Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Learn How to Identify Antique Beads?


There is ambiguity over the issue of determining the antiquity of an object. Most of the antiques collectors and experts take any object that is more than 100 years old as an antique. Antique beads too are defined on the basis of this and other parameters such as their aesthetic or historical significance. With the demand for antique beads in the market, there have been an influx of antique beads reproductions too. If you are a collector of antique beads, you must know how to identify these ancient beads before investing on them. Here are some tips on identifying antique beads for your assistance.
  • Antique beads usually have larger holes. As the beading tools were not very sophisticated in the ancient times, smaller holes were difficult to be made by the craftsmen.
  • If the bead you are looking at shows some signs of natural aging then it has strong possibility of being an antique bead. If it is an antique metal bead, you must know that metals change color with age and also may have dents and scratches on its surface. Stone and glass beads may be cracked or chipped.
  • Although antique beads have larger holes, there are some tiny antique beads (16-24 seed beads) that are not made by the modern beads manufacturers. The ancient craftsmen gave extra time and labor to make such minuscule size seed beads.
  • Apart from other signs of aging, holes of antique beads show signs of wearing out from being strung. They might seem to be eroded.
  • Antique beads were made from certain particular materials only. Try to identify the material they are made of. You must have the basic knowledge about the materials that were used to make antique beads to examine the ancient beads on this parameter. Read Antique Beads for gaining knowledge about the materials that were used for making these ancient beads.
  • Spend some time learning about the different styles of antique beads and looking at pictures of ancient beads. This effort will familiarize you with antique beads style and you will start recognizing particular styles.
  • If you decide to buy antique beads after examining yourself on the above criteria but you are not an antique beads expert, take your bead to an expert for valuation so that it is proved to be truly old and rare.
There is one more thing to remember that anything older than 25 years, but not old enough to be an antique bead, is termed as vintage beads. They are also valued for their 'quite an old age'. If you, for the time being, are not able to collect antique beads, you can go for vintage beads too!
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