Antique Sterling Silver from Nelson and Nelson Antiques
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Why Collect Antique Jewelry?

October 17, 2018 8:40 am

buy antique jewelryMany people collect antique silver candlesticks or other pieces because of their classic aesthetic and their value. You may not know it, but silver and gold are downright celestial. In fact, these elements form when stars -- which are about 10 times the size of our own sun -- explode and form supernovae. It's no wonder that many of us want a little bit of stardust for ourselves. And in some cases, you can actually wear it. That's just one of the reasons why you may choose to buy antique jewelry from silver dealers or an antique shop. But it's certainly not the only good reason to invest in an antique jewelry collection, as you'll see below.
 

Why Buy Antique Jewelry?

  • You'll invest in something functional, valuable, and fashionable: When you go to your local antique silver buyers, you'll probably find sterling trays or a picture frame made of sterling silver. While these items retain their value and can look beautiful even in contemporary homes, they aren't necessarily that useful on a daily basis. They may act as a nice display piece, but they might only come out for special occasions or may end up gathering dust in a corner. In contrast, antique jewelry can be worn and loved. Although there may be times you'll want to keep these pieces tucked away for safekeeping, they're meant to be used and admired. And because they're totally timeless, they can fit in with any clothing aesthetic and can be enjoyed for generations.



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  • You'll have something to pass down: If your family doesn't have its own set of heirlooms, an antique jewelry collection can serve as an entity that can pass on your legacy. These pieces may not be original to your ancestors, but they can easily become part of your family's heritage in the future. These antique jewelry pieces each have their own story (that's what's so fascinating about collecting vintage items!). When you buy antique jewelry and pass it down to future generations, you're able to add your own story into those precious stones and metals. And when one of your relatives puts on that piece years down the line, they'll think of you and the joy you brought to their lives.



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  • You'll become a style resource: When you buy or sell antique jewelry, you'll end up learning a lot about fashion history. Chances are that if you're drawn to antique accessories, that's an idea that's already of interest to you. In order to make good purchasing decisions, you'll essentially have to have a good working knowledge of value and of style. That can come in handy when someone in town needs a period-specific piece of jewelry. Whether you choose to rent out parts of your collection or can simply provide valuable information for those in search of historical accuracy, you'll soon become an excellent resource in your community.



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  • Your collection will be built to last: You've probably heard the saying, "they don't make them like they used to." If you know anything about antiques, you'll likely understand how true this is. While many modern articles of clothing, accessories, and jewelry come apart easily, vintage items were built to last. So when you buy antique jewelry or other items, you'll have peace of mind that your investment is incredibly sound -- even if the items are from decades or centuries ago. The quality of antique jewelry simply cannot be rivaled by the reproductions of today; when you buy the real thing, you'll be getting what you pay for.

 

If you're looking to start an antique jewelry collection or simply want to add some sterling silver items to your home decor, we're here to help. For more information, contact us today.




Heirloom Interiors: 3 Tips for Decorating with Antique Silver

September 19, 2018 10:28 am

selling silverMaybe your great grandma gifted you her antique silver tea set, or perhaps you're just interested in collecting and selling silver. Whatever the reason, you’ve now got an interesting collection of vintage metal objects. While old silverware and plates can be irresistible purchases, these beautiful objects can be hard to show off in a modern home. Give your home fresh charm and bring that silver into this century with these four decorating tips:
 


  1. Don’t Just Store it Away

    Silver and silver alloys are long-enduring metals with current and historic value. In fact, the words for "silver" and "money" have the same meaning in 14 different languages. You may be tempted to protect valuable heirlooms and antiques by putting them in a box or hiding them in the attic. However, not only is this a sad fate for beautiful objects, but improper storage can also damage fine metals. Without regular polishing and care, forgotten silver may begin to tarnish, sometimes beyond repair. Look into silver lacquer and airtight storage options if you do not wish to display objects or if you plan on selling silver at a later date.




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  3. Don’t always Be Matchy-Matchy

    These days it seems we are inundated with images of the perfect interior designs-- the internet, TV shows and magazines all seem to display homes with every shape, color, and style carefully coordinated. However, closer inspection reveals that an important secret of good design is to not be overly matchy. Rooms in which every object is nearly identical lose interest and energy. When buying silver antiques, don’t fret if a tea set or candlestick bundle is mismatched. Visual variety can actually help your room achieve an exciting style and can help highlight your unique silver collection. Similarly, when selling silver, don’t think you can’t get a good price for a collection that isn’t perfectly matched.




