Are Your Antique Cufflinks Worth Anything?

antique cufflinks

Among items within an estate, you may inherit one or several sets of cufflinks. Cufflinks may not be the most fashionable collector’s item these days, but they can still be worth a nice amount, especially if they are gold or silver. There are some tell-tale clues that help you know if your antique cufflinks are worth much monetarily.

Determine if They Are Gold

Gold cufflinks are elegant and truly dress up an ensemble, which is why there are many fake gold cufflinks out there too. There are certain ways you can tell if your cufflinks are true gold or fake. In more modern times, gold products are required to have a stamp indicating the karat number and if the gold is overlaid (GO), filled (GF), or plated (RGP). You can usually find this information on the cufflink backs, but it might take some squinting or even a magnifying glass. If the gold on your cufflinks is worn away at the edges or stains your clothing, it’s likely fake.

Older cufflinks may not be stamped and you might have to take them to a jeweler to determine their metal makeup.

Who is the Designer?

Aside from the kind of metal used, the designer of the cufflinks can also add value. If your cufflinks were made by popular designers like Cartier, Tiffany, or Hermes, they are likely worth a nice amount. 

Costume Cufflinks

Some original costume-style cufflinks that are rarely seen today could be valuable, as well, such Alfred E. Newman cufflinks or Marilyn Monroe. Some companies have reproduced these original images, but the reproduced styles are not worth as much as the originals.

Cufflink Backs

You may have a genuine vintage pair of cufflinks where the backs have been updated to a more modern style for either ease of use or just to achieve a more modern look. These may or may not have value and are judged on a case by case basis.

At Old and New Shop, our experts can help you learn more about your cufflinks and their value. We always offer the best price for your antiques should you be interested in selling. Instead of letting antique or valuable cufflinks sit in the back of a drawer unused, we’ll pay you top dollar for them!

Looking Back at the 20s in the 20s: Art Deco and Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry in the 1920s

It’s the year 2020, which means it’s been one hundred years since the start of the iconic and fashionable Roaring Twenties era. During that time, costume jewelry became quite popular, most notably of the Art Deco style. If you have a piece of authentic costume jewelry from the 1920s, you could be in possession of a real treasure. Read on to learn about the characteristics that were common in costume jewelry from the 1920s, including Art Deco jewelry, so you can better analyze and understand the value of your own 1920s pieces.

Short Hair, Long Earrings

The 1920s were a time to celebrate the modern independent woman, including shortening her hemline as well as her hair length. Bobs were tremendously in style, which means earlobes were exposed and in need of decoration. Long, dangling earrings became fashionable, but were only affordable to the wider population as costume pieces. During this time period, costume jewelry mimicked fine jewelry so every woman could feel she was wearing something sleek, delicate, and elegant. That means white metals and fake pearls were used frequently, as well as glass stones.

“Ropes and Ropes of Pearls” – Coco Chanel

Long necklaces, especially pearl ones, were incredibly in fashion during the 1920s and were made even more popular by fashion icon Coco Chanel. Chanel opined that jewelry should be “like ribbons in a woman’s hands. Supple and flexible.” She advocated for women to wear several strands of long necklaces. Women would even wear necklaces that hung down the back. Anything to accentuate length, as was the general fashion at the time. It was also the Jazz age, a time where women would dance to Jazz music, and it was characteristic for jewelry to be long enough to move along with the women wearing them during these dances. Many of these necklaces were costume pieces, as that was what was affordable and accessible for many women in these years after the first World War.

Bangles and Bracelets

Bracelets were in style, especially in the form of bangles, and women in the 1920s wouldn’t just wear one. They wore a stack of bracelets going up their arm, and the bracelets would usually make noise as the woman moved. Sometimes, a woman would take a long strand of pearls (or fake pearls) and wrap it around her arm several times to wear as a thick bracelet rather than as a necklace. Bracelets were also made out of plastic, wood, metal, and even bone. Many metal bracelets were inset with colorful gems in the Art Deco fashion.

The Art Deco Age

Art Deco refers to a series of designs inspired by cubism that combined ancient Egyptian, Aztec, Grecian, and other styles from ancient cultures with a modern twist influenced by the age of modern machinery. The marriage of the ancient and the modern resulted in unique jewelry pieces with angles, spirals, nods to ancient architecture, and rich colors. One notable characteristic of Art Deco jewelry is that it is usually symmetrical, so if you have inherited a piece that you think may be Art Deco, check to see if each half of it is a mirror image of the other. Art Deco jewelry also often depicted images of items that are fast like cars, trains, airplanes, panthers, and gazelles.

