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  • Writer's pictureAntiques in Oxford

Tips for buying antiques and issues to be aware of


Useful to test the gems if possible like diamonds and sapphires

Beware of fakes and copies

If buying mourning jewellery check for damage to hair

Enamel jewellery needs to be free of damage

Beware missing stones

Rings might have replacement bands or chips and crack to stones

Discolouration of the metal


Check if hallmarks are worn and rubbed

Check for cracks, dents and scratches

Discolouration of the silver

Misshapen items

Chips on any enamel


Check for cracks

Is it faux?

Missing bits of silver or gold pique work devalue item


Check for cracks and hairlines by giving it a ‘ping’

Check for chips

Restoration can be detected by rubbing on teeth to see if soft

Is it transfer printed or hand painted as affects the price?

Check authenticity for later copies such as Sampson


Check for chips or ground-down foot or rims

Is it etched later?

Check if glass is clear or bubbles, older glass shows imperfections


Look at patina and colour

Is it faded or cracked

Is it a marriage of 2 different pieces put together?

Are the joints firm?


Are they original?

Is anything missing?

Any damage?

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