Valuable Antique Finds

It does not matter if you are an antiquing expert or a beginner, everyone knows that some antiques can be very valuable. However, the antiquing novices may be wondering what antiques and collectibles they should be keeping an eye out for while they’re browsing tag sales and antique stores. 

On the Lookout

Here is a list of some of the valuable antique finds as well as vintage, and retro items budding collectors should get excited about: 

  • Rare coins
  • Original paintings
  • Antique furniture, clocks, and doorstops
  • First-edition books, vintage comic books, and postcards
  • Early baseball cards
  • Musical instruments 

…And More

  • Antique maps and globes 
  • Jewelry
  • Dishes, china, flatware, and depression glassware
  • Vintage toys
  • Old cameras and lenses
  • Decoy ducks

Valuable Collectables

These items can be very valuable, selling in the hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars. Certain specific items, of course, can stand above their peers in terms of both rarity and value. First-edition copies of certain famous and well-loved books can be worth tens of thousands of dollars. A first-edition copy of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” can be worth up to $70,000 and a copy of “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald can be worth up to $30,000. Rare vintage toys can be even more valuable than even the most cherished first-edition novels. The “Redline Hot Wheels Car” released in 1968 can be worth $100,000 to $200,000 today, as can the Star Wars First 12 Action Figures released in 1977. Antique furniture is another realm of antiquing that contains highly valuable items. Certain items of antique furniture such as the Federal Inlaid Mahogany Sofa and the Sheraton Banjo Wall Clock can be worth up to $500,000. Others like the Hepplewhite Inlaid Mahogany Sideboard can be worth up to $1 million, while the Chippendale Rococo Mahogany Highboy can be worth up to $3 million.

Other Rare Finds

Particularly rare and beloved comics can be even more valuable than even the rarest vintage toys and the vast majority of antique furniture. For instance, a surviving copy of Action Comics #1, the 1938 DC comic that introduced readers to Superman, is valued at $2 to $3 million. Batman’s 1939 debut comic Detective Comics #27 is valued at $1 to $2 million.. However rare coins can be even more valuable than these debut superhero comics. The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is worth an eye popping $10 to $15 million today and the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coin is worth $7 million to $10 million on the coin collecting market. These two American coins are the most valuable in the world, but coins from other countries like the British 1703 Queen Anne Five Guineas, the Spanish 1715 Fleet Treasure Cob, and the German 1743 Vereinskrone Thaler are also worth millions of dollars. These are, of course, just a small smattering of the valuable antiques and collectibles waiting to be discovered in the attics, basements, tag sales, garages, and thrift stores of the world.

 Valuable Antique Finds

While it can be very exciting to imagine finding a valuable antique worth large sums of money, it is best to practice and love antiquing for its own sake. You may not find a multi-million dollar comic or coin on your antiquing journey, but you can definitely find beautiful and unique items that link us to our collective past. You can definitely find a piece of the past that you and your family can cherish and call your very own. Isn’t that the true spirit of antiquing? If you do find an antique item you believe to be valuable you can have it appraised at the Old & New Shop.

Antique and Vintage Jewelry is Always in Style

Throughout centuries, jewelry styles have come and gone. Designers found their inspiration in nature, architecture, art, and culture. Some creations were handmade and delicate while others were whimsical with various looks, gemstones, and materials. But, whatever the time period, 30 years or 100 years ago, antique and vintage jewelry has always been in style!

Vintage or Antique?

If you are buying or selling jewelry, it’s good to know what is considered antique or vintage. Jewelry is considered vintage if it’s at least twenty to thirty years old. Antique jewelry is one hundred years old or more, meaning it was created before the 1910s.

