Real or Fake...Tough to Tell but a Must Know

It seems as though these days in the resale world one of the truly most difficult things to do is to determine whether an items is authentic or a reproduction and/or fake.  The truth is that nearly every type of item that has become valuable from depression glass to lighters to sports cards to cast iron has now been duplicated or reproduced.  Quite frankly this is the toughest part of my job especially for describing online auctions but also to represent items in good faith.  Many of the reproductions are GOOD and very high quality.  Telling an authentic piece from a reproduction can be very difficult.  And many of the reproductions were made as early as the 70's so some are vintage themselves.

Referencing the item online surely helps far more than decades ago...but it can still fool many.  My rule of thumb number one is knowing where the item came from.  Of course I have a distinct advantage over many resellers as the majority of our items are straight out of a home or estate BUT always remember that you can't determine when or where the previous owner purchased so NEVER "assume" an item is old or authentic just by it's origin.  In most cases if you look very closely at an item you can generally get a feel for age based on wear, screw type, seams in glass, letter printing, colors, etc.  Even as many types of items as I see...I still get fooled or can't determine without a doubt whether an item is authentic.  The strangest thing is that in the market know there are several categories where certain reproductions are worth more than the originals because fewer were produced or many collect a maker.  So just because an item is "authentic or old" doesn't mean it isn't valuable.

You can always take items to "so-called" experts or appraisers but always remember these are opinions no matter what.  I have always said "You can get a sports card graded, an autograph authenticated, or an arrowhead papered but truly in the end it is all still JUST an opinion". And in the end of the resale world it all boils down to what a buyer will pay for an item just as it sits...nothing more and nothing less. There is no exact science to knowing the age of items but with a little research and extra time you can exponentially raise your knowledge of items and make yourself a more savvy buyer.  Happy Hunting!!