When buying anything as special as antique Irish silver it is imperative that you purchase an authentic good. Unfortunately, there are lots of businesses out there who will try and con you. They will sell you a product they market as ‘Irish silver’ yet what they fail to divulge is the fact that the silver is not actually genuine. As a result, a lot of people end up spending a substantial amount of money on something that is actually worth next to nothing. Annoying, right? But unless you actually take the effort to check whether the silver is genuine Irish antique silver then there is nothing you can do about it. Thankfully, by the time you have finished reading this article, you will know exactly how to make sure that is the case.
One of the first things you need to look out for is the hallmark on the piece of silver. These were introduced as far back as 1300 and were used for the purpose of preventing frauds. You need to make sure you check this hallmark and that it coincides with the period in question. Don’t expect the hallmark to look perfect. Remember; it has stood the test of time and thus wear and tear is to be expected. There are those who will imprint fake hallmarks onto silver. That is why you need to make sure the symbol is correct and the hallmark doesn’t look new. In addition to this, if you are buying a set of antique Irish silver then each and every piece should be hallmarked – not just the main component.
Another great way of making sure the silver is authentic is by buying from a reputable jeweler. You can opt to buy online or in store – the choice is yours. But never purchase without doing your research and knowing how to value your antiques. You need to be 100 percent safe in the knowledge that you are buying your products from a source with a flawless reputation. So, how do you do this? There are several things you need to look out for. You should only go for a jeweler with experience – don’t go for a start-up. How are you supposed to determine whether they are credible or not if they are yet to build up a reputation? Check the company out online. Read reviews that have been left by others. If a company has sold counterfeit goods before then you can guarantee previous customers have complained and wrote on forums in order to warn other people.
And finally, another way to check whether silver is real or not is to perform an acid test. This is a tried and tested method and is used on everything from antique silver to modern pieces. Make sure you purchase a proper kit and follow the instructions to perfection. The last thing you want to do is try and emulate the test yourself and end up damaging the precious antique silver. The only problem with this method is the fact that you can’t carry out this check until afterwards. Thus, this is a good option for those who have already purchased silver and are unsure regarding its authenticity.
Finding a quality dealer
When purchasing any product it is always advised to go for a company who has a reputation of quality. However, when buying certain products this is even more important. This is without a doubt the case when dealing with antique Irish silver. You need to be certain that the silver is authentic. Furthermore, you have to guarantee that you are buying into quality as well. Antique silver doesn’t come cheap. How would you feel if you had parted with several thousands of pounds only to discover that you had be conned by a company selling silver which is not genuine? It would be devastating, right? Well, to ensure that this does not happen, use the following points to find a quality antique Irish silver dealer.
Buying online is always recommended because you will have access to a greater level of jewelers. This gives you a better chance of buying from the best. If you don’t use the internet then you will be restricted to those that are in close proximity. More often than not people will just pop into the nearest jewelers to them. This can end up being a recipe for disaster, especially if you have done no prior research on the jeweler in question.
The main reason why people do not buy antique Irish silver off the internet is because they are worried about whether it is genuine or not. The way to find out whether silver is authentic is through looking for the hallmark. If a piece of silver does not have a hallmark on it or the one utilised is not an officially recognised one, then you can be certain that the person selling the product is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. So, how are you supposed to see hallmarks from your computer screen? Well, credible jewelers will send you close up pictures so that you can see with your own eyes.
You should always go for a company who has a returns policy in place. If the jeweler you buy from does not then you are engaging in a serious risk. You need to be safe in the knowledge that if you do not like the silver or you are unsure of its authenticity, you can actually send it back. This is especially the case when you consider how much silver like this can cost you. When buying any expensive product you would want the insurance that you could send it back if need be.
Finally, the last thing you need to be looking out for is a good reputation. Research the company online to see what previous customers have had to say about the antique Irish silver they bought and the service they have received. If a company has sold silver which is not genuine before then you can guarantee that this is something you will be able to pick up on easily because there will be a wealth of complaining customers warning others not to make the same mistake.