If you have inherited costume jewelry from the 1920s, especially in the Art Deco style, you may have some valuable pieces. The only way to truly know their value is to get them appraised. The experts at Old and New Shop can evaluate your costume jewelry and offer you the best price you’ll find for them. We’ll help you make sure you’re getting the most for these valuable, historical pieces!

5 Clues To Help You Learn Value of Your Antique Tapestry

Value of antique tapestry

Tapestries are beautiful pieces of art that often tell a story, but they don’t always fit within the modern decor of today’s homes. If you have inherited an old tapestry, you may be wondering if it has any value. Selling your inherited tapestry could be lucrative for you if it is authentic. But how do you know if your tapestry is actually worth anything? You’ll have to do some detective work and, like for a true detective, a magnifying glass will prove to be useful in looking for clues about the authenticity of your tapestry. Below are a few clues that can help you piece together a more complete story about the value of your antique tapestry.

1. Uneven Stitching

Using your magnifying glass, examine the stitching in your tapestry. A skillfully crafted tapestry will have stitches that are neat and close together, but the human hand still adds variety to even the most expert stitching. Uneven stitches are a helpful clue in how that tapestry was made. Machine-made tapestries have perfectly even stitches with no or little variety. Antique, hand-made tapestries have slight irregularities in the size of the stitches and they use yarn processed using an older method that causes inconsistencies in the threads. These irregularities will add to the authenticity and value of your antique tapestry.

2. Types of Thread Used

Looking closely at the actual threads used, you can learn a lot about the type of person who may have originally owned this tapestry and how long ago they lived. Modern tapestries will be made of nylon or polyester, but true antiques dating back as far as the 15th century will use cotton, linen, or wool threads that were hand-dyed. If the original owner was upper-class or royalty, the tapestry might have been made of silk with silver or gold threads woven in.

3. Range of Colors

Hundreds of years ago, people didn’t have access to the vast array of color dyes that we have today. Back then, dyes were made of natural materials and only came in about 20 different varieties. Not only were the color choices smaller, but the same color used in a tapestry would not always match perfectly with itself due to natural unevenness that occurred in the dying process. Additionally, check to see if the hues are just as rich on both sides of the tapestry. If the tapestry has a clear front and back, it is likely made on a modern machine.

4. Location of the Signature

Artists of older tapestries would often incorporate their signature into the weave on either the bottom corner or the border of the tapestry. More modern tapestries have a tag on the back with the artist’s information, which is a clear giveaway that you are not dealing with an antique. You want a signature or initials in the weave that you can see from both sides of the tapestry.

5. The Story in the Design

Another big clue that can tell you valuable information about your tapestry is the kind of story being told in the design. Antique tapestries often told stories about the time period in which they were created. Tapestries from churches often depict a saint or biblical figures, whereas old tapestries that hung in palaces may show scenes of royalty or important battles. Modern-day tapestries can also use similar designs, so it’s important to make sure your tapestry has the other features of an antique as described above.

Although you can analyze all the above elements on your own, a professional like the ones at Old and New Shop will be able to expertly analyze all these elements to help determine the value of your antique tapestry. At Old and New Shop, not only will we help you learn more about your tapestry’s history and how much it is worth, but we will offer you the best price for it. Be sure to contact us to learn more about how we can help you learn the true value of your tapestry.

Top 5 Ways to Get the Best Value for Your Jewelry

Get the best value for your jewelry.

Antique or inherited jewelry has the potential to have significant worth, but often that worth becomes inflated by the emotional value jewelry holds. Inherited jewelry often brings with it memories of the person who used to wear it or it has some kind of history attached to it that can make it difficult to give up. That’s why you need to make sure you get the full worth of your jewelry when you sell it. Some elements of your jewelry that contribute to its worth are out of your control, such as the style and the gems. However, there are still steps you can take to ensure you can get the best value for your jewelry and feel good about the transaction. Read on to find out how you can have the best shot at getting top dollar for your jewelry.

1. Tell the Story

Heirlooms that have a significant story can sometimes be worth more, such as if they were once owned by someone famous or important. It’s also important to know the era in which the item was manufactured and who manufactured it, as certain brands will be worth more. If a piece of jewelry was made by a top brand, keeping it in its original box may also add to the value if the box is in excellent condition.

2. Clean Your Jewelry

Jewelry needs to be in the best condition in order to bring in a top price. Any discolorations or dirty areas need to be cleaned and polished carefully so as not to ruin the integrity of the metal and gems. If any areas of the jewelry are actually damaged, they should be repaired by a professional. Even so, the fact that the jewelry piece is not in its original condition after being repaired may affect the price.

