Like papers or gold, jewelry has always been a valuable asset and wise investment, but unlike papers and gold, jewelry is more enjoyable to own. Buying rare signed jewelry pieces, you invest twice. Firstly, you invest in your today by celebrating happy moments of your life, and secondly, you invest in your future creating a worthy portfolio of assets that hold their value and even appreciate with time. The jewelry market has its waves and cycles, but if you have wisdom, fine artistic taste, a little bit of patience, and money, of course, jewelry investment can become your solid anchor of stability.
Like other types of investment, creating jewelry portfolio requires gaining lots of knowledge on the subject, consulting experts, and a keen eye. We have gone through some jewelry, fashion, and beauty blog websites to collect some valuable expert tips and help you get started in your first real treasure hunt.
Don’t buy jewelry as a short-term investment
If you are new to the jewelry business, don’t expect to get a big return over a short period of time. Unless you are a pro, this type of investment requires keeping pieces for decades. That is why it is so critical to go for names (brands) and styles that have longevity attached to them as well as to buy what you really love and would be excited to wear yourself.
Don’t buy it new
Buying new pieces of jewelry, you lose from the outset. It’s because the price of a high-street retailer already includes a mark-up that can be as high as 100% plus the VAT. If you decide to sell your piece of jewelry the next day, its price will drop by up to 70%. It usually requires at least 30 years for a piece of jewelry to get back to the price it was initially bought for. In order to not overpay for the marketing and avoid erosion of value, it’s better to buy vintage or antique artworks second-hand.
Consider vintage jewelry
Avoiding the VAT and high retailer mark-up are not the only reason to buy jewelry second-hand. Vintage pieces are quality and rare and therefore more valued on the market. Their price will only become stronger with time. The point is to make the right “epoch choice” to balance between the rarity (and value) of the piece and its relevance. There’s little to no point in buying too outdated pieces that cannot be worn today or in, say, 30 years or unpopular things like brooches.
Look for the style
What periods to look for? The experts recommend the art deco style (dominated in 1920-1935) since its jewelry still looks modern and stylish thanks to its prevalent linear design while at the same time preserves value thanks to exceptional quality and its high diamond, gold, and platinum content. Consider art deco pieces by Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels. Another good period for jewelry investment is the Edwardian or the Belle Epoque. Its jewelry style is very tender and reminds a delicate cobweb of diamonds and platinum. If you love gold, look for scarce though valued Georgian jewelry that features beautiful topazes, rubies, and sapphires. The art nouveau is another resonating style in jewelry (thanks to its strong enamel and glass “voice”) that can give good returns on the investment. On the flip side, the sentimental Victorian jewelry badly fits the modern lifestyle and contemporary clothing, so we don’t recommend investing in it.
Famous jewelry names provide the security you are looking for. The quality of their artwork is tested by time, and these famous brands are always sought after, so your risks are minimal with a signed piece. Every period has its leading jewelry houses such as, for example, Cartier’s Tutti Frutti from art deco, Vendura, and Bulgari from mid-century, Lalique from art nouveau era, or Tiffany & Co and Faberge from the late 19th century. A popular brand name isn’t, however, a guarantee of great value. You need to do your research and find out which pieces were collectible and, therefore, are worth buying.
Although vintage jewelry is a more recommended investment, you still can go for contemporary artists whose work you love and feel like it has a bright future. This way, buying some of their pieces early on, you’ll be better off when others start looking for them.