Searching eBay for unique old or antique gold jewellery

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eBay search techniques especially for old jewellery.

I will let you in on a few of my techniques for find interesting and old jewellery. Some of these techniques will help with searches for other items, not just jewellery. As a secondhand dealer I usually search for old and interesting pieces as most modern items are available by the score.

Let’s start with the fact that eBay has sites and sellers in many countries. As an Australian eBayer, I know you can always click on eBays “world wide” search on the side bar but it is far better to go to a particular country’s eBay site. As I am only an English speaker, I usually go to (USA and Canada) or (England). You may have other languages up you sleeve and go to their appropriate eBay sites. I then always click on “Paypal only” on the search side bar so I don’t have to worry about overseas payment methods. The US and UK have many many more things for sale than just a “worldwide” search in Australia will show you but a word of caution, as now it looks like you can buy lots more things, just make sure that they will post to your country.

The search exclusion method is MOST useful although it seems a lot of people don’t know about it. Being into jewellery, I generally start by searching for the world “gold” in the appropriate jewellery category. That brings up a lot of items, in fact far too many including gold plate, gold filled, electroplate and so on. If you type a minus sign “-“ in front of the word describing what you don’t want it REMOVES all items with that word in the title. My standard search for solid gold and gem set jewellery looks like this…
Gold -gp -gep -gf -filled -plate -plated -layer -layered -tone -gl -p –electroplate -cubic -zirconia -swarovski -simulated -stimulant –synthetic –pandora -manmade You can see from that list a lot of things are excluded including “pandora” and “swarovski” which I am not interested in yet show up in large numbers. You have to make an exclusion list suitable for your search.

Depending on what you are looking for you can keep adding to terms you want to find, e.g. “18K” “gold” “ring” “diamond” “antique” etc and then the exclusions. To many included search terms can narrow the search too much so just be careful.

IMPORTANT...If you are looking for Estate / Old / Antique pieces the next step is important. On the side search bar you should click the "CONDITION, USED" search. Now you only have second hand jewellery. That should really have narrowed things down. Not all people mark the contition of there old stuff as "used" but it does give you a very workable search.

You should now have a narrower field to look at. This technique can be applied to all other things on eBay. The following are a few key search terms that help me find antique, old, vintage and interesting jewellery pieces…
Gold, 9K, 9C, 9CT, 9KT, 15K, 15C, 15CT,15KT, 12K, Rose, Pink, Fob, Old cut, Mine cut, Rose cut, Peridot, Garnet, seed pearl, Vintage, antique, Old, 1/20, enamel, art deco, art nouveau, art, Edwardian, Victorian, sterling silver, guilloche, estate and a few I’ll keep to myself.
Don’t use them all at once. I know some are strange like 1/20 but believe me, they will drag up some older interesting pieces in a search.
If set up a “Search” Word file, it’s easy to copy and paste any appropriate terms for your search and save them. If you find a term that works for what you are looking for, add it to your list. It doesn’t matter what you are looking for always try to narrow the search using your special terms.

So you get rid of what you don’t want and search for what you do.

Some of my reasoning for the terms I include are...

  • The “CT” hallmark is generally an older hallmark than the “K” in gold.
  • “15ct gold” is a pre 1935 mark, so neatly all 15ct gold as at least that old.
  • “1/20” is used to signify early rolled gold, eg 1/20th 9ct. Some beautiful thing were made from rolled gold in the 1800’s.
  • “Peridot”, “garnet”, “seed pearl” were popular in old jewellery.
  • “Old cut”, “mine cut”, “rose cuts” were all old forms of faceting gems.
  • “Rose” gold we all know about.
  • “Art” covers both Art deco and Art nouveau.
  • “Enamel” always brings up interesting things.
  • “9ct” or “9K” is always an interesting search on the US eBay site, as their minimum gold standard is 10K. You don’t find a lot but what you do can be interesting. Also try Canada or North America for 9ct gold, being a past member of the British Commonwealth.
  • As you can see, if you can think of those special terms that apply to your particular search, and they are not always obvious, you can soon narrow down the field. Use your imagination when trying to come up with those special search words. Take note of descriptions that interest you and save the key words and terms that find them in a search.

    Try this search if you are a bargain hunter…and aren’t we all. Go to the category you are interested in and hit the “buy now". Then sort the search by going to “newly listed items”. Many sellers use “buy now” and if the seller has made a mistake as to the value, you’ll have first go because it has just been listed. SNIP. This does really work if you are persistent.

    I have been a seller and buyer on eBay since 2006.
    © 2010 Edward Vabolis

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