Antiques or Junk? How to Determine the Difference

It’s true what they say; One man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. Do you have a collection of old items or unique knick-knacks?

You could have valuable antiques living right in your home. 

Antiquing is one of the most exciting and rewarding hobbies to have. Today, the U.S online antique and collectibles market has a value of over two billion dollars. But, how can you know if an old item is a valuable antique or junk?

This article can help. To learn how to value your rare and vintage items, read on for our basic guide.

  1. Look for Handmade Items

One telltale sign of a valuable antique is if it’s handmade. Consider looking through your old belongings and searching for any handmade markings. This can help you better determine the value of your item.

A top identifier of a handmade piece is a marking of a hand tool like a needle or knife. You might also look for threading, asymmetrical stitching, or unique markings. If you have a collection of old art pieces, you should also look closely for any brush strokes or signatures that show original work.

If you do find any handmade items like decorations or clothing, take them to your local antique shop or get an appraisal to learn their true value.

  1. Do Your History Homework

If you’ve ever had an item passed down to you, you’ve likely wondered where it’s come from and when it was made. The good news is, there are several features to look for that can help.

When looking at old clothing, the first place to start is by examining the tag or label. This will contain the brand name, the store’s Copyright year, and will sometimes even show the address of the shop.

One top tip when looking at an address on a label is to pay attention to the zip code. If there is no zip code, you can be sure that your item was made before 1963.

You should also examine the materials and washing instructions. This information can point to periods of time when select materials were popular and widely used in clothing.

When looking at old toys or household items, be sure to also look for the barcode. Once you find it, it’s simple to search the barcode and determine its age and origin. By doing your history homework, you can get a better idea of how much your valuable items are worth and where they might’ve come from.

  1. Use Authenticity Tools

Once you’ve found which of your items might be valuable antiques, it’s important to determine their authenticity. Many vintage-looking items could be modern replicas.

One top tool to determine the authenticity of your items is a blacklight. Blacklights are especially useful when examining glass items.

Old pieces of glass will glow either bright yellow or green under a backlight. This could mean that you have depression glass or pressed glass made before the 1930s. This is often found in antique dishware and fine china.

After you’ve separated your valuable antiques from any old clutter, you might consider using a junk removal service to clear the space. This comes in handy for people with storage units or garages with large amounts of old items.

Get to Know Your Antiques Today

Whether you’re looking to sell your old items or pass them down, there are many benefits of learning about your antiques. Search through your items and learn about history today.

For more on all things home and lifestyle, check out the rest of our helpful articles today.