Tips for Shoppers
Even experts can be fooled; museums are constantly re-evaluating their collections and checking for fakes as new technology becomes available. You may not be able to avoid all mistakes, but here a few tips to consider when buying ancient antiquities:
Avoid online auctions unless you have done business with the dealer before. There are too many fakes out there to take a chance.
Ask whether you can return the item should it turn out to be a fake. Reputable dealers will stand behind their stock.
Visit museums and look at ancient art. There is nothing like seeing the original to help train your eye to bad fakes, although there's little you can do about well-made fakes.
Certificates of authenticity mean nothing. Ask for proof of provenance - who owned the piece and where has it been. You could purchase something illegally, without knowing it.
These items are very, very old. Read the descriptions carefully, and examine the photographs or the object. Know about the flaws before you buy.
Keep in mind that with this particular type of collection, bargains simply don't happen. Expect to pay high prices for almost all ancient artifacts.