How to Value Antique Furniture

Chesterfield Sofa

Are you wondering where to start when trying to determine the value of your antique furniture? Maybe you are interested in selling that old antique chair you inherited and buying a chair you really want! Here are few tips when trying to uncover the value of your antique furniture.


How do you know if your furniture is actually an antique? There are a few indicators of the age of a piece. First, look at the style and shape. Does it look, well, old? An appraiser can help you determine what stylistic period the piece is likely from (for example, William and Mary and Regency are both periods).
How are the drawers joined or the legs attached? Are there screws or nails? The construction of a chair or dresser can reveal if it is indeed an antique rather quickly. Dovetail joints on drawers are usually an indication of higher quality modern or antique furniture. 
Savonarola Chair

Has Your Antique Furniture Been Refinished?

If so, I’m sorry to say whoever painted it might have done a number on the overall value. Collectors want furniture in as original condition as possible. Pieces with period repairs or well-executed modern repairs are still valuable, but completely repainted and refinished tables, chairs, dressers, etc., are usually worth a lot less than if they had not been altered. Just how much less? That depends on factors that a qualified appraiser can help you answer. Bottom line, don’t mess with antique furniture unless you are a professional furniture restorer!

Beware of furniture that has been artificially distressed or purposely rusticated. French furniture, gilded or whitewashed pieces are reproduced quite convincingly, so rely on the construction of the furniture to help determine if it is indeed antique. 

Consider Functionality

Special pieces will always hold some sort of decorative value, but many people are looking for older, but functional pieces to furnish their homes. A Savonarola chair might be beautiful, but how functional is it in a modern home? A mid-century modern chair could be worth more than a 500 year old chair, based largely on functionality.

How Do I Get an Expert Opinion?

Lugging a solid wood sideboard or china hutch to an auction house for an appraisal isn’t very practical. Luckily, e-ValueIt has online appraisal services and a seasoned antique furniture expert to provide you with a valuation!

How to Value Jewelry

Pair of diamond and sapphire earrings

Determining the value of your jewelry can feel like a daunting task. Do you have an engagement ring that you want to part with? Have you inherited your mother’s jewelry and want to know the value for your home insurance? Our jewelry expert has shared her tips for determining the value of your jewelry. 


This is the most important factor to determining the value – what is it made of? Is your ring sterling silver, white gold or platinum? The answer to this question can be the difference of thousands of dollars. Most fine metals are marked with a purity stamp. For example, a sterling silver ring might be marked with a .925 stamp. Platinum often is marked “PLAT”. Gold can be marked “18K”, but depending on the country of origin, these marks might simply be symbols.

After determining the base metal, turn your attention to the stones. A diamond tester, which can be ordered online, is a good way for newbies to determine if they have a diamond on their hands, or a cubic zirconia. After determining if the stone is a diamond or not, there are many variable that contribute to the overall value of the stone. The four C’s of diamonds – cut, clarity, color and carat – make up the bulk of a diamond’s value. A professional appraiser can ascertain the four C’s of your diamond. 

Diamond Ring

Size Does Matter!

Well, maybe we should say “weight” does matter. The overall weight of precious metals (think: gold, platinum, silver) is a significant indicator of the monetary value of jewelry. Grab a kitchen scale and weigh your sterling silver charm bracelet or your 14K gold wedding band. This is important information if you are seeking an appraisal. The appraiser will certainly want to know the overall weight of a primarily metal piece of jewelry.


Luxury makers command higher prices – this isn’t news, but it’s true for the resale market as well. Tiffany & Co., Cartier, DeBeers, and Harry Winston are but a few of the famous makers sought after by collectors. Most well-known jewelry designers mark their jewelry. Original velvety pouches and boxes are always an added bonus to collector’s, and might result in more money for your item.

How Do I get a Valuation for my Jewelry?

There are a few ways to have your jewelry appraised. The first thing to remember though, is that the values you receive can differ, based on what type of appraisal you are receiving. Simply put, there are two main types of valuations – insurance or replacement value and auction estimate.
Insurance appraisals will be close to retail value, meaning, what a jeweler or shop owner would charge for your item if they were to sell it. Auction estimates are basically what the appraiser would expect someone to pay at auction. 
With all of these variables, it can seem overwhelming to get a jewelry appraisal, but not to worry, e-ValueIt can help! We have expert jewelry appraisers ready to value your items, for the cost of a fast food meal. Easy!

How to Value Vintage and Luxury Bags

burberry floral purse

The market for vintage or used luxury goods has become big business in the past decade. Do you want to cash in on your pre-loved Louis Vuitton or Gucci bag? We are here to tell you what to look for and how to find out the value of your handbag. 

There are many factors in determining the value of vintage and luxury handbags.

Here are a few things to consider when valuing a vintage bag:

Brand/Designer & Style

The most important first step is to determine the brand or maker of your bag. Also, find out what model or style name. These two pieces of information are key when determining value of vintage and new bags. Some of the most sought after brands include Louis Vuitton, Hermés, Chanel, Gucci, Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, and Prada, to name but a few. 

Some brands retain over half of their original purchase price, with a few even selling for more than original price! 

A handbag will certainly be more valuable if it has retained original accessories, such as leather name tags, dust bags (or original packaging), padlock and keys, and pochettes. Try and keep everything that comes with your bag when you take it home from the shop. Use it to store your bag when you’re not using it!


The overall condition of a bag plays a significant role in the value of an item, sometimes decreasing its value by over 50%. Buyers want to purchase a bag in nearest-to-new condition as possible, without paying retail price, of course. Buyers look for tears and wearing in the leather, with damage to the exterior of the bag hurting the value the most. 

Buyers understand that some usual wear and tear happens when using a bag, but beware, signs of hard wear and damage will decrease the bottom line. Any repairs undertaken should be done by a professional restorer or by the original retailer or maker. 

Should I Get an Appraisal?

Yes! The most important step in determining the value of your bag is, to seek the eye of a luxury handbag expert, by obtaining a professional appraisal. This is the only way to attain a truly accurate estimation for the worth of your item. A trained professional knows what to look for and can determine the authenticity and value of your handbag.

There are luxury bag and accessory experts here at e-ValueIt that are ready to help you determine an accurate value for your vintage bag!

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