Despite estate sales being a good place to start when searching for antique jewelry, many people tend to overlook them. If you are contemplating shopping at an estate sale for jewelry, it is important that you know what you are looking for and what precautions to take to get a reasonable deal. Here are some tips for you to remember. 

Research the Desired Era

Regardless of when it was manufactured, jewelry has characteristics that are unique to the era in which it was created. By knowing which characteristics are associated with each era in which you are interested, you can quickly narrow down your jewelry search. You can also eliminate pieces that do not fit the era in which they are alleged.  

For instance, Victorian era jewelry usually had a pin and barrel fastening. The pieces were also characterized by the use of various materials outside of silver and gold. Horse hair, bog oak, and even human hair could be used in the pieces.  

Talk to the Seller

Prior to the estate sale, you need to learn as much as possible about the jewelry that is available to purchase. Before talking to the seller, it is important to remember that it is possible that he or she will have limited information on the desired piece. However, the information that he or she does have can possibly help you determine the authenticity of the piece.  

One of the most important questions the seller can answer for you is whether or not the piece is in good condition. He or she can conduct a visual inspection of the piece. Find out if the seller has had the piece appraised as part of the estate sale process. If so, inquire about the results of the appraisal. 

Look for Signs of Repair

The overall condition of the jewelry can impact its value. If a piece has been poorly repaired, its value can decline. You can ask the seller if he or she is aware of any repairs that were made to the jewelry. If so, you need to know which jeweler made the repairs and the nature of them. 

In addition to this, you need to closely inspect the jewelry for signs of a bad repair. For instance, badly completed soldering could lead to uneven joints on the piece. 

As you shop estate sales, you will learn more about finding the pieces that you desire. Consider consulting with a jeweler like Jeffrey-Private Jeweler before shopping to find out other tips for shopping.