The Berkshires Massachusetts
The Berkshires Massachusetts

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The Real Thing - Antiques

Antiques Sign The antiques and collectibles market has exploded into popularity, much of it due to the new on-line auction services and the PBS TV program "Antiques Roadshow." Many people new to the hobby don't have the experience to always tell what is valuable and what isn't. Here are some tips:

  • Antique furniture can lose a lot of value if it has been restored. Look for these usual areas of restoration: the top, feet and hardware, including handles, knobs and wheels.
  • Fake autographs are everywhere, even those with a "Certificate of Authenticity" are not guaranteed to be authentic. Research the item before you turn over any money. Be very careful buying autographs; they are easily faked.
  • The "karat" stamp on a piece of gold jewelry is only an indication of gold content and not absolute proof that the item is gold. Many amateurs are fooled because they naively believe that a karat stamp is irrefutable evidence of solid gold.
  • How to tell crystal from glass: Hold the item in your hand. If it seems to get colder, it's crystal. Glass will seem to get warmer as you hold it.
  • An original mirror with original glass is worth more than one with replacement glass. Glass warps with age, so the original glass in an old mirror should distort a reflection.