Tips for Beginners—5 Steps to Antique Jewelry Collecting on a Budget

Jewelry is a wonderful way to become introduced to the world of antique collecting. It is easy to keep and display without needing to devote too much space. Jewelry is practical, as it can be worn as well as displayed, and a lot of beautiful items are available at a very affordable price. Even better, the opportunities to find new pieces are everywhere. Every collection, no matter what is being sought, is not just stumbled upon. Creating a varied and interesting selection requires time, knowledge and patience.

Step One: Narrow Down the Options

Without a clear plan of what to collect, the choices available are overwhelming. There are too many styles, eras and individual pieces as well as famous-name makers to just broadly collect anything. The beginning collector needs to narrow down what it is that appeals to them most. Perhaps they prefer Bakelite or really love 1940s brooches. Collectors often choose specific gems, certain years of creation, or one type of jewelry like watches, earrings or pendants.

Step Two: Become an Expert

It is easy to amass all the knowledge needed to make smart purchases once there is a clear vision of what to collect. Numerous resources are available to help identify and value jewelry. Check out books at the library, look at websites and talk to other collectors. Buy and keep pricing guides whenever available and take them with you when you first begin shopping.

Step Three: Know Where to Shop

One of the reasons jewelry is great to collect is because it is available in so many places. Yard sales, estate sales and thrift shops are affordable options. Individual sellers, either through online auctions or at actual land-based auction houses will also offer jewelry, sometimes in large lots. Antique shops will often have great deals on beautiful pieces and flea markets can be a surprising source of exquisite jewelry. It can even be possible to find jewelry by placing a classified ad.  

Step Four: Set a Budget

Never go shopping without a price limit. Take only cash so it is obvious when you reach your limit. Plus, it is often easier to negotiate prices when cash is being offered. When bidding on an auction, do not get caught up with the desire to win. It is very easy to make the transaction about just winning rather than the piece of jewelry being purchased. Instead, place a maximum bid and walk away until the auction has ended.

Step Five: Consider Buying in Bulk

Auctions and estate sales occasionally have large lots of jewelry they are selling at once. Collectors are often able to get the item they want for free by purchasing these lots and reselling what they are not interested in keeping. As long as the remainder of the lot has some value, this can be an easy way to build a collection for nearly nothing.

Jewelry prices do vary widely, and like all antiques, the values can decline over time if collectors lose interest. This is why it is always important for people to pick something they personally enjoy having. When a collection is loved, its overall value will have nothing to do with its actual resale potential. Learn more tactics and build relationships by contacting resources like Crissy Galleries.

About Me

visiting art galleries while on vacation

My daughter has always shown artistic abilities that were beyond my own. She shared her father's skills and love of art, so anytime we went on vacation, we took the time to visit at least a few art galleries in the area that we were vacationing. My daughter and I have worked together to create this blog to show others the kind of art that you can find when you go out of your way to find a gallery or show whenever you are away from home. Hopefully, you will find the information as helpful as we hope that it will be.