3. Pay Attention to the Style

Styles come and go, and you will get the best value for your jewelry when it is in style. If you have the time and patience, only sell those pieces that are currently in style, and save the other pieces for when their style becomes more in demand. Style includes metal type, gems and gem sizes, and how ornate the piece is.

4. Find Out the Melt Value

The melt value of jewelry is how much the actual metal is worth once it is melted down. The melt value may be less than what the piece may have been worth if it was in good condition, but if the piece is damaged or in poor condition, determining its melt value may be the best way to sell it.

5. Get Your Gems Graded

Every gem can be graded to find out its true value, and it’s worth it to obtain an official report declaring the grade of the gems on your jewelry pieces. Gem grades are determined based on the gem itself and its size. Some gems are intrinsically more valuable than others. Knowing the grade of your gems can help you get a better idea of how much your jewelry piece is worth.

At the Old and New Shop, our experts can help you find out how much your jewelry pieces are worth based on a variety of determining factors and will give you the best price you can find. We will offer you a free, no-pressure quote and our transaction can be as discreet as you need. Make sure to contact us to learn more about our jewelry buying service so you can get the most out of your jewelry pieces.

How To Determine the Worth of Inherited Silverware

Worth of inherited silverware

Have you inherited a set of silver flatware, or maybe a silver tea set? Many people today buy stainless steel, but actual silverware in the form of flatware, trays, or tea seats was a luxury item that your parents or grandparents may have owned. If you have been lucky enough to inherit a set of silverware, you may be wondering how much it is worth. The answer lies in how it was made, influenced heavily by the age of the item.

The Beginning of Silver Flatware

Once upon a time, many years ago – 12th century England, to be precise, royal and highly wealthy families decided to use sterling silver as flatware. This was the same quality of silver that was being used in silver coins. During the Industrial Revolution, silverware began being mass-produced, making it somewhat more affordable and definitely more available. Members of the newly-growing middle class purchased silverware as a sign of their wealth and gentility. For over a hundred years, upper-middle-class families likely owned silverware that was ornate and nearly solid silver.

Silver Suffers in the Great Depression

When the Great Depression hit, people fell into financial trouble. Purchasing silverware–including all the work involved in owning it, such as hiring servants to polish it–was unaffordable. That’s when silver-plated flatware became popular. Flatware that is silver-plated has a thin layer of silver painted onto its surface, but it is primarily not a silver piece. Silver-plated items look pretty, but they cost significantly less than sterling silver. Therefore, they are worth less if you inherit them.

So How Much is Your Inherited Silverware Worth?

Now that you know some of the history of silver in the home, you can use the time period of your set to help determine its worth of your inherited silverware. If it has been passed down through the generations from the 1800s, there’s a chance it might actually be sterling silver. In fact, there are ways you can check for yourself if your silver items are sterling. Look at the bottom. If it says “sterling” or has the numbers 925, 900, or 800 inscribed in it, you’ve hit the silver jackpot–sort of. Chances are, your inherited set will end up being recycled for scrap metal. Very few silver flatware sets have real value today–they would need to have been made by a highly valued silversmith or be of an intricately beautiful pattern to be kept in-tact and not be melted down.

Most likely, though, your silver flatware, trays, tea sets, and other dining accessories are silver-plated. Silver-plated items have less worth than sterling silver, and a professional like the ones at Old and New Shop can help you decide if it is worth selling. If you do decide to sell, we can help you get the best price for your silver items.

How Much is Your Gold and Silver Worth?

How much is your gold and silver worth?

Amongst antique or gifted items in your possession might be items made of gold or silver. You may wonder how much your gold and silver is worth, and if they are worth selling or holding onto? Some of these answers are subjective. Does the item hold sentimental value? Naturally, you won’t want to sell such an item! Are you in need of some quick money? That may prompt you to sell now instead of strategically waiting for an opportune time based on the precious metals market. Once you answer these important preliminary questions, we come to the question at the crux of the issue: just how much does your gold or silver get you?

Precious Metals Trend Slowly

The upward or downward trends of gold and silver happen very slowly – a single trend can take twenty years before things start to go the other way! This is because gold and silver are not consumed like other goods, such as food items. People who buy gold and silver tend to hoard them, not use them up. Supply and demand does affect precious metals, but not as drastically the way it affects other commodities. Therefore, if you want to be patient and wait for an opportune time to sell, you may have to wait a while. However, there are some big rises in price from time to time, even during a downward trend. If you catch one of those rises, you could get lucky.

