An antique is a precious item perceived to have historical or aesthetic value, and usually defined as at least 150 years old, though the word is frequently used loosely to cover any object which is older. Historically, objects considered to be authentic have been passed down through families for generations, with each generation applying a particular interpretation to the values attributed to such items. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in antiquing for many people interested not only in collecting rare items, but also in how to value antiques.
The history of collecting antique items can be traced back to the earliest annals of history, when people started to use everyday objects as currency. Throughout the ages, wealthy people sought to pass down valuable items as gifts, sometimes using such materials as fine cloth, wood, and glass to build their collections. As time passed, this accumulated wealth made these antiques more valuable, making them more desirable for collectors, artisans, and owners, who sought out more rarer pieces to add to their collections.
There are many different ways to determine the value of antiques. Because they are usually manufactured from a variety of sources, some antiques may have more value than others. A vintage toy or hand-me-down from a loved one might have a higher monetary value than a modern item with similar characteristics. While antiques can increase in price over time, knowing how to find antique collectibles can also assist you in determining the value of your collection.