The Reluctant Blog
Everything we know.
In one webpage.
Even though we hate blogs.
Art people can be pretentious. With closely guarded secrets, and big made-up words like “craquelure”, the industry is designed to confuse people. This blog is aimed to demystify all things art and antiques, for the masses.
How to tell the difference between a real painting versus a gicleé
How to tell if something is gold, silver, or something else
So, the key to knowing if you have valuable jewelry or other metals such as tableware and silverware is determining the contents of the metals. Fortunately, for years jewelers and silversmiths have been marking their wares with very small impressions that serve as clues for people hundreds of years later. These impressions makes it easy for jewelry appraisal and estate evaluations.
Get a loupe
The easiest way to find a mark is to get a jewelers loupe — a tiny magnifying tool that can be found on Amazon for a few bucks. Tnen go hunting for marks. There are a number of resources out there on the web to consult. The Cliffs Notes version is this: for gold, look for markings of the karat composition — 10K, 14K, 18K and so on. GF means gold filled, and is low on the value scale. For silver, it’s a bit more complex. American examples will say “Sterling.” British examples have a proprietary taxonomy, but all British sterling will have the mark of a lion. Makers from other countries sometimes will simply write 925 (meaning 92.5% sterling).
Do you have a valuable print? Look no further than the margin.
Don’t be scurrrrred. Auctions are easy. Here are some tips.
Most auction houses have variable Buyer’s Premiums (BP) based on how you purchase. For example, we charge 28% if you buy on a third party auction platform like Live Auctioneers, 25% if you purchase on cazasikes.com, but then only 23% if you bid by phone. That savings of 5% adds up when you are bidding on expensive items.