What To Look For In An Antique To Find A Worthwhile Item

If you are interested in antiques, then you may want to start buying some items and trying your hand at reselling. While a vast amount of knowledge is required to successfully curate a true antique collection, you can be relatively successful as an amateur as long as you pay attention to a few things as you shop at secondhand stores and garage sales. Keep reading to learn about a few things that can tip you off that an item may be worth some money.


Rarity is something that can increase the value of an antique exponentially. However, it can be difficult to immediately determine whether something is rare or not. There are a few things you can consider when it comes to rarity. If the item is one that is extremely fragile, then it may be rare simply based on the number of items that may have broken throughout the years. If you are looking at a fragile item, it most likely will need to be in like-new or very good condition to fetch any money. Some examples of fragile and rare items include crystal stemware, Faberge eggs and other small ceramic collectibles, and older vases. 

Rarity does not only mean that only a few unbroken items still exist. The term also refers to any object that was manufactured in smaller numbers in the first place. For example, any object that was used exclusively by a person of means in the past is likely to be rare. Gold snuff boxes, decorative fans, ornate clocks, and decorative frames are a few examples.

Also, if an item is a common one, but features a distinctive shape, color, or pattern, then it may be rare when compared to a more traditional type of object. For example, a piece of antique silverware used for a distinctive purpose may be a rare item. Turkey marrow removal spoons, oyster servers, sardine tongs, and lobster picks are a few examples of unique flatware. 

Reproducibility And Aesthetic Value

If an item is not being reproduced or if it is not able to be reproduced, then this can also make it worth more money. For example, certain types of furniture items are not reproduced due to the way they were constructed with hand-made joints. Some furniture pieces also have specialized finishes, like ones with crushed rubies, that are not easily reproduced simply due to cost. Items that are no longer useful, like phonographs, are not typically reproduced either, and neither are outdated medical equipment and other types of tools.

While an item that is not easily or readily reproducible may be worth some money, this may not be the case if the item is an ugly one. This may be the reason why the piece is not reproduced in the first place. It is simply undesirable and not a collector item. This means that you may end up with an item that is quite rare and unique, but nobody will purchase it from you.

While aesthetics may be personal, there are a few things that can detract from beauty. A bright or drab color, an off-center pattern, carving, or stamp, or a dull appearance with little luster are a few things that can easily detract from the beauty of an item.

If an object appears to be in harmony when all elements are taken into account, then this is a good sign that it is aesthetically pleasing. If your eyes are telling you that an antique is gaudy, then you should trust your instincts.

If you want to know more about antiques and how to spot the ones that are worth the most, then make sure to speak with an antique dealer or an auction specialist, or check out websites like http://www.crissy.com