Around the world, and for many millennia, civilizations primitive and advanced alike appreciate precious metals and gems such as gold, silver, and platinum, along with gems such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and others. Jewelry, for much of history, was restricted to the higher classes of a civilization such as royalty, aristocrats, religious figures or other leaders, and the like. But gradually, jewelry of all sorts also entered the common markets, and even by the 1800s, if not earlier, it was common for relatively modest families to have family jewelry to pass down from one generation to another. This continues today, and many pieces of antique gold jewelry are family heirlooms. Mothers pass on earrings, brooches, and necklaces to their daughters, and fathers may pass on pocket watches, wrist watches, and cuff links to their sons. Many brides and grooms receive gifts like these right before their wedding, for both aesthetics and sentimental value. And sentimental or not, a piece of antique gold jewelry may fetch a great price, and silver items may be valuable, too. How can someone get old Chinese silver or estate jewelry appraised fairly?
The Business of Antique Gold Jewelry and More
Jewelry often has family and sentimental value, but there is also a robust industry for making, buying, selling, and appraising these pieces of antique gold jewelry, too. Someone looking to buy antiques like silver tea sets or gold rings may want to pay only a fair price, and the seller doesn’t want to get ripped off. Experts will often be involved, who can appraised a piece of antique gold jewelry or a silver trophy to determine a fair price for everyone involved.
By nature, gold, silver, and gems are valuable, but the exact price is best left to experts. These experts may look over a piece of antique gold jewelry or silver-coated items in person, and determine the purity of that metal and its condition, not to mention the sheer quantity of it. If the item is fairly old, and it was well-made in addition to having fairly pure metal, that item may be quite valuable indeed. Most silver items are made of sterling silver, which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, as pure silver is too soft for crafting items. Something similar may be done for gold, which is heavy but also soft, almost like putty in its pure form. A sterling trophy, silver plated tea sets, gold wrist watches, and the like may end up being extremely valuable, or they may be badly damaged or badly crafted and have relatively low value. Either way, hardly anyone would feel comfortable buying or selling these items without having them appraised first.
Not all rings or necklaces are time-honored antiques. Some of them are quite new, and they can be custom made to fit the buyer’s tastes, making for young but unique pieces of jewelry. If these custom pieces are later sold, they might attract the attention of novelty jewelry buyers, who may like the unique patterns they find among rings or necklaces. Others might be kept and become family heirlooms.
Why might someone get custom jewelry made? Most often, customers who buy jewelry for themselves are women, who like jewelry for everyday flair. They may not have any family heirlooms already, or their tastes call for something that they don’t already have.
Men, meanwhile, sometimes buy earrings or stylish rings for themselves, but most often, men are buying engagement rings for their girlfriends (or boyfriends, in some cases). The classic model for engagement rings is a diamond on a gold band, but some men choose to create more unique, personal rings instead, and any aspect of the ring may be customized. The gem may be a sapphire or ruby instead of a diamond, for example, and the body may have attractive patterns carved into it, or a sentimental and personal message.
Either way, a customer looking for custom jewelry will describe their desired item to the jeweler, who will make a colored sketch so all involved parties agree on a final design. The jeweler will take a few weeks to craft it, and the customer will then be notified and may pick it up (and pay for it, too).