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  5. Go for the Upcycle

    Lifestyles change over time. While in the past, every respectable home had a fine sterling silver tea set, today many people don’t even serve tea. If you’re unsure how to incorporate items that don’t match your needs, think about repurposing. A silver tea tray might make a fun, reflective bit of wall art. A teapot can become a flower vase, and a spoon can be transformed into jewelry. The only limit with silver decorations is the designer’s imagination.


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You may be inclined to protect valuables in storage, or you may simply be unsure how to do their quirks justice without overpowering your interior designs. But, through bold experimentation with style and upcycling, you can give your antique sterling silver and your home new life. 




How to Take Care of Antique Silver

September 18, 2018 9:36 am

antique silverSilver mining has existed since 3000 BC, and since then, people have had a love affair with this lustrous metal. Silver heirlooms and antique silver products are delightful to own, wear, and display, and with the right care, they can continue to be a bright spot in your home. Whether you've just purchased sterling candlesticks or inherited antique Chinese silver, here are the steps you can take to keep your silver in impeccable shape. 

 

In General...


You should keep your antique silver wrapped in cotton, linen, or jewelers cloth. While you do want to keep your silver dusted and polished to avoid tarnish, beware of over-polishing, as this can expose the base metal. You can also consider having your silverware coated with lacquer or micro-crystalline wax to prevent corrosion. 

 

Silver Sets and Decor


Silver plated tea sets were designed to be used every day, so don't hesitate to bring out your sterling tray and teaspoons. With that said, you'll want to make sure that you take extra care with your antique sterling. Silver should always be washed by hand, never in the dishwasher. Water can also cause spotting and corrosion, so after washing, you should dry immediately with a soft towel. Experts recommend buffing a sterling silver tea set with polish cloths once a week after washing. 

 

Sterling Silver Jewelry


As with your antique silver dishware, silver jewelry shouldn't go near water or sweat. Be sure you don't wear your Tiffany silver to the gym, the pool, in the shower, or while doing chores. You'll also want to know the fineness of your silver, based on the silver standard. Sterling silver, for example, has a rating of 925 (meaning that it is 92.5% silver) and does not require much maintenance. High quality silver, such as French First Standard or Britannia Silver, are rated 950-958 and require more maintenance. Fine silver, by this standard, is 99.9% silver and is not used in everyday products. 


If you're not sure about the value, history, or care of your antique silver, silver dealers and antique collectors can tell you more about your pieces. Whether you want to display or sell your silver, maintaining the finish and integrity of the piece will help it last through the ages. 




So You Want to Collect Antique Silver: Tips to Help You Get Started

August 30, 2018 9:46 am

selling antique silverIf you have an affinity for tracking down rare items or want to fill your home with unique valuables, you might want to consider starting an antique sterling silver collection. But before you run out and spend a lot on pieces that might not retain their worth, you'll need to do some research. The tips in today's post should help you get started on your antique silver collection.
 

Understand Your Options

Before you start collecting, you need to decide what to collect. While your collection doesn't have to be limited to just one type of item -- like sterling trays or sterling candlesticks -- it's typically good to zero in on a main focus. In order to do that, you'll want to delve into the possibilities that are out there. You may already know that pieces for serving and dining are popular, as are decorative objects. But you could also collect personal care items or accessories, as well as jewelry, coins, or household items. You can certainly mix and match these items as they suit your needs and preferences, but knowing what's available can help you choose what really captivates you.
 

Choose Your Era, Style, or Maker

Now that you understand what kinds of items you'll likely look for, you can determine the direction in which you want to take your own collection. You might be naturally drawn to Art Deco pieces or love pieces from even earlier centuries. Or you might want something a bit more practical that you can actually use on a daily basis if you want to. You'll want to find out more information pertaining to popular manufacturers, antique silver styles, or certain motifs. Find pieces that speak to your personal aesthetic and delve deeper into the era they're from or the maker responsible for them. By becoming more familiar with these components, you'll be able to spot those rare finds when you come into contact with someone selling antique silver.
 

Know What Can Impact Value

Once you know exactly the types of pieces you want to look for, you can determine whether a given piece fits your criteria. Part of that is having a good understanding of what kinds of factors impact a piece's value. Silver dealers will tell you that signs of use don't always detract from the value of a given object; even slight damage on a sought-after item may not decrease its value that much. In general, however, it's important to be aware of how scratches, dents, breaks, corrosion, and tarnishing can affect the value. Learning how to properly inspect items and assess how much it might affect the price can allow you to score a deal from someone selling antique silver or know when it's time to walk away.
 

