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Appraising techniques requires specialized knowledge in the field, as well as years of experience. However, it is possible to become self-educated in the field and acquire a strong layperson’s expertise that will help when buying in the field. The primary step is to read extensively on the subject of choice. Numerous sources are available with descriptions and pictures of antiques, and how to interpret their appearance and markings. These texts are typically broken down by field, such as furniture, pottery, jewelry, art, and so on. For the avid collector, they can be invaluable and will clue the consumer into whether or not the object being viewed is an original or antique. There is a great deal to learn about any category of antiques, and it takes patience, a willingness to learn, and a keen eye to become proficient in appraising antiques.