Two tools you might want to have on hand when hunting antiques; the Jeweler’s eye Loupe magnifier and a magnet.
The jeweler’s eye Loupe magnifier helps with finding that .925 mark on jewelry. It also helps with distinguishing those hard to read maker’s marks. A good loupe is a 10X with LED light which is approx. $5.00.
The magnet is used to quickly tell what type of metal you are dealing with; aluminum, brass and copper are not magnetic and steel is magnetic. You can find a magnet with an aluminum body and chain (9/16” Hex X 2 ½ “long) solid steel that pulls 4 lbs for approx. $6.25 for 5 around the internet.
We wouldn't consider this too high a price for great treasure hunting tools, how about you? :)