In a world of fluctuating financial markets and ever-rising gold prices, many people are turning to alternative investments such as jewellery. Jewellery is considered a particularly attractive investment in much of the Indian subcontinent, where it is a traditional symbol of family wealth. However, despite the widespread perception of jewellery, particularly gold and diamonds, as valuable long-term investments, not all jewellery investments are created equal. Finding antique jewellery to invest in is one of the best ways to avoid disappointment in this field.
In times of financial uncertainty, gold prices can make this precious metal a rewarding, if potentially unstable, investment. Heavy buying by both governments and private investors, especially in Asia, means that investors with solid holdings in gold have been pleasantly surprised. But rising gold prices don’t necessarily mean that all jewellery is a sound investment.
The cost of jewellery sold at retail incorporates a number of factors. One of these is certainly the value of the precious metals and stones, but additional costs include the labour of designers and craftspeople, as well as the retailer’s markup, the cost of promotion and other factors. As a result, most jewellery tends not to hold initial value well. Short-term profit from reselling it is essentially impossible. Because the design of jewellery is one of the main factors in its long-term value, jewellery can decrease significantly in value if its design falls out of fashion.
However, antique jewellery is subject to a very different set of market pressures. Metal and stone value is only a very small part of the overall value of antique jewellery; the majority of an antique piece’s value is based on the quality of its design and its rarity. The most popular antique items have clean, timeless designs that fit in well with modern jewellery and clothing while maintaining a sense of old-fashioned elegance. Art Deco jewellery of the 1920 and 1930s is consistently popular, commanding high prices at auction, while more intrepid investors are exploring turn-of-the-century Edwardian jewellery and designer items from the 1960s.
Turning antique jewellery into a sound investment requires good knowledge of the market, both in terms of anticipating which items are likely to increase in value and in terms of knowing where to find such items at good prices. All types of investment benefit from being an educated investor, but in the antique jewellery market, sound research is a necessity.
Although the amount of research involved in mastering antique jewellery can be daunting, it can also be highly rewarding. Because it depends on the tastes and habits of collectors, rather than on global fluctuations in metal prices, antique jewellery of proven value can be a strong investment for individuals looking for steady appreciation rather than quick, unpredictable gain.