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College for Appraisers
Metals of Antiques and Collectables
24 hour course – On Campus and Distance Learning

This course is designed to develop and improve the skills necessary to determine the composition of metals used in decorative items, utilitarian items and jewelry and how these enhance the competencies needed by professional appraisers and collectors. Special attention is devoted to identifying the types of metal working, quality of craftsmanship and identifying reproductions.

This course provides a careful overview to the metals that are used in antiques and collectables – including silver, gold, brass, bronze, copper, pewter.

Participants will develop skills in identifying, evaluating and valuing metals used in antiques, jewelry, and collectibles for purposes of appraisal and valuation.

This is a Pass / Fail course.
There are 10 quizzes are designed to highlight important issues.
Three written appraisal reports are required.
Students are invited to bring in items for discussion and evaluation; students taking this course as home study are invited to submit digital items for discussion and evaluation online.
Metals of Antiques and Collectables,
Mischa Dobrotin, College For Appraisers, Revised, 2009.
Video Lectures

Recommended Texts
Additional books and reference materials will be recommended through-out the course. Students may purchase these based on their particular interests. All good students of metals should have:
The Book of Old Silver, Seymour B. Wyler, Crown Publishers.
First printed in 1935 and now out of print.
Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers, 5th Ed. Dorothy Rainwater, Schiffer Publishers.
Jackson’s Hallmarks, 1300 – Present day, Ian Pickford, editor. Antique Collector’s Club, pocket edition

Jackson's Silver And Gold Marks Of England, Scotland & Ireland
, (Ian Pickford, Editor. Antique Collector’s Club

Other books will be recommended suitable to students’ specific interests.

Introduction to Metals and their Alloys

  • Physical Characteristics – some Physics and Chemistry
  • History of Humankind’s use of Metals
  • Identification Methods
  • Gold and Silver Finds in History
Silver and Its Alloys
  • Sterling Silver
  • Coin Silver
  • Methods of Marking
  • Reading the Marks
  • History of Silver in England, and America
  • Care and Conservation of Silver Items
The Goldsmiths
  • Their Shops
  • Equipment
  • Production Methods
  • Their many works + Coins, Jewelry, Watches
Silver Styles in America
  • Uses
  • Timeline of Styles – Renaissance to Contemporary
Metals of Jewelry
Development of Flatware
  • Silver Plate
  • Sheffield Plate
  • Silver Plated
  • Pewter Alloys
  • Pewter Ware
  • Britannia
  • Common Pewter Forms
  • The Evaluation of Pewter
  • Care of Pewter
  • History
  • Uses
  • The Coppersmith
  • Collecting Copper
  • Evaluating Copper and Reproductions
  • The Brass and Bronze Founder
  • Casting
  • Forms
  • Bronze Sculpture
  • Art Bronze
  • Uses of Brass
  • Forms: From Decorative to Precision Equipment to Guns
  • Cast Iron
  • Wrought Iron
  • Steel
  • Tin Plate
  • Iron Workers
  • Rust, Corrosion and Patina – Care and Cleaning of iron objects
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