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The Antique Jewellery Company

20 Questions To Ask Your Antique Jewellery Dealer Before You Buy

Want to learn how to buy antique jewellery like a pro? We've gathered together the 20 most important questions to ask your dealer.

Whilst even the best dealers will not know the exact provenance of every piece they have – the mystery is part of the charm of antique jewellery – they will be able to share all sorts of valuable information to help you fall in love with (and understand) a piece of jewellery before you buy.

Appreciate the context

  • What do you know about the history and provenance of this piece of jewellery?
  • Is there any particular symbolism attached to it?
  • Is it a replica from an earlier era?
  • What makes it valuable or special? 
Mexican Silver & Malachite Collar by the Monteros Workshop

Get into the detail

  • How do I know it is authentic?
  • Can you talk me through the hallmarks, or lack thereof?
  • Which materials – metals, gemstones, adhesives – have been used in this piece?
  • Can you explain what you know about the carat, clarity, colour and cut of the stone?
  • Do the gemstones come with certification?
  • Have the gemstones been treated?
  • (For diamonds only) What do the ‘points’ mean?
Hallmarks on a gold ring

Consider the practicalities

  • Is it robust for everyday wear or for occasional use only?
  • Can you explain how to take care of it and clean it safely? 
  • Why does it cost what it costs?
  • Will it hold its value?
  • (For rings only) What size is it?
  • Can I resize it, and do you handle that?
  • I like it, but I’d like to make adjustments (such as change the colour of gold). Can this be done?
  • Can I return or exchange it for free?
  • What do I need in order to insure it?
Victorian 18ct Gold & Diamond Ring

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