20 Questions To Ask Your Antique Jewellery Dealer Before You Buy
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?
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?
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?