Typically, rugs that are around 75 years old or older are considered to be antiques. About 55 or 60 year old rugs are considered semi-antique and on their way to becoming “antique”. Antique means much more than just age. Not all old rugs are worth value – a poorly made rug that has 100 years of age to it is just an old poorly made rug. The value and where these rugs can appreciate over time has much to do with age, indeed, but also the quality of the rug/weave, the rug having natural dyes opposed to synthetic dyes, the rug being in good condition, the origin, the story behind it, etc.
If you have an old rug that you think has value, make sure to check with your local rug dealer and ask them to educate you on your specific rug, and rugs in general; what to look for, how to maintain them, etc. When buying antique rugs – you need to deal with an expert that you can trust. Because rugs, like all art, are blind items (meaning the value to them may be a little subjective to the market and the buyer), you need to deal with someone that knows the rug business, knows the rug market and market value of the rug, and the history and story behind the rug’s design, origin, etc. These rugs are certainly investment pieces, but more so pieces of art that are meant to be enjoyed, appreciated, and talked about – this is why you need to learn the story of your particular rug so you can talk about it and educate others when they’re admiring them.