Learn to Spot Fakes and Frankensteins

While you may not be an expert, it's imperative that you have some knowledge of what's authentic and what's not. Authenticity typically impacts value; while you may not mind owning a piece that has a component that was not original, it's important that you at least know this information to avoid overpaying. Some collectors are vehemently against pieces that have updated components, while others won't even consider owning a piece that's been modified to seem rarer than it is. Sometimes, people will fuse together two different silver pieces to replicate a sought-after item. It's important to learn how to spot these inconsistencies and inaccuracies, whether you decide they're deal-breakers or not. And while the internet has made more pieces available to the average person, it's also made those who are purportedly selling antique silver to attempt to swindle you. Since you won't be able to conduct an up-close visual assessment or chemical test until you receive the item, it's not always possible to tell whether something is sterling silver (an alloy of 7.5% copper and 92.5% silver) or merely silver-plated. But if you shop with discretion from the start, you'll always have peace of mind.

When buying and selling antique silver, it's always best to work with the experts. That way, you'll know the price is fair and the authenticity is sound. To start your collection or sell your antique silver, contact us today.




So You Want to Collect Antique Silver: Tips to Help You Get Started

August 30, 2018 9:46 am

selling antique silverIf you have an affinity for tracking down rare items or want to fill your home with unique valuables, you might want to consider starting an antique sterling silver collection. But before you run out and spend a lot on pieces that might not retain their worth, you'll need to do some research. The tips in today's post should help you get started on your antique silver collection.
 

Understand Your Options

Before you start collecting, you need to decide what to collect. While your collection doesn't have to be limited to just one type of item -- like sterling trays or sterling candlesticks -- it's typically good to zero in on a main focus. In order to do that, you'll want to delve into the possibilities that are out there. You may already know that pieces for serving and dining are popular, as are decorative objects. But you could also collect personal care items or accessories, as well as jewelry, coins, or household items. You can certainly mix and match these items as they suit your needs and preferences, but knowing what's available can help you choose what really captivates you.
 

Choose Your Era, Style, or Maker

Now that you understand what kinds of items you'll likely look for, you can determine the direction in which you want to take your own collection. You might be naturally drawn to Art Deco pieces or love pieces from even earlier centuries. Or you might want something a bit more practical that you can actually use on a daily basis if you want to. You'll want to find out more information pertaining to popular manufacturers, antique silver styles, or certain motifs. Find pieces that speak to your personal aesthetic and delve deeper into the era they're from or the maker responsible for them. By becoming more familiar with these components, you'll be able to spot those rare finds when you come into contact with someone selling antique silver.
 

Know What Can Impact Value

Once you know exactly the types of pieces you want to look for, you can determine whether a given piece fits your criteria. Part of that is having a good understanding of what kinds of factors impact a piece's value. Silver dealers will tell you that signs of use don't always detract from the value of a given object; even slight damage on a sought-after item may not decrease its value that much. In general, however, it's important to be aware of how scratches, dents, breaks, corrosion, and tarnishing can affect the value. Learning how to properly inspect items and assess how much it might affect the price can allow you to score a deal from someone selling antique silver or know when it's time to walk away.
 

Learn to Spot Fakes and Frankensteins

While you may not be an expert, it's imperative that you have some knowledge of what's authentic and what's not. Authenticity typically impacts value; while you may not mind owning a piece that has a component that was not original, it's important that you at least know this information to avoid overpaying. Some collectors are vehemently against pieces that have updated components, while others won't even consider owning a piece that's been modified to seem rarer than it is. Sometimes, people will fuse together two different silver pieces to replicate a sought-after item. It's important to learn how to spot these inconsistencies and inaccuracies, whether you decide they're deal-breakers or not. And while the internet has made more pieces available to the average person, it's also made those who are purportedly selling antique silver to attempt to swindle you. Since you won't be able to conduct an up-close visual assessment or chemical test until you receive the item, it's not always possible to tell whether something is sterling silver (an alloy of 7.5% copper and 92.5% silver) or merely silver-plated. But if you shop with discretion from the start, you'll always have peace of mind.

When buying and selling antique silver, it's always best to work with the experts. That way, you'll know the price is fair and the authenticity is sound. To start your collection or sell your antique silver, contact us today.