Where To Browse for (And Buy) an Antique Ring
If you have ever seen an antiques appraisal show on TV, it has probably made you want to collect some antiques, or find some bargains and sell them for some of the big prices on TV. What the TV shows do not mention, however, is that items sell for different prices in different markets. A stellar antique ring for sale at Sotheby’s in New York will sell for much more than it will at a country auction or at an estate sale. The ring itself does not change, the group of potential customers does.
Successful bargain hunters know how to find out good deals without overpaying and how to reach the next, more exclusive group of customers. That is how auction houses and antique dealers stay in business, after all.
Do look at the antique ring selections for sale at big city auction houses. Places like London, New York, and Los Angeles host antique auctions for the monocle and mink crowd. Don’t be intimidated to look at the items the presale open house. Ask the staff about cut, color, clarity and carat weight of gems. Learn how to tell silver from platinum. These are the ultimate professionals, and they are there to answer questions.
If you want to do some serious research, go to the actual auction and watch the antique ring you were eyeing go up on the auction block. Or at least check out the auction results on the Internet, usually available a few days after a sale. That sets your uppermost limit value for an antique.
There must be at least one auction house in every county in the United States. These places usually handle a wide variety of merchandise and you cannot expect an exclusive antique ring sale. However, sometimes jewelry shows up, and this is a chance to get a bargain – if you have done your research.
The general auctioneer, and the general auction audience, might not be expert on jewelry. So it is up to you to already know your subject when an antique ring does come up. An auctioneer may not know what he has, or he may accidentally misattribute it. And these things do not generally come with a solid provenance.
But a trained eye can judge something about the quality of an antique ring, even without much documentation. Then you can have a chance to get an antique ring for a better price than you might see on TV.