How to Buy an Antique Gold Bracelet

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How to Buy an Antique Gold Bracelet

The bracelet is one of the many pieces of jewellery associated with romantic elegance. Apart from the necklace and ring, it is the most popular piece of "couple" jewellery available. The bracelet is not about pure romance, however, many use it to set off various pieces of clothing, from casual jeans to formal dresses. It takes a certain kind of flair to successfully match a gold bracelet with other accessories or clothing, much less, an antique gold bracelet.

Antique gold jewellery is in short supply these days, especially with people selling their old jewellery only for the pieces to be melted down, and the precious stones and metals used elsewhere. However, there are still shops that sell old jewellery pieces, like pawn shops, consignment shops, and a number of jewellery outlets. Online retail bazaars, like eBay, are also great places to find antique jewellery at good prices. To satisfactorily acquire an antique gold bracelet, a buyer should know which style of bracelet fits their personal style and wardrobe the best, and they also have to know the basics of how to buy gold and how to appraise antique jewellery.

Pointers on Buying Gold Jewellery

Gold was a popular jewellery-making metal during the age of the Egyptians several thousand years ago, and that popularity has been strong throughout the many different eras. Though the average buyer may not be able to find a gold bracelet created by Ancient Egyptians, antique gold items from more recent times are popular and more plentiful.


Pure gold is 24 carats, but most bracelet pieces have gold contents lower than that, generally in the 10 to 14 carat range. A buyer can often see how many carats a piece contains because it is inscribed somewhere on the jewellery, unless the bracelet is handmade or ancient. Gold pieces created in Europe use numbers; for example, 18 carat gold, being 75 per cent gold and 25 per cent of another metal, is marked 750; 14 carat gold is marked 585 because it is 58.5 per cent gold; and 12 carat is 500 because it is 50 per cent gold; pure gold is 1000.

Different levels of purity affect both price and how they are worn. Engagement rings and wedding rings, for instance, often use more pure alloys in the 18 carat range because it looks as good as pure gold, but without the easy pliability of 24 carat gold, and therefore, can be applied to everyday use. Most other jewellery uses alloys with lower carat values. Note that when a metal is described simply as "gold" it is likely to be 24 carat, or pure gold. Any other less than pure gold is described as gold alloy or contains the number of carats mentioned or marked to be gold filled.


The colour of the gold in a bracelet can enhance or detract how jewellery looks with various outfits. The most popular colour is yellow gold; then there is white gold, rose gold, red gold, and a number of shades from bronze to lime. A person may like the warm, classic, sun-like colour of yellow gold or may be more attracted to the cool, elegant, near silvery sheen of white gold.

The differences in colour depend on the metals included in the gold alloy, though all gold is naturally yellow. For instance, a rose-coloured effect may be achieved by adding copper, which is the source of a reddish tint and a white gold metal created with the addition of silver, palladium, or some other similar metal. Note that nickel was traditionally used in white gold pieces, and that particular element may irritate the skin of some people, which is why it is rarely used in modern jewellery creation. If a jewellery description has the appellation 14KWG, it indicates that the item contains 14 carat white gold, just as 14KYG indicates 14 carat yellow gold.

Fill, Overlay, and Plated

A buyer looking for fine jewellery should stay away from anything labelled as having gold plate, fill, or overlay. Most antique gold jewellery pieces are solid, in any case, so jewellery bearing these descriptions should not be considered.

Solid gold alloys are heavy, as pure gold is two times more weighty than pure silver. If it seems too light, then it may be plated, filled, and should be considered cautiously. Vendors that describe their wares as 14KGF, for instance, mean that the item is 14 carat but is gold filled. RGP or GP means that the item is gold plated or has gold overlay. GEP means the gold is electroplated. Understanding these stamps and marks gives the buyer a better understanding of the sort of gold item they are buying.

Types of Bracelets

A bracelet is a bracelet and all it needs to do is fit on a person's wrist. Practical, but for the individual concerned with how cohesive her overall appearance is, knowing the types of bracelets available is beneficial.

Charm Bracelets

This type of bracelet is distinctive because of the multiple decorative pendants or trinkets that dangle from the main strip. It is not a particularly recommended style if a buyer is looking for one in antique gold, as the dangling parts can be easily removed. Unless the charm bracelet being purchased is not meant to be worn but displayed, or unless it is an Italian type of charm bracelet, where the trinkets are soldered directly onto the main piece, it should not be purchased.


Examples of these are the numerous thin bracelets worn together that many see in the fashions of the Middle East and India. They are certainly distinctive and add an exotic touch to the wearer's wardrobe. The thin construction of each individual bangle means that the gold alloy needs to be stronger than in other bracelet types, though bangles can be thicker and worn in fewer numbers.

Beaded Bracelets

These bracelet types are made of beads strung together by some sort of string, again, not the most secure type to hold gold, but chunky golden beads can look incredible against formal or semi-casual dresses, adding a touch of funk.

Linked Bracelets

Like the name says, these bracelets are made by connecting links together, either by looping the links through each other like a chain, or fastening them together in the design that link name bracelets use. It is possible to link different materials as well, like precious stones and metals.

Cuff Bracelets

These bracelets are wider than the standard bracelet. They can be anywhere from 4 cm across to covering most of the length of the lower arm, similar to the jewellery worn by Wonder Woman. This style is particularly accommodating for antique gold, as many early bracelet designs were often similar.

Tennis Bracelets

Tennis bracelets, despite their name, can be worn for both formal and casual occasions. The tennis bracelet is thin and often made from precious metal inlaid with gemstones. Always look for the ones with sturdy fasteners to prevent the jewellery from falling off. A good clasp or buckle on bracelets is just a way to protect one's investment, especially when looking for antique gold versions.

Buying an Antique Gold Bracelet on eBay

Aside from specialty shops, the eBay site is one of the most useful websites for the collector, or any individual looking for antique gold jewellery. To find these on eBay simply type "antique gold bracelet" into the search bar on any eBay page, and a thousand or more resulting items with a single click. You are not expected to go through them one by one, as there are site tools that allow you to filter the list according to your preferences. You can also order the list by certain prices first, or the proximity of the seller to your location.

Typing a more descriptive keyword into the search bar can cut down on search time. For instance, typing in "antique gold Victorian cuff bracelet"" firmly filters out what is not included in the parameters, leaving you with a results list that is shorter and more relevant to what you want.

Always remember to evaluate the sellers as well as the products they offer. A seller who has a good reputation and history of selling similar items to other people is more reliable than most others. Often, antique gold bracelets are a significant investment, so it pays to do some homework on a seller. Also, make sure that the shipping company or courier chosen has safeguards that make transporting jewellery safer and easier.


For those buying gold online, the descriptions of various features in the listing may be full of abbreviations and numbers that may not be easy to understand. The section on buying gold above helps with that, though most of the marks mentioned are only stamped on modern jewellery. Antique gold bracelets or other antique gold items have the mark of their creators, which can be tricky, since most antique gold items are handmade and there are many artisans who crafted gold jewellery over the ages.

Gold jewellery has always been popular through the ages, and that popularity continues today. However, it would not do to plunge into buying antique gold without doing a little research. When a buyer knows that she is getting her value for her money, then there is greater satisfaction to be had in either displaying or wearing the bracelet. Remember that the more pure the gold in a bracelet, the more expensive the item, and gold is expensive enough. Knowing a little about buying or selling gold goes a long way when looking for antique gold items.

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