One of the most important indicators that an ornament is vintage is patina, or the wear that comes with age. Antique and vintage Christmas ornaments will show some wear, even if they are in excellent condition. Youll see the mercury glass flaking off a bit or the metal taking on a dull appearance from tarnish.
What were old Christmas ornaments made of?
The most sought after is perhaps the most plain; a clear glass ball with a cardboard cap instead of metal, Naumann said. These ornaments were made during the war when the silver nitrate normally used to coat the inside of the ornaments and the metal used for the caps were needed for the war effort.
Are antique Christmas ornaments worth anything?
Because ornaments have been used annually holiday trees since around the turn of the 20th century on into the 1920s, so they rarely come to market in pristine condition now. When they do, theyre worth a good bit of cash to collectors. If youre bargain-minded, shop for ornaments like these during the off-season.