Investing in the right jewelry is like investing in a beautiful piece of artwork.
Like an oil painting or sculpture, the benefit of investing in jewelry is that you can actually wear and enjoy it without compromising its value—provided you take the proper measures to care for it. Before you commit to an investment piece, it’s crucial to understand the quality and durability of fine jewelry specifically that makes it a worthy acquisition.
Brand Names with Staying Power
Jewelry does not necessarily need to be encrusted with diamonds or incredibly expensive to be a worthy investment.
Chanel costume jewelry is a perfect example; its widely recognizable brand name increases the overall value of the piece and continues to increase over time.
Similarly, Cartier jewelry appreciates in value over time. Their high-quality materials and craftsmanship, combined with the respected brand name, means Cartier pieces can be even more valuable in the future than their current retail price tag. According to Cartier spokesman, Philippe Besiss, Cartier jewelry has never sold at auction for less than its original price. Currently the top brands for investing are Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany & Co. with Bulgari and Christian Dior pieces gaining popularity with investors and collectors alike.
Pieces also appreciate as they become more scarce in the market. Brands like Cartier and Boucheron actually buy up their older pieces to ensure they retain their value and will put them on exhibition versus back into the market. In turn, vintage designer pieces are very valuable—especially ones stamped with the brand’s signature.
With all that in mind, unbranded pieces can still retain their luxury value. Vintage Art Deco pieces made of diamond and platinum are hot ticket items because the linear designs blend in with modern wardrobes. Natural pearls are increasing in value over cultured pearls. Also older pieces with a substantial stone can be sold and reset in a new style to appeal to contemporary tastes can be particularly valuable.
Adjust for Inflation
The Cartier Love bracelet originally sold for $250 in 1970. Adjusted for inflation, $250 in 1970 has the same buying power as $1,500 today. A brand new Cartier Love bracelet costs $6,600. If you factor in the quality of the product and the power of the Cartier brand, a vintage Love bracelet from 1970 could sell for about the same price as a brand new one today.
To put this in perspective, minimum wage was $1.45 in 1970. That means, to buy a Cartier Love bracelet, you would need to work for 362.5 hours, or roughly nine 40-hour weeks. Today, with federal minimum wage at $7.25, you would need to work about 910 hours, or twenty-two 40-hour weeks. If only you had bought a Cartier Love bracelet 40 years ago, you would have saved a lot of time!
The Security of Gold
Gold jewelry is another strong investment opportunity. Unlike other trendier precious metals or stones, the demand for gold does not fluctuate greatly—rather its value has steadily increased over time. In 1975, one ounce of gold was worth $79. Today, it’s worth $1,153 an ounce, which, adjusted for inflation, is a 176% increase.
When shopping for investment-worthy gold pieces, look for items that are at least 18 karats. And when it comes time to unload your gold jewelry, timing is key. Be vigilant about following the market prices to ensure you receive the best value for it.
Invest in Time
The most important point to keep in mind when you’re investing in fine jewelry is: this is a long-term investment. It can take up to 30 years for your jewelry to appreciate. Investing in jewelry really requires patience and careful maintenance of the piece to retain its value and improve its resale value.
If you have any other questions about investing in fine jewelry, contact our customer service representatives and they can help.