as you think, take a chance on it. It’s usually a very good bet. Then, take it to Mile High Coin to see if what you found is indeed worth something. They can tell you all about the pieces you bring in. And if it is worth something, they may even buy it off you right there.

Another thing to look for is the style of the jewelry. Just like art and the different styles of art through the decades, jewelry also follows these themes. So there may be art deco pieces, retro pieces, victorian pieces and so on- jewelry imitates art. As you might guess, the older the jewelry, generally the more valuable it may be. Take what you know of art and translate it to the jewelry you are pursuing to give you an idea of how old a piece is and therefore how coveted it is.

Beyond these things to look for, as always, you are looking to see if the jewelry is gold or silver. To do this you’ll want to look at the markings. These can usually be found inside the band on rings and near the clasp, usually on the tag, on necklaces. This marking can tell you many things. Usually you will see a number. This tells you the purity of the precious metal. As well, the shape can tell you something else. For example, if the shape of the marking is rectangular it means your piece is gold. If it is oval, it means your piece is silver, and if it is in the shape of a house, it is platinum.

So maybe thrifting is a hobby or something you do to save money, but if you include a quick look at the jewelry section of most garage sales, estate sales and thrift stores with an eye for these indicators, you may just make this thrifting adventure a lucrative one. Once you’ve bought the jewelry you’ve found to be valuable, schedule an appointment with Mile High Coin to find how just how well you did thrifting. If you decide to sell your valuable thrifted jewelry, Mile High Coin will be ready to buy it. Contact us today for more information.
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