The Worth of Gold and Silver as Determined by the Spot Price and the Daily Fixing

Once or twice a day, the price of precious metals is “fixed.” That means that members of the industry decide on a set price for buying and selling precious metals or agree to maintain the current market conditions in order to regulate the price across the industry. Another way to determine the price of gold or silver is by looking at the spot price, which predicts the future expected value of precious metals. The spot price can change several times a day.

The Devaluation of Currency Raises the Worth of Gold and Silver

As markets change, the value of certain countries’ currencies can go down. When currency values decrease, investors look to gold, increasing gold’s inherent value. More than supply and demand, market changes and currency values heavily influence the worth of gold and silver.

It’s not always a simple decision when (and if!) to sell your gold or silver items. At Old and New Shop, our experts analyze the current market trends for gold and silver values. We look to buy solid gold and silver items including gold coins, silver flatware, silver tea sets, silver trays, and more, and we will give you the highest price for your items.

5 Elements to Consider When Determining the Worth of a Piece of Art

Determine how much a piece of art is worth.

Do you own or have you inherited several paintings or other forms of art? You may be wondering if your art is worth anything. The thing about art is that it’s super subjective. You may feel that the art you own is a masterpiece, or at least looks absolutely stunning, but the beauty of your piece of art doesn’t always dictate its worth. In fact, there are a variety of factors that are important in determining the value of your art piece.

1. Authenticity

Authentic antique paintings are rare, but they’re out there. The interesting, and somewhat problematic, issue of authenticity of paintings is that master painters sometimes had their students paint copies of their pieces or contribute to the original, and then all those pieces were sold under the master painter’s name. Leonardo da Vinci is famous for doing this with his painting Virgin of the Rocks. That means that many “authentic originals” out there are actually copies or collaborations. When discovered, these paintings become labeled “inauthentic” and their worth goes down.

2. Size

Amongst more contemporary artwork, the size of the piece often plays a significant role in its price. Smaller works are usually priced lower, and works that are too big to comfortably hang in a residential home are also priced lower because they are more difficult to sell. Large works that hang nicely in someone’s home will often have a higher price tag.

3. Medium

Oil paintings are extremely durable, which gives them a higher value. In addition, paintings done on canvas are worth more than those done on paper.

4. History

What is the history of the piece? Is it an original? If it belonged to anyone famous or significant, that will drive up its value. In addition, does the artist have an interesting backstory? Is the artist still alive? These are all important questions to consider when thinking about how much a piece of art is worth.

5. Artist

The popularity of the artist is a strong determining factor in the value of a piece of art. Has the artist been to several exhibitions? Won any awards? Is the artist popular right now?

Ultimately, whether or not you keep a piece of art is a highly personal decision. If you do decide you want to sell it, the experts at Old & New Shop will help you determine its worth and pay you the same day we pick it up. Either way, it’s always interesting and useful to know the history and worth of any piece of art you own!

What is the Difference Between Precious and Semi-Precious Stones?

precious and semi-precious stones

Do you have jewelry passed down to you or that you don’t want anymore that you are looking to sell? If you have jewelry with gems, it can be helpful to know more about the kinds of gems they are and what they might be worth. Since the 1800s, gemstones have been classified into two main categories: precious and semi-precious stones. Precious stones generally refer to diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. All other gemstones are considered semi-precious. The differences between the two categories can be subtle, and there is some controversy over whether or not this classification system is legitimate.

Why Are Some Stones Considered “Precious” and Not Others?

The most important thing to understand is that the basis for this classification is commercial, not scientific. Some people may argue that the value of precious stones is higher, or that they are rarer, but this is simply not true. There are several semi-precious stones that are harder to find than precious ones, or that cost more to buy, but that doesn’t bump them up to precious status. The fact is that for marketing reasons, the jewelry world arbitrarily assigned certain gems “precious” status so they could charge more for them.

Does It Matter If the Gems on my Jewelry are Precious or Semi-Precious?

Not really. There are many variables that go into the worth of a gemstone, including cut, quality, size, and clarity. Additionally, some semiprecious stones are actually rarer or worth more than precious stones. The designation of precious and semi-precious is arbitrary at this point, but the world is so used to this classification that it is nearly impossible to change.

Sell Your Jewelry With Confidence

There are many avenues for selling your jewelry, but many of them won’t give you that much in return. At the Old & New Shop, our antique and jewelry buyer will make sure you get the proper value for your jewelry. We give you top dollar based on fair market value. If you are not sure about selling, we give you a free quote with no obligations, so you can make an informed decision.

