One man’s trash may be another man’s treasure.
But two Copperas Cove residents find treasures everywhere they look. Pat Grainger, an antique jewelry collector, and Margaret Moore, a self-taught antique appraiser, spend countless hours every week determining the value of antiques and adding to their collections.
Moore’s mother died in 1994 and left her a variety of antiques, from cabinets to china. Her curiosity was peaked to find out the history of the items once that were passed to her.
The first piece she researched was a Canton dish. Canton reached the United States back in the 1780s. Moore describes it as bluish-gray in color. Common motifs are teahouses, bridges and flights of birds.
Moore’s mother collected her pieces during World War II. The platter that Moore researched was valued at $1,200 in her market area and much more in other markets such as New York.
To determine the price of an antique piece, Moore recommends accessing collectors’ books at the library, antique malls and auctions.
“Even if the books are not current, they still provide a good price range to give you an idea of the value of an item and then you can come up with an estimate,” Moore said.
Moore also recommends contacting Antique Traders Magazine.
“You can send them a picture, and they will research your item and send you an answer,” Moore said.
Pat Grainger’s passion is vintage and antique jewelry. She went to some estate sales and bought a few pieces. Six years ago, she joined the Central Texas Vintage Club and really started collecting.
“It gets in your blood. I caught the bug and never lost it,” Grainger said. “I love the glitz. The gaudier the better. My passion is old fur clips from the 1930s and 1940s.”
Grainger looks for a lot of sparkle, multi-colored stones and pieces of all shapes, sizes and color. She cautions buying a piece of jewelry on the Internet.
“You really need to handle the piece,” Grainger said. “If you are buying a medium-sized brooch, it should be heavy. If it is lightweight, that’s a problem.”
She also warns buyers to beware of replicas. “Since China bought up a lot of the old molds and old rhinestones, you’ll get pairs with lighter findings. It is now harder to spot a replica,” Grainger said.