I am often asked about whether buying antique jewelry is a good investment, and if it is what sort of pieces should one be looking for. And my answer is always pretty much the same, 'yes normally antique jewelry is a good investment, but that should not be the main reason for buying an older piece of jewelry. It should be chosen because you love the piece, and it gives you pleasure every time you wear it.
Quite a few years ago, and I am not sure if it was the Financial Times or the International Herald Tribune did a survey on three things: Stocks & Shares, Property and Antiques based over a ten year period to see which did best as far as asset appreciation. Interestingly it turned out to be the antiques which did best.
Why is this? Well the reason for this is that, and it is also true of antique jewelry, is threefold.
Firstly, because antique jewelry is handmade by craftsmen, there is a quality and fineness to it which is not found in many of the mass produced modern pieces which come off the conveyor belt. It is the same principle if you have an antique Picasso painting. One would not work out its value, by adding together the cost of the paint, the canvas and the frame, it is the genius and vision of Picasso that gives the piece its value. So it is with antique jewelry, they are not just pieces to wear, they are also mini works of art.
The second reason is also tied up with the first reason, again with antique jewelry being handmade there is an originality, a uniqueness a 'one of a kind' factor and rarity, which makes antique jewelry collectable, and adds value to it, and is the reason why estate pieces hold their value. With a piece of vintage jewelry, because it is one of a kind it is impossible to shop around and compare prices. If one again uses the example of a Picasso painting; if one has an original Picasso or a copy of a Picasso, which piece is going to hold its value? Of course it is the original.
The third reason is there is less and less antique jewelry pieces to be found. My biggest problem at Beverley R Antique Jewelry, is not so much trying to sell the early pieces, but trying to replace them once they have been sold. Obviously as time goes by there is wear and tear; most of my pieces of jewelry are over 100 years old, and even though they are extremely well made, and constructed to stand the test of time; things happen, damage occurs to estate pieces of jewelry. Also recently with the very high gold price, people who have wanted instant cash, have just scrapped many exquisite hand made pieces of antique jewelry, which to my mind if unforgivable, but has also done Beverley R Antique Jewelry a favor, in that it has made pieces much rarer, and has increased the value of my antique stock. Lastly people, with television programs like the Antique Road Show, are now starting to realize the appreciative value of these vintage pieces of jewelry, and are so holding on to them, which all means there are less pieces to purchase.
My advice to anyone looking to buy an antique piece of jewelry as an investment, is to find a piece of jewelry that calls to you, that you fall in love with, and will enjoy wearing, that gives you pleasure every time you look at it. Also to buy one really good piece of antique jewelry, rather than lots of smaller less expensive pieces.
Lastly do not buy expecting a quick turnaround on the antique jewelry you have purchased, fashions and tastes change. Some of the ornate Victorian Jewelry, is considered to heavy looking for the millennial, or the platinum and diamond jewelry of the Art Deco period some consider to be too ostentatious at the moment, as many do not have that kind of lifestyle, but as in so many things, they do the full circle, and these antique pieces will again come back into fashion in the future.
At Beverley R Jewelry we have a large range of jewelry from the Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco and Retro periods, for the connoisseur of fine jewelry. We carry antique jewelry for those who believe as Queen Victoria said that Fashions come and go, but style is eternal, and I have style and so our clientele are people who have style and impeccable taste for fine jewelry.