Beginners Guide to Antiques

Your love for antiques could have started from collecting coins. Or you might have been collecting comic books. As you age, now here you are, for the passion of antiques or collectibles in your language.

What is an antique?

An antique must be 100 years old. Anything younger is a collectible. It is what we call vintage. Vintage is still valuable, but one should know the difference.

An antique is treasured because it has historical significance. Apart from history, the aesthetic aspect of an antique also makes it worthwhile. Sometimes antiques could be signed by their previous owners.


Antiquing is shopping for antiques. People engage in antiquing for personal use, as a gift, or at sale for better prices. We can find antiques in garage and yard sales, collectives, antique districts, and international auction houses.

Sometimes antiquing refers to the craft of making antiques. An object is painted or tarnished to appear old. It may need to be clarified to identify the origin of such fakes. That is why; antiquing is often a tedious process.


There are some artifacts or antiques which are not allowed. You might come across them, but pass them as you walk. Buying or selling such things is illegal and can land you in trouble. They are ivory of elephant and walrus, eagle feathers, and Native American artifacts.

The legality of a product depends on the origin of the product. Unfortunately, there is a lot of trafficking of antiques done every day, posing a threat to the peace of nations. That is why world organizations such as UNESCO pay special attention to monitoring and retrieving them. To avoid contributing to such international thefts, we better be aware of the source and check for its authenticity before buying.

Antiques of value

Antiques are named so because of their value. But what is the factor or factors that add to the said value?

Just because a vendor is asking a whopping amount of money, it doesn’t mean the antique is worth it. There are fundamental factors determining the worth of antiques. They are the rarity of the piece, condition of the item, age of the item, quality of the item, unique features, and history of the item.


How to check the value of an antique

There are books available with adequate knowledge. If you think books are boring, learn through different websites.

  • There is Kovels who share pricing list for antiques and collectibles. They have an extensive database of items.
  • You can identify your product by checking at David Doty. They have images of antiques and collectibles along with price history.
  • You can also check eBay to compare and collect information on the product you are interested in buying.
  • Antique navigator lets you search through the available information. They have information in the form of articles along with price guides.

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