Making Magic Items Special
To a lot of players merely finding a magical item is sufficient reward but to me as a GM I find it much more rewarding, for myself, and my players, to create a special description and history for each item found. In general I find it takes about 5 minutes to come up with 3 to 5 sentences to liven up the description of any items that I hand out.
I typically allow sages and bards to identify the histories of items. The cost and amount of time it takes to discover the history I generally wing, but low powered items take about 100gp and a weeks time, with more powerful items scaling up from there. However the items use and power must be determined from the history given and in game experimentation.
Not only do the players enjoy learning about the history of the items but it gives me as the GM a boat load of potential adventure hooks for the future!