Top 5 Ways To Dig Up Valuable Yard Sale Finds

Valuable yard sale finds

Summer is the season of yard sales, and you’d be surprised what kinds of treasures you may discover. While most of what people are selling on their front lawn isn’t actually worth particularly much, if you’re a savvy buyer, you may be able to score some valuable finds at yard sales this summer. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your yard sale shopping.

1. Get There Early 

Generally, antique dealers are the first ones to get to yard and estate sales, and they’ll likely scoop up any antiques worth having. If you want to get in there and claim some antiques for yourself, you’ll have to be one of the first shoppers at the sale.

2.  Shop in Older Neighborhoods 

Is there a town nearby that has families who have lived there generation after generation? Members of these older neighborhoods are more likely to have antiques that were passed down to them from previous generations and that may end up on their yard sale tables.

3. Don’t Pass Up Less Obvious Antiques 

When you hear antique, you probably think of furniture or jewelry. But antiques come in a variety of categories and you may stumble upon some pretty valuable finds unexpectedly at your next yard sale. Examples include antique ornaments, sports memorabilia, fishing equipment, art frames, and books.

4. Judge the Weight 

Heavier items tend to be authentically older, as materials commonly used long ago were bulkier and more weighty than ones used today. Anything that feels light in your hand probably isn’t an authentic antique.

5. Look for Identifying Marks 

Antiques will often have markings on them put there by their manufacturers. These marks help identify the maker and the time period. Certain language on backstamps was also used by specific countries in different eras, so study those backstamps if you see them and do some research to help you decipher these clues.

Confirm Your Potentially Valuable Yard Sale Finds

Remember that once you bring home your potentially valuable finds from yard sales, get your items appraised. The experienced buyers at Old and New Shop will give you a fair and accurate price for your antique pieces. Then you can make an informed decision on what to do next – do you want to sell and make some money? Or hold on to it and potentially pass it down in your own family? 

Is Your Antique Furniture Authentic? Top Three Categories to Consider.

authentic antique furniture

If you have an antique piece of furniture in your home, you may want to know more about it and learn how much it may be worth. There are several different criteria to consider when evaluating the authenticity of a furniture antique. Below are the top three important categories of elements that can help you learn if your antique furniture is authentic – or at least if it is worth bringing to a professional appraiser! 

 

Consider the Era

 

There are several different styles of furniture from different time periods, and each piece has its own story to tell. Furniture is usually considered antique if it is over 100 years old. Identifying the era from which your piece of furniture comes can help you determine if your piece is authentic and how much it may be worth.

 

Queen Anne and Chippendale styles are both from the 1700s and were popular in the early American colonies, particularly Boston and Philadelphia. They have subtle but distinct differences from one another in their shape and details. 

 

Eastlake furniture came later, towards the end of the Victorian period. Charles Eastlake, who wanted to move away from the ornate Victorian styles, designed furniture that was simpler and more practical. Famous manufacturers of Eastlake furniture were the Herter Brothers, though they added elaborations to the classic Eastlake style. Any piece of Eastlake furniture manufactured by the Herter brothers will be worth more than other Eastlake pieces.

 

Eames furniture is more modern and also quite collectible. Charles and Ray Eames–husband and wife–highly influenced modern American furniture, creating functional and affordable furniture out of plywood in simple, comfortable designs that embrace the clean mid-century modern style.

 

Examine Its Construction

 

Antique furniture was made before machines, which means the edges will not be 100% perfectly straight. If you check inside the drawers of your furniture piece, you may notice irregular dovetail joints. In addition, multiple types of wood were often used in antique pieces, as artisans would not use expensive wood in areas that weren’t seen, such as the bottom of chairs.   

 

Evaluate Its Condition

 

Antiques are old and they look it. They often have uneven coloring as well as black marks indicating water damage. Nicks and scratches can also indicate a piece is a true antique, although anyone can nick or scratch a piece of furniture to make it seem old, so be careful with that criteria. Drawer runners will usually be worn from so many years of use, and hardware pieces will frequently not be completely identical. Check the insides of drawers or the underside of your piece for any labels or markings that can provide clues as to when and where the piece was made.

A Professional Can Help Figure Out If Your Antique Furniture is Authentic

At the end of the day, a professional is probably the best person to tell you if your furniture is a true antique piece or a reproduction. At Old & New Shop, our professionals can help you determine the true history and worth of your piece of furniture.