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Antique jewelry - how to know if it is truly old?

Dear All, I have looked at and enjoyed antiques of all types over the
years in most of the countries I have traveled to or visited and
sometimes have seen jewelry pieces which were sold as antiques. Now
having been a serious metal sculptor for a longer time than a jeweler
I do not have the same problem with bronze or other metals which I
have with gold. I have read as much as I can but still have many
questions about this. I don’t have the money to buy real antique
gold jewelry but would love to know if what I am seeing is real or
not For example when were metal files started to be used instead of
sand and friction? Are there certain methods of working gold which
were used in the past but are not known of today? I know about wire
making by twisting the strips of flat metal to make wires but what
other techniques would one look for to spot a ‘real’ old piece? I
sometimes see pieces in museums which do not really look old. As I
write this I know it is a self defeating search as forgers are also
looking for these same answers…but if it lets me enjoy the
museum pieces more than it has had the desired effect.

Any day which gives one a new piece of jewelry knowledge is a happy
day .

Many thanks from, Sharron in Bahrain who has only 21 days left until
flying to green, green Malaysia for her new job!