For many jewellery lovers, turning a passion for wearing jewellery into a passion for collecting is a natural progression. Jewellery is such an important part of collectors’ lives that they learn to appreciate it not just for the beauty of the piece overall, but for the silver, the diamond, the gold and all the other rare materials that make an earring, bracelet or ring. The pleasure of hunting for rare and collectible pieces of jewellery is another part of the experience of collecting. But how do collectors, particularly novices, tell a timeless investment from an overpriced dud?
Knowing the Market
Being aware of the items that will make good investments is a matter of knowing which pieces of jewellery tend to hold their value or even appreciate. Because the market is so vast, it’s impossible for any collector to know the relative values of all collectible pieces of jewellery. Most novices start with a particular sector such as a favorite designer or style and familiarize themselves with the prices of collectible pieces in this sector before expanding into related areas. The most important thing to understand about jewellery is its scarcity; the rarer the materials used in its making, the better a long-term investment it will be.
One of the most important aspects of evaluating collectible jewellery is understanding condition, making sure that a diamond, for example, is clear, not scratched and classically cut and, if budget is no object, a large carat. Even a beautiful gold or precious gem ring that would otherwise be very valuable can lose much of its worth if it isn’t in satisfactory condition. Looking after jewellery correctly is also an important part of the collecting hobby.
Looking in the Right Places
The key to finding a little gem that will serve as a long-term investment is making sure to pay the right price for them. One of the most common rules of thumb for collectors who intend to resell their jewellery is to aim to pay one-third of the final sale price. Assuming that one-third pays for the effort of locating the item, the remaining third represents profit. Antique shops, antique fairs, estate sales and even charity shops or jumble sales can produce rare finds at good prices for the collector willing to be patient and thorough.
By knowing the market, paying careful attention to condition and having a good working knowledge of prices, even a beginner collector can find the perfect jewellery to serve as a long-term investment or the foundation of a great collection.