What to look out for
New collectors learn by experience but it is useful to look out for.
The better the condition of any piece, the more desirable it is. This does not mean to say that there should not be signs of use or wear, which in themselves add to interest. It is more important to look out for damage and repairs, for example handles and lids in hollow-ware that have been repaired or replaced or holes that have been filled in on flatware.
Again, repairs can be acceptable, especially on rare items but the collector should be aware and if possible show pieces to other collectors for more expert opinion.
Maker’s marks, verification marks and ownership marks all add tremendous interest and often value to any item.