Originally Posted by grouch
Is there any way to get a sense of what vintage cufflinks are worth? I have seen some cufflinks I'd be willing to buy for listed prices ($300-500 above melt value), but I don't know how much give the seller might have. The links I'm looking at are from Carrington & Co. and Wordley, Allsopp & Bliss.
Prices vary wildly.
In my experience, while the maker matters, what matters more is the metal. Base are well under $100 unless they have particularly nice enamelling. Sterling silver gets you to the $100 mark and up. And then gold goes up from there.
The second most important is quality--particularly with enamel. I find that age doesn't matter nearly as much as quality. So the latest hot style (say mid-century) but in crap shape is worth less than fine art deco. Etc.
As to the maker, I tend to shop at flea markets and small antiques shops and while the sellers notice materials and quality, they don't know the makers. And a lot of the antiques shops have no clue what they have--so they're either way under priced or way over priced. I picked up 18k gold links one day for $5 at a shop. And I've seen base metal with an asking price of $50.