Deals Episodes

Antiques 101

How do you know if it's a really good find and not just plain old junk? Internationally acclaimed antiques appraiser, Dr. Lori, gives a few tips on how to sort the treasure from the trash.

  • Uniqueness, value goes up if it wasn't mass produced.
  • Value goes down if it's stained or has damage. Protect your pieces.
  • Stay away from storing in cardboard boxes; they're acidic.
  • Don't store in wood; it produces a gas.
  • Don't keep in an attic or basement due to moisture.
  • The bigger the collection, the more valuable it is.
  • Learn the right marks to look for. For example, sterling silver with have a stamp of "925" or an image of a lion looking left.
  • Check underneath furniture for damage.
  • If anything on the piece has been replaced, value plummets.
  • Americans collect in 50 year cycles. At the 50 year mark, the value will go up.
  • Know the history of the piece.
  • The antique market is like the stock market, it goes up and down. What's hot today might not be hot tomorrow and vice versa. Keep up with the trends and you can predict what's next.
  • Sell at the right time. For example, Super Bowl memorabilia will be hot January 25th through February 25th.
  • After a famous person passes, you have a 2 week window to sell in order to get top dollar.
  • For jewelry, make sure the clasp is a precious metal.
  • For paintings, look at the back and sides. Make sure you see nails, not staples. Nails mean the piece is older.
  • For ceramics, look for bright white clay on the bottom and look for hand painted rather than transfer painting.

For More Information:
Dr. Lori

Gen's Antiques

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Due to the pre-recorded nature of this program, some prices may not be current. Please check your local retailer.


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