Are You Sitting On a Fortune?

It is possible that you might have some antique jewellery, a watch or other vintage items lying around in your house that you are not paying attention to.

If so, you could be sitting on a fortune.

Truthfully, there is no easy way to figure out how much your antiques and collectibles are worth. Determining the value of an antique often takes patience and a lot of research, and still, the determined value would not be your final selling price.

The worth of an antique is a negotiation between a buyer and seller at any given time. While the assistance of a professional antique appraiser is required for a written appraisal you can still get a ballpark idea of what an item’s worth is.

Start with research

If, for example, you have been given a second hand watch start researching it on Google. Search any combination of words that are written on the watch, and if you have any other pertinent details (approximate era your elder may have acquired it), this can be equally helpful.

Use these details to narrow down the make and model of your item. Then, check a trusted second hand watch reseller like check them out here and see what other models are priced at. This will give you a good starting point for figuring out its worth.

How the Pros Value Antiques

You can get an idea of your item’s worth by looking at comparable values. Ideally, finding a number of recorded sales for the exact same piece you’re researching would give you a fairly accurate estimation.

You would discard the high and low values, and average the remaining figures. Many times, live auction results (a number of which are available online now, although some services of this nature are fee-based) are used for this very purpose.

In reality, appraisers are often lucky to find one sale record for an item exactly like the one being researched at any given time, much less several. That includes finding items in the same exact condition whether that means poor or excellent. You can do the same thing yourself with some time, patience, and guidance.

Estimation of worth

There are many resources online where you can look up items and compare their worth to get an average idea of yours.

‘WorthPoint’ is a great resource to identify, research and value antiques, art and vintage collectibles. Check them out here.

‘Kovels’ has maintained up-to-date antique pricing guides since 1958. You can register free for the Basic subscription and receive access to their Price Guide with over 1,000,000 actual prices.

The Buyer’s Price Guide, however, is available only with a paid membership. Some auction houses like Bonhams Auction House or Christie’s also offer free valuations.

‘Value My Stuff’ also provides online appraisals to customers and a written appraisal certificate within 48 hours.

For watches, is one of the best aggregator sites for retailers and will give you a relatively accurate high-low ballpark value. Watchrecon is also a great tool in some cases, as it aggregates all listings from online sales sites like Watchuseek, Timezone, and others.

Condition of your item

A very important factor to consider when you value an antique is the condition. Even when you locate an item in a price guide, if your piece isn’t in comparable condition, it is pointless. Flaws should be taken into consideration including chips, cracks, excessive wear, tears, stains, and missing components. An item in pristine condition will be of greater value.

It’s worth diving into those drawers, you never know what you might find!

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