Mink are small animals prized for their pelts that are used to make coats. If you have a coat that is made from mink, it can be quite valuable. Mink coats are often prized possessions and often are passed down from generation to generation. While the condition of your coat can affect its value, appearance alone will usually not help you determine the age of your coat. There are many ways to find out the age of your mink coat, however, and with the proper care and treatment, your coat might last your lifetime no matter how old it is.
Examine the Label
The label on a mink coat reveals the manufacturer and the country of origin, and can provide you information about the age of the coat and the type of mink used to make the coat. You can start your search by looking for the date the coat was made. Certain mink coat manufacturers print or sew the year the coat was made on the label, but not all manufacturers include the detail. Some manufacturers include a serial number on their labels, which is another piece of information that can help you find out the year your mink coat was made. If the year or serial number is not included on the label and the manufacturer still exists, call the company and see if it can provide more detail about your coat. Otherwise, a fur expert or fur dealer might be able to help you place the age of your coat.
Visit a Fur Dealer
A fur dealer or fur specialist might reveal clues that help narrow down the age of a coat. Because United States law requires these experts to examine the fur in person rather than by photograph, you need to bring your coat to the dealer. He will examine the coat to find out if anything can be determined about the age based on the manufacturer. Fur experts might also use information, such as the inclusion of leather in the construction of the coat, type of buttons, embroidery or stitching details, to estimate how old the coat is. The phone book, an online search or a store that sells mink coats, can help you find a fur dealer in your area.
Use the Internet
Many online retail stores that sell used items might be able to help you estimate the age of your mink coat. Look for coats from the same manufacturer or that look similar to your coat, then examine the details to see if you can find any additional information about your coat. An online website dedicated to mink coats and their manufacture might also have additional information about your coat. The Fur Information Council of America and the International Fur Trade Federation each have several resources that you might check for additional information about your mink coat. Fur Commission USA is a website dedicated to mink farmers, and might provide additional information about the type of mink coat you have.
Research the Market
The color, style or make of your mink coat can be useful information about the age of your coat. For example, the shape of the collar on a mink coat can change from year to year, as can the stitching detail or style of buttons and other types of closures. The color might also provide details to help you estimate the age. Certain colors are often trendy for two or three years before another color becomes more popular. The International Fur Trade Federation provides information about mink coat trends by year, and includes pictures. Browse through the pictures to see if you can find a coat similar to the mink coat you have. You might be able to estimate the age of your mink coat from there.
References and ResourcesHow to Buy and Sell (Just About) Everything; Jeff Wuorio
Furs.com: Mink Mania
ResourcesFur Information Council of America: Home
International Fur Trade Federation: Home
Fur Commission USA: Home