Shop for your “treasures” at flea markets, yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores, raid grandma’s jewelry box!
Be prepared! In antique shops, the prices on items will be more expensive. The reason being that they have done the research, and many times authenticated the items for sale.
Don’t be afraid to buy it. We’re not talking about investment antiques here, just the fun stuff that may have value or may be just a shiny beauty. If you like anything about it, color, texture, stone, style, price…BUY IT. If your inclination is to buy it, don’t pass it up. It may not be there if… and when you go back.
Even if it’s not intended for wear as originally designed, hold it up to your neck, ear, finger, hair.
Maybe you can redesign and invent a different use.
Your first investment. The Loupe – your best friend – It’s a great practice to have a jeweler’s loupe in your pocket or purse for shopping expeditions. In different lighting and environments the 10 times magnification is worth a million bucks.
You’ll use it by placing the loupe to your eye. If you have glasses, normally you will take them off. Slowly bring the object towards the loupe and into focus, usually about 3-6 inches away, dependant on your eyesight.
This is how you’ll know if what you’re buying is genuine metal or costume. Metal purity stamp. Know what to look for.
Most common purity markings
Know where to look for purity stamping
If it’s not stamped, it still may be precious metal. In the USA precious metal can’t be sold as such without a stamped purity designation, however on some old pieces, the stamp has worn off, or simply is not there.
Beads – Most beads generally are not stamped. It can ruin the design of the bead.
Cameos – Pink plastic or coral?
Many of the “old” styles are in vogue right now, but with a different twist. Like clothing, accessory jewelry styles tend to recycle themselves as well. It’s fun and easy to take these “found” treasures and re-fashion them into usable accessories.
Keep stuff! Odd and end pieces can be a wealth of materials and replacement parts.
Remember… Search those flea markets and yard sales!
Look carefully to find those rare, exotic, or just plain beautiful accessory potentials. The side treasure is developing a fun hobby that’ll get you out meeting people, as well as exploring new places. Use a keen, imaginative eye; you’ll never know what you’ll find!