A couple of years ago I started getting into antique coin collecting, after my grandfather left me some in his will. I have a good friend who works in the Sadigh Gallery in New York, and I was keen to pick her brains on any tips that she could offer around collecting. When we had that chat, the point which she kept driving home was the importance of ensuring that I knew my stuff when looking fro certain coins, and the same can be said of antiques.
What she meant by knowing my stuff, was gaining an understand of rarity, weight, details, aging and the facts behind each piece. This is exactly why it is so important, something which I have learned over the last couple of years.
Believe it or not there is a big business in recreating old pieces and then selling them off as though they were in fact genuine. This happens in fine art, although it is rare because of the intricacy of those pieces. When it comes to scratched and damaged antiques and coins however, this is a far easier process for the fraudsters. This is why you absolutely have to know what you are looking for, because you could easily get fooled into thinking that you are buying the real deal, when in fact you are buying a fake.
I nearly got caught out with a price early on, for what was in fact a genuine coin. The original price I was offered the coin at was $565, which I felt was on the high side, although I had no evidence to back this up. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to do a little bit of digging after getting the price, and I realized that the top end for that particular coin was around the $200 mark. Sadly there are so many who get into collecting without really having a good idea as to how much things cost, and the result if that they get taken advantage of by those who are selling.
Knowing The Actual Worth
Even if you do have an idea of the price, what many fail to recognize is that the highest possible price, is for the piece which is in the best condition. Last year I bought a coin for $150 which was in pretty bad shape. Originally the seller wanted $540 for it, which would have been fine if the coin was in great condition, which it really wasn’t. This again is why you need to know your stuff, so that you can ascertain which piece is the best condition and therefore what kind of price you should be looking to pay for it.
Only ever part with your money if you are confident that the piece is genuine, and that you have a very clear understanding of what the value is, based on the condition and market estimate for the piece you are buying.