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One of the very cool things about collecting vintage and estate jewelry is you can potentially discover a great piece virtually anywhere. Because I’ve been operating Showstable Artisans for so long, people come to me now when they have a great piece of horse-themed jewelry they’d like to sell. But I’ve also found great pieces in unusual settings, including estate sales, at horse shows, and more.

I’d like to share some vintage and estate jewelry buying tips with you as you get started on your collecting journey. These tips are to help you get the maximum amount of enjoyment from your collection.

Tip #1: Fall in Love with Your Heart, But Buy With Your Mind

Jewelry can be very beautiful, but you want to make sure of the authenticity and value of the piece in question before you commit to a purchase. Not every clear sparkling stone is a diamond, and you want to avoid paying diamond prices for glass whenever you can.

Use your smart phone to research potential pieces before you purchase. Look for comparable items online to gain a general idea of pricing. It’s nice to be tactful and discreet while you’re doing this, but don’t be afraid of accessing information to make an informed purchase.

Tip #2: Condition is Very Important, But It’s Good to Know A Skilled Bench Jeweler

Sometimes estate jewelry has had a tumultuous history of its own. When clasps are broken, watch links are missing, necklace chains snarled and similar condition issues arise, many collectors will pass those pieces by. However, sometimes good value can be realized by purchasing pieces in less than ideal condition. If you have a good working relationship with a skilled bench jeweler who can fix these items for you, it’s a good way to build your collection in a cost effective manner.

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