Jewellery is not always a sparkling investment. But vintage and antique items can provide a welcome return, as well as enduring pleasure, says Alexander Garrett.
Austerity may be the watchword of the moment, but demand for luxury goods continues unabated, nowhere more so than in the jewellery sector.
For some, splashing the cash on upmarket trinkets creates a welcome feeling that things aren’t so bad. For others, it may be tempting to think jewellery is an alternative safe haven to gold – and one that is considerably more enjoyable to own.
However, anyone considering jewellery as an investment needs to choose carefully and digest quite a few health warnings. It’s not just what you buy but where you buy it that will determine whether the stones and precious metals you acquire will hold their value and possibly earn a profit or simply turn out to be an expensive indulgence.
A traditional investment
The notion that jewellery retains its value is ingrained in traditions and cultures around the world: tribal people sometimes use beads as currency, while jewellery may be offered as a wedding dowry. The implication is that jewellery endures and retains its value over the long term.
Jewellery is also extremely portable, and gold rings, necklaces and diamonds have often been smuggled by refugees forced to flee a country and wanting to take their wealth with them.
Nevertheless, the first thing to learn about jewellery is that if you buy new from a high street retailer, you will be losing out from the word go.
Pieces with designer labels attached, sometimes marketed as part of a ‘limited edition’, are even more susceptible to this erosion of value; you’re paying for the marketing as well as the other costs. While brand-new jewellery fulfils a certain role in the market, wealth preservation certainly isn’t part of it.for more details please see post that being published here.
This general rule doesn’t always apply to individual pieces designed by up-and-coming artists, more of which later. For the most part, though, to have any chance of acquiring jewellery that proves to be a good investment, you need to buy second-hand, which normally means vintage or antique pieces.
If you buy well and from a source that has low costs, jewellery can prove profitable to own, but it should not be bought solely as an investment.
Ghika singles out Art Deco jewellery from 1920 to 1935, typically incorporating platinum and diamonds, as worth considering. “Pieces from that period have strong linear designs that still look modern today,” she explains. “Anything signed by Cartier, Van Cleef or Arpels is particularly sought after because their pieces were of exceptional quality.”
Other well-known makers include Boucheron from France and Tiffany from the US. Rings and earrings are the most popular items, because they are so easy to wear, while brooches are less so.
The value of jewellery can be influenced by underlying movements in gold and gemstone markets, says Ghika, but quality jewellery is usually worth considerably more than the sum of its component materials.
However, if you have a significant stone – for example, a diamond more than five carats in size – the value of the stone rises dramatically and becomes the key determinant of value.
Good stones from older jewellery have often been removed and reset in a new piece to maximise their value, which is why it is hard to find very old diamond rings.go to http://www.buygoldsmart.com/ for mor updates.
Another, more affordable, investment worth considering is artist-made jewellery from the 1960s. UK designers Andrew Grima, John Donald and Stuart Devlin are some names to look out for.