Pre-Victorian Jewelry 

Almost all jewelry manufactured before the beginning of the Victorian era was crafted by hand and made from yellow gold and silver. However, due to the quick development of technology in this era, machines were able to cut, stamp, and electroplate gold onto base metals allowing for the mass production of jewelry. The lower cost of production made gold and other materials to be produced in 14K, 10K, and 9K yellow gold affordable for practically everyone. Victorian jewelry featured elaborate cameos made of shell and stone, Renaissance-style lockets, hearts, flowers, and jewelry with animal themes set in pearls.

Art Nouveau Jewelry 1890 – 1915

The “new art” or Art Nouveau movement was created in the late nineteenth century as a result of the reflection of the innovations of the period. Art Nouveau had a significant impact and served as the inspiration for certain jewelry trends. The natural environment served as the primary source of inspiration for Art Nouveau designs, which included jewelry pieces depicting animals, insects, flowers, and women with flowing hair and graceful curves. Romanticized images were designed in contrast to stark images of jewelry from other periods. Different materials and methods were used such as enameling and molded glass. Precious stones like agate, moonstones, opals, sapphires, garnet, and aquamarine were the choices for pieces of this period.

Edwardian Period Jewelry 1900 – 1920

King Edward VII (Queen Victoria’s son), ascended to the British throne in 1901 and gave rise to the Edwardian era. During his reign, society attained its highest level of sophistication. This era was inspired by delicate images and light. Bows, ribbons, bow knots, lace, and flowers were often the themes for jewelry and fashion. The influences of Roman, Ancient Greek, Napoleonic, and French Baroque may all be seen in Edwardian jewelry designs. Diamonds were highlighted in Edwardian jewelry. Advances in metal manufacturing during this time began the use of platinum in jewelry making.

Art Deco Jewelry 1915 – 1935

“Art Deco.” style first started in Paris in 1925. This was the first place the fashion was seen. Lines were straight and angled or they curled gradually unlike the Art Nouveau era. Art Deco styles were basically represented as geometric shapes and symmetrical. The jewelry of this period was influenced by several factors such as the industrial revolution, Cubism, and the devastation of World War I.

Retro Jewelry 1935 – 1950

The Retro era, often referred to as the Retro Modern, followed the end of World War II. Unexpectedly, jewelry styles were large, bright, and extravagant given the devastation at the end of the war and the economic slump. Retro-style jewelry was Hollywood glitzy. Designs combined futuristic images with pieces drawn from earlier eras, however, unlike Art Deco, Retro jewelry has softer curves and more feminine themes. 

Antique and Vintage Jewelry is Always in Style

Jewelry designs have always been a reflection of our history culture and art. Many pieces’ styles have been handed down through the decades. Antique shops and collectors like the Old & New Shop will buy and sell authentic pieces. Whatever the period, antique or vintage, collectors have always favored jewelry no matter what their style!

An Antique Shopping Guide

A Guide to Antique ShoppingThere is so much fun in shopping for antiques. Sometimes, we find the best items from the flea market and in specialized shops. From hand-painted teapots to ornate sofas, these antiques make an excellent addition to your home. An antique shopping guide will help!

Be Prepared

The best way to start your shopping trip is to be prepared for moving your antiques from the shop to your home. A simple kit containing items you already have in your house should be ready to go. Your kit should have cardboard boxes (preferably foldable), a blanket or bubble wrap for padding, and wipes for dusty pieces. It’s also helpful to measure the space you want to fit the item into before you go. If your find is too big for your vehicle, have a Plan B to transport it such as a rental van. 

Identify the Best Market for Your Needs

Depending on your needs, you should decide which type of market is the best place to find it. If you’re looking for affordable, second-hand items, shop at a flea market. If you want “old” heirlooms, try an antique mall. Genuine antiques are usually found in a shop owned by an antiquities expert. 

The terms antique, vintage, or retro are sometimes used interchangeably, but they do have different meanings. These differentiations can help determine the value of the item. The definition of antique is simple–any item that is over 100 years old. This rule applies to anything from books to glassware. Vintage pieces are not sold as antiques. Although determining the age is a bit more subjective, vintage usually means an item that is over 40 years old. People buy vintage items because they are nostalgic decorative pieces or collectibles. Retro items are thought of as existing in the more recent past and are sometimes only slightly used. These items are more than 20 years old, but less than 40.

