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Antiques & curio

What You Must Know About Antiques

If you are new to buying or selling antiques, you might be puzzled as to what the term ’antique’ might actually mean. You might already know that antiques are objects that are old. But how old is ’old’ in this sense? You have come to the right place as you will be able to shed light on what is an antique and other information you might need to know. It is important to educate yourself first before you venture into this kind of business so you can maximize your revenue potential (and also to avoid being scammed).


How Old is an Antique?

According to Wikipedia, an antique is any object that is at least 100 years old. However, this range of time is not definitive as the value of the item has more weight to its actual age. Experts also suggest that antiques must be perceived of having value due to historical and aesthetic reasons. For example, the item was used by a well-known historical personality or has a history that is in line with a major historical event. Other factors that can add value to an antique object include its condition, rarity, and other unique features.
It is also worth pointing out that antique items are those that exhibit some level of craftsmanship. This level of craftsmanship can directly affect the item’s rarity. It also makes it sought after by avid collectors of these items. You can find plenty of antique items in antique shops, auction websites, and other venues. Many antique buyers now refer to online shops to find their sought after collectible items. However, you must be aware that just because you bought the item from an antique shop (or any other antique store online), it does not guarantee the authenticity of the item/s.

Antique vs Vintage: What’s the Difference?

When talking about antique and vintage items, there is a world of difference. It is important to point that out right from the start especially since the words antique and vintage are often interchanged. Both terms do connote the world ’old’. However, the specific meanings go deeper than that, according to those who are knowledgeable about this trade.
To help make this differentiation, you can analyze the meaning of each more closely below:
·         Antique – The trade standards for antique suggest that the item must be at least 100 years old to be considered as such (as mentioned above). There are some leeway provided in the antique trade about the term with some considering the 80-year marker as a potential standard for aging an antique item. This is only provided to items with a valuable heritage. It considers the ability of the item to last for two generations (with one generation being around 40 years). The quality is also another consideration. In the US, the Customs are very particular about how the term antique is used. The item should not have been restored, or restored by less than 50% in order to be considered antique. This is to ensure that the original character and heritage of the item is preserved even after the restoration process.
·         Vintage – It is a common misconception for those who are uninitiated to believe that any antique item is also ’vintage’. However, this is not always the case. In the world of fashion, the term ’vintage’ refers to any trends that were prevalent during a certain period of time. In general terms, it can also be used to identify the year or era when a product is manufactured or became popular. By attaching the term ’vintage’ to the item, it actually refers to the specific time when said product was produced. The trade standards for the use of the word ’vintage’ is not as demanding as that of ’antiques’ for reasons stated above.


Buying and Selling Antiques

Now that you know what is considered an antique, it is important to know a few tips when buying or selling antiques. There is a growing market for those who are seeking for antique objects. It is therefore the ideal time to invest in them and potentially re-sell them for a higher value.
Read on the following tips to help guide you through the buying and selling process:
·         Educate yourself first. This is the most important thing you need to know when you engage in trade of antiques. Make sure that you know about the history of a particular object that you are eyeing on. If you have limited knowledge about its history, you won’t be able to assess the significance of the item, as well as its corresponding value.

·         Shop or sell from reputable shops online. The local antique shop is still a good option for those looking to buy antiques. However, most of the buyers are now opting to go online as they can find more options available (and not be limited geographically). Be careful where you buy or sell antiques from. Make sure that the shop is reputable and that they are properly certified. This is the only way to safeguard yourself against fraudulent scammers hoping to make a quick buck.

·         Hire an online appraiser. It is also important to work with a certified antique appraiser online. They can help navigate the crazy world of antique buying and selling on your behalf. You can leverage the knowledge and expertise of the appraiser to help you determine if an object is truly antique or authentic. You can also use them to be able to determine the estimated market value of an object.
Your antique buying or selling process won’t always hit a win for you. As you become more experienced, you will also gain more knowledge about how to get your way around the antique trade.