Antique Buying Tips

Thinking of going antique shopping? Antiques can really add a serious layer of personality and class to your home, wardrobe or jewelry collection.

If you are a lover of antiques, we’re sure that you frequently check local vintage stores for great deals on antique pieces. Some may be ready to be added to your collection of antique furniture and some may need restoration. How do you know which antique piece is good for you? This article features a number of tips to use when shopping for antique items. We will also take a special look at purchasing wooden antique items such as antique furniture and silver items such as plates or poison rings. These amazing tips will greatly help you with your next antique items hunt. Let’s dive right into the tips.

Only Buy What Inspires You
Don’t simply buy something because it is classified as an antique piece. Ask yourself, “does it move me?” if the answer is yes, go ahead and buy it and add it to your collection.

Set Aside Money for Your Antique Purchases
Many antique pieces can be found for very low prices; however, there are some pieces that will cost you a fine penny. Develop a system of saving funds towards your antique purchases. When you do this, you will be able to purchase your favorite antique pieces without feeling guilty.

Study the Item(s) You Are Interested in Buying
To ensure that you are purchasing authentic antique pieces, it would pay to spend some time researching the particular item(s). there are many scammers in the world of antique items. By reading books, visiting collection and dealers, speaking with experts and attending auctions, you will safeguard yourself from scams or from an overpriced antique piece.

Stay Within Your Budget
While antique pieces can be hard to find, don’t let the emotion of finding an incredible piece drive you to spend out of your budget. If you follow our earlier tip on putting funds away, you will always have some money on hand to make a purchase when you find an incredible quality antique piece going for a great price.

Be Selective with Your Purchases
When collecting antique pieces such as antique furniture, poison rings, rugs or any other antique item, you should be looking for quality as opposed to quantity.

Don’t Fall for The Fashion Trap
Collect based on what you like. Sometimes things become very popular or fashionable and it may tempt you to go all out in getting it. However, if you don’t personally feel connected to the antique piece when the fad goes away, you will not be comfortable with the item.

Have Some Fun and Be Adventurous
Don’t stick to one style of antique piece or one type. Get creative, be open and don’t be afraid to mix it up and try something new. Mixing different high-quality antique pieces can look very nice.

Make Allowance for Mistakes
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make the occasional bad purchase. Sometimes, we have wrong information going into a deal or the seller was not very transparent, and we make a less than great purchase. That’s okay. You are not the only one who has those experiences.

Don’t Become Too Attached
Your desires for antique furniture or the hardest to find poison ring may change over the years. Don’t be afraid to sell out your current collection and chase other antique items.

Let’s take a look at some specific tips for buying antique furniture.

How to Buy Antique Wooden Furniture

Trust your instincts
When you see a piece of antique furniture, you will get a feel of whether it is new or old. Observe the nails. True antique furniture will have nails that speak to its years of being in existence.

Pay Attention to the Dovetails
Antique furniture is usually made by a cabinetmaker and not a mass producer. If you notice dovetail joints that are used to hold wood furnishings together without the use of nails or other hardware is a sign that the antique furniture was crafted by a cabinetmaker. Thinner dovetails typically reveal a more skillful cabinetmaker.

Don’t Skip the Inspection
Take a close look at the drawer pulls and all the various components of the antique piece. Authentically vintage furniture will have a post-and-nut construction. Keep an eye open for dust and wear around the pulls. These will help you determine the age of the antique furniture.

Skip Shine and Polish
Yes, refurbishing an antique piece does make it look much cleaner and shinier in your collection. However, this can really decrease the value of your collectors’ item. Most collectors prefer the authentic, weathered finish of the antique furniture. Nevertheless, this is totally up to you to choose what you will do given that it will be sitting in your home.

How to Buy Antique Silver Items

Learn to Identify Sterling Silver
Silver plate can be a great alternative to those who do not want to spend for full sterling silver. However, as a collector of silver antique items such as poison rings, you will want to know the difference between silver plating and genuine sterling silver. Silver holds greater value and has a higher resale price than silver plated items. Silver antique items are also much more durables, being able to last for hundreds of years with proper maintenance.

Travel with a Magnet
Using a magnet is a quick way to identify whether an item is genuine silver. Place the magnet against the poison ring that has caught your attention. If you notice that the magnet sticks to the poison ring, then the piece is not sterling silver. It may be silver-plated or some other material. If the magnet does not adhere to the poison ring, then you likely have a genuine sterling silver item in view.

Check for Relevant Identifiers
Sterling silver pieces will bear marks that identify its origin and quality. Sterling that comes from America is branded with the numbers “925”. This actually means that the piece contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% of a different metal. Also, English sterling typically features a lion marking plus other marks that share the city of origin, which monarch had authority when it was made as well as the year in which the item was made.