I make jewelry from vintage found objects (postcards, keys, monocles) and even old jewelry. But every once in a while, I find signed pieces that I could never incorporate into my work because they have their own stories to be told, so I sell them to collectors whenever I find them in my stash.
How do I know what they're worth? Well......I'll tell ya! Thanks to "Antiques Roadshow" on Ovation and my Internet detective skills, I think I've got a pretty good way to find out the value of beautiful old things!
1) Look at the back of each piece to see if there is a hallmark/trademark/signature of some kind. Try to make out what it says. For example, this is a Florenza Starfish Pin.
2) In your search engine (ex. bing.com), type in the hallmark and what the piece is (necklace/pin/ring, etc.). If you can, also type in what it looks like (starfish), what materials are in it (rhinestones) and what color(s) it is in. Example: Florenza Pin Starfish Rhinestone Pink Green Black
3) Do not hit “Enter” on your keyboard. Instead, click on the word “Images” above or below the search bar. On bing.com, it is the first word on the top of the screen.
4) Scroll down to find a picture of your item, if you have to. For every picture you find, click on it with your right mouse button and select “Open link in new tab”. Stop when you have found around 5-10 pictures of your piece.
5) On each tab, read the address of the site that is hosting that picture. Somewhere you will see something like “View Source” or “View Page”. Click on that to see what the site says about your piece and its maker. If you find your piece on eBay, Etsy, Ruby Lane, look for the price. This should give you an idea of what it is worth. After that, if you find someone on the Internet that collects that brand of jewelry, contact him or her and ask them if they are interested in buying!