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What Makes an Antique Valuable?

Age isnít the only thing that decides whether an item is valuable ñ especially when it comes to antiques. Try selling an antique thatís obviously damaged, and youíll quickly see that several factors affect just how valuable every collectible is.

Keep these tips in mind when buying, selling, or simply caring for your antiques ñ itíll help you find and maintain more valuable items.

What Makes an Antique Valuable?

The Condition

This is one of the biggest indicators of how valuable an antique is ñ what kind of condition it is in. Wear and tear is to be expected with many antiques ñ after all, they werenít antiques when people were using them 100 years ago ñ but buyers might see items as less valuable depending on what the damage is.

For instance, discoloration is natural and sometimes even enhances the value because it is such an indication of authenticity ñ but if parts are completely missing or the item is significantly damaged, it brings down the value as a whole.

Watch out for signs that an owner has tried to restore the antique on their own, too ñ without the help of a professional. Adding paint or glue might make the condition look better to the naked eye, but close inspection will let a buyer know that the object mightíve lost some value in the DIY restoration process.

The Rarity

Itís all about supply and demand here ñ if there is a small supply of the particular antique, demand is probably going to be high. Even if a little damaged, rare items are going to get extra attention purely because they are so tough to find.

On the flip side, an item that is pretty easy to find might not have that added value. An appraiser could help you figure out this type of information ñ and as always, donít sell antiques to the person whoís appraising them.

The Popularity

If the demand is high, people will pay top dollar ñ so gauge just how popular the item is. You could look online to see how well a particular antique does at auction, or take in anecdotal notes like what items you see people buying a lot of at fairs or stores. Items definitely go in and out of fashion, but itís that fashion that could decide value, too.

Itís important to know that age doesnít automatically equal value ñ it might change how you treat antiques, buy antiques, or even sell antiques. Keep all these factors in mind when it comes to antiques for a more accurate picture of each itemís value.

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