The significance of an antique is that it's timeless. It doesn't matter how old it might be, it will always remain a classy element to complement any household décor as well a good way to decant your alcohol. An antique could be an antique for several reasons. The date it was created is usually a prominent factor in determining its value and its authenticity as an antique. Also, another important factor is how many of those particular pieces were created. There really isn't a criterion for the physical appearance of an antique. Though it is important to note that the decanters with the more "traditional antique decanter" appearance will tend to be the ones that are very old and often times originate from another country. The ones with a more modern look will be the ones that were limited edition.
Considering that mass-producing products is more of a modern development, the title "limited edition" was developed as a technique to distinguish unique products amongst a mass of uniformity. Therefore many limited editions can quickly become antiques simply due to the fact that they are of limited quantity. At the same time, I feel I should differentiate between limited editions that become antiques and limited editions that just become collector's items.
While there are many collectors out there whose focus is antique decanters, antique decanters are a completely separate class because it means that they've aged and matured for a given amount of time as well as appreciated in value. Antiques by characteristic are valuable and appreciate in value over time. Thus, a limited edition has to truly be more than a limited edition to be antique bound. Jim Beam created a series of limited edition decanters that were of cheap quality and value and despite their limited quantity; they still aren't worth anymore to this day. This shows that an antique has to be something special to even be stamped with such a prestigious title.
Antiques can be made from a wide range of materials - crystal, ceramic, china, etc, and as with anything of value, it's important to have its worth verified by a professional antique appraiser. There are several ways to identify whether or not your decanter is an antique but it does vary depending on the origins of the decanter. Depending on the region, it might have been cut from a particular type of glass or have a certain type of design signature. For example, American whiskey decanters often consisted of etchings or paintings of nature scenes. So while antiques may come in a variety of shapes, sizes, looks, colors, and designs, they are antiques for a reason. They are special in some form or fashion therefore making them more valuable. So if you ever come across an antique make sure to do your research before buying it and if it is authentic then take good care of it, it could prove to be quite valuable as it ages.
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