Since inheriting your grandmother’s pearl necklace a few months ago, you’ve become fascinated with antique jewelry. You absolutely can’t wait to add more pieces to your tiny collection. If you can relate to this scenario, shopping for antique jewelry at an estate sale is a smart idea. Before hopping into your car and speeding to the next, estate sale hosted in your area, consider these five rules to follow.

Look for an Identifying Mark

Years ago, jewelers almost always left an identifying mark on the pieces they created. Jewelry items made before 1950 often contain a small icon of the designer’s initials.

Search for Patina

Patina refers to the sheen jewelry pieces acquire after many years of wear. Naturally, antique jewelry can be restored. However, to prevent damage to the gold, silver, or other metal an item of jewelry is made of, many collectors forgo restoring older pieces. When shopping for antique jewelry at an estate sale, search for signs of wear such as:
• Dents
• Scratches
• Tarnish
• A lack of shine
If a stunning piece of advertised, antique jewelry looks brand new, ask the seller when and how the item was restored.

Utilize a Loupe

When shopping for beautiful, antique jewelry at an estate sale, don’t rely on your naked eyesight. Utilize a loupe to help you see the items you’re interested in more clearly. A loupe is a small magnifying glass used by watchmakers and jewelers. To effectively look through a loupe, you need to keep both of your eyes open. Bring the loupe near one of your eyes. After the loupe is near your eye, lift the jewelry close to the loupe.

Consider the Selling Price

Imagine you’ve found a lovely antique brooch. If the price marked on the brooch is extremely low, you might immediately reach for your wallet. However, before purchasing antique jewelry from an estate sale, you need always to determine if the selling price seems reasonable. If the price seems unbelievably low, be tremendously cautious, since estate sale professionals are highly trained   to do antique appraisals and would price items at market value.


If you’re interested in shopping at estate sales for antique jewelry, study the industry. As you become more knowledgeable about antique jewelry, you’ll increase your odds of making exceptional discoveries at estate sales. To acquire the knowledge you’ll need, consider:
• Going to museum shows
• Visiting estate sale previews
• Consulting with experts in the antique jewelry industry
Shopping for antique jewelry at estate sales can be one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences of your life. To make the most of these shopping excursions, consider the tips as mentioned above. Remember to check upcoming estate sales in your area, you might never want to shop for jewelry at a traditional retailer again.
Resources: Money Crashers and The Jewelery Loupe
Prestige Estate Services
225 Union Blvd #150
Lakewood, CO 80215