Dating brooch clasps
Next hunt for signs of wear on high points and edges, determine whether a metal of a different color lies beneath the surface and generally study the construction (how stones are set, for example, and whether there's evidence of hand-craftsmanship vs stamping or casting).The real fun begins when you turn the piece over, because you can learn an enormous amount from findings (called fittings, if they're custom-made for the jewel); often you can discover more from the back than the front. Is there clear evidence of replacement (blobs of solder or a soldering pad, obvious regilding, etc.)?A few types of jewelry are so closely associated with particular eras that you hardly have to think about it, beyond checking fabrication details to confirm they're *right* for the period and seeking signs of wear to ensure they aren't reproductions.
HINGES If you're looking at a hinge that's familiar from all your modern jewelry and is original, that doesn't mean a lot, actually.Whether you find the fittings are original or not, the next thing you need to know is when they were made. Let's begin with a matter of complexity: dating brooches.