Anything old can be new again and in the case of antiques and collectibles, they are often desirable investments. Of course, there are certain factors that will determine whether or not you should consider purchasing any item labeled an antique or a collectible. Before you commit, here are things you need to know.
Antiques are Not Always Collectibles and Vice Versa.
An antique, as defined by U.S. law, is any object or item that is 100 years old or older. A collectible, on the other hand, is any object or item that was produced for the sole purpose of being part of a collection. These may include coins, vinyl records, classic cars, baseball cards, and yes, even furniture provided it is an older piece.
Not All Antiques are Created Equal.
Some antiques are highly prized compared to others of their kind. Pieces that come with a history, for example, or have supporting documentation are often worth more. Antiques, as well as collectibles, must also be in good condition and of good quality to fetch a higher price.
If the piece is rare or is quite popular among buyers and collectors, it can be sold or purchased at a good price. Rarity may be determined by the presence (or lack) of the same or similar items. An antique or collectible that was produced in small quantities is often considered rare and may also be highly sought-after if it is signed.
Some Types of Antiques are Fairly Common.
Some antique pieces were mass-produced during their time, which means they may be more common. Plates, for example, teacups, utensils, pots, and vases are easy to find in shops. Surprisingly, antique farm equipment is also generally easy to find, both in brick-and-mortar shops and online websites.
Yes, There are Fakes Out There.
When pieces are so highly prized, it is quite possible to find reproductions that are being sold as genuine collectibles and antiques. While there are reproductions that are being sold as such, there are also items that are being passed off as authentic items by unscrupulous sellers. Many of these fakes are well-made and often difficult to identify, which is why it is important to come well-informed or at least, have the guidance of someone who can make the proper identifications.
An appraisal is Often Necessary.
A proper appraisal from a certified professional helps a lot in determining the fair price for any antique or collectible. A certified appraisal can help you set a higher price for your item and is also required if you decide to donate it.