Cast iron pieces made in the mid-1800s or earlier have distinct surface features on their undersides, such as a circular mark called a sprue on the oldest pieces, or a thin, long line called a gate mark on later ones. These marks disappeared as casting techniques improved, but cast iron pieces from the late 1800s and early 1900s can usually be dated by their trademarks and maker's marks.Know More
The rough markings on the bottoms of old cast iron objects indicate where the molten iron was poured into the mold. Most pieces made after 1875 have smooth undersides, because crafting methods changed so that the iron entered the mold on the sides, usually in two places. More recent cast iron may show heavy grinding marks on the sides to smooth out these rough entry points, but this grinding technique wouldn't be available to foundrymen before the mid-1800s.
Manufacturing techniques were perfected in the early 20th century, and pieces from between 1920 and 1940 are considered to be the highest quality. These examples often feature smooth, glassy surfaces due to polishing methods that were introduced to production. Early 20th century cast iron pieces made by recognizable manufacturers, such as Wagner and Griswold, are highly collectible today.Learn more about Antiques
The most effective way of determining whether your cameo is real or fake is to establish whether it is made of plastic, shell or hard stone. Experts at Jonathan's Diamond Buyer claim that a plastic cameo is not real, while cameos made of stone or shell are more likely to be real.Full Answer >
The most reliable way to tell if a vase is antique is to get an appraisal on it. A qualified appraiser is trained to look for signs that other people miss and will give the best estimate of its age and fair market value. A written appraisal from a professional appraiser is required to insure an antique for its fair market value, and it is the only way to tell the difference between an authentic item and a professionally made replica or forgery. If an appraisal cannot be obtained or is not wanted, thoroughly research the specific item to learn specific signs of its age and condition.Full Answer >
The most reliable method for dating a Ball Mason jar is by looking at the logo. The logo changed frequently until 1962. A handy chart to help identify Mason jars by their logo is available on the Minnetrista website.Full Answer >
When holding genuine crystal glass up to the light, a rainbow should be seen because crystal glass acts as a prism. If a rainbow cannot be seen, it is plain glass. Crystal produces a musical ring when it is struck, and glass does not.Full Answer >