Antiquing Etiquette

When you enter an antique market or mall, it’s always best to greet the vendor, setting a friendly tone. It is acceptable to haggle or ask for a discount. Some people may feel uncomfortable, but these tips can help you along. 

You should also inspect the item carefully for dents, scratches, or chips. If you find a flaw, you should ask for a discount.

Keep the Vision

When shopping for pieces to decorate your home, keep in mind the style you are trying to achieve. Are you going for farmhouse chic, rustic, or something retro? If you are not sure what your style is, start with a major piece that you like that ties the room together and decorate accordingly.


If you are new at this, you probably don’t have experience determining the authenticity of an antique. There are some ways to verify its claim:

  • Distinguish sterling silver from plated by its authenticating mark. Look for a marking that says “9.25”, “Sterling”, “Sterling 925”, or “S/S.”
  • To check whether a porcelain item is genuine, hold a flashlight (your phone works well for this) up to see if the light shines through. If it does, it’s genuine.

Also, consider the function of the item you’re interested in. A fragile piece should not be in a place where it can be easily damaged. 

Additionally, before you make a purchase, you should find out what the return policy is, especially on large valued items. If anything should be wrong, or it just doesn’t fit with your decor, you’d want to know if you can take it back.

Let’s Shop 

With an antique shopping gude, you are ready to shop. Get your antiquing kit, cash, and transportation, and go! The Old & New Shop is one of the favorite antique and vintage dealers in the New York metro area.

Antique, Vintage, or Retro?

Antique, Vintage or Retro

The terms antique, vintage, or retro are sometimes used interchangeably, but they do have different meanings, and these differentiations can help determine the value of the item.

The definition of antique is simple–any item that is over 100 years old. This rule applies to anything from books to glassware. If an item is over 300 years old, it can fall into one of two categories. If it’s natural and from a living thing, it is called a fossil. If it’s man-made, then it qualifies as an antiquity or artifact.

Vintage has a meaning that is less defined. Vintage pieces are not sold as antiques. Although determining what age counts as vintage is a bit more subjective, it usually means an item that is over 40 years old. People buy vintage items because they are nostalgic decorative pieces or collectibles.

Retro items are thought of as existing in the more recent past and are sometimes slightly used. These items are more than 20 years old, but less than 40. Retro usually imitates a certain “years ago” style, for example, a letter or varsity jacket which dates back to the 1920s, and the style regained popularity again in the 1980s.

Items that are not necessarily antiques, vintage or retro may still look old and are commonly bought as collectibles. These are referred to as reproductions. They are not sold as old themselves but as copies of older items.

The Market Value

There are several ways to estimate the value of your antique, vintage, or retro item. Visiting a local appraiser is a good option, as they have experience in this area and the tools to accurately research the piece and determine its worth. Appraisers will offer a fair price and give you a report. However, they can charge a hefty fee for their services of up to  $200 or more. The Old & New Shop will provide a more personal appraisal with a one-on-one phone call and/or meeting.

Another way to find the market value is to visit a site that will appraise your antique. Websites can give you a professional estimate by providing you with a description and photo. Additionally, consulting an antique pricing guide can give you detailed information about the value and resale of the items.

Trends in Antiques, Vintage, or Retro Items

Interest in shopping for vintage and antique items has grown over the years. Millennials are growing older, and the things they once had as children are now becoming vintage. And it’s not only Millennials; Gen Z’s is also looking for vintage and retro pieces. Current purchasing trends indicate interest in vintage advertising signs, books, toys, and jewelry. Other items with Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles are also popular. Whatever your preference, the Old & New Shop has a wide variety of items and collectibles for buying and selling.

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!

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.

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.