Fine jewelry has always been seen as a symbol of wealth. Dazzling gems and sparkling metals adorning women can be a reflection of their status in society. For most women these pieces are gifted to them from a loved one and are used to pair their outfit of the day. However, fine jewelry can be much more than a fashion statement. Quality pieces of jewelry can be an investment with a great return.

When people think of investing, jewelry is typically not the first thing to come to mind, but due to the materials that go into creating them they can yield a pretty significant return. The best thing about investing in jewelry is that you can have fun with the pieces you invest in.

Les and Seth Gold from American Jewelry and Loan share how you can invest in jewelry for personal and monetary value.

How to buy jewelry as an investment

In four generations as pawnbrokers, we’ve seen many people who invest in a piece of jewelry only to later be disappointed that it didn’t hold its value in the way that they had hoped.

Your first consideration when investing in jewelry should be how much you will enjoy the piece rather than its potential for making money by selling it later. Most people buy jewelry to mark a milestone, as an accessory to complete an outfit, or just to make a statement. If you decide to buy jewelry as an investment, here are three important things to consider:

1. What is it made of?

One of the first considerations when assessing an item’s value is determining the materials from which it’s made. When it comes to diamonds, stones over one carat will typically hold their value better than diamonds under one carat total weight. The four Cs are important — cut, clarity, color and carat. With regard to the cut of the stone, avoid newer, trendy cuts and choose standard shapes, like the round brilliant cut. When shopping for a diamond, keep in mind clarity and color can be more important than carat or size. In short, it’s better to have a better quality, slightly smaller stone than a cloudy, flawed larger stone.

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The tricky part about investing in jewelry is selecting pieces that hold value over time while staying true to your personal style. There are various factors that can go into determining the value of a piece of jewelry.

Maria Kelmas from Demand Media points out several factors to consider when purchasing jewelry for investment purposes.

How to Invest in Jewelry

Jewelry can be an expression of love, a demonstration of wealth and can pay a king’s ransom. Throughout many centuries, refugees fleeing wars and political turmoil could save their lives and buy food by selling their jewelry. Cultures worldwide regard jewelry as currencies and dowries. The conclusion is that an attractive arrangement of gems and precious metals is a safer investment option that cash, securities or real estate. The problem with this reasoning from an investor’s standpoint is that many kinds of jewelry lose their value over the long term.

Retail Margins

Jewelry bought from a retailer, whether high street or luxury, loses its value immediately. The retailer marks up a wholesaler’s price by 100 percent. The wholesaler makes the same mark up on a manufacturer’s price. A large proportion of these margins pay for the sumptuous shops that retailers need to market their goods. An item that costs $300 one day will sell for only $100 the next. It could take more than 30 years to recoup its original value.

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Jewelry can certainly provide a great return in investment, but it doesn’t have to be taken so seriously. You can have fun investing in jewelry by incorporating your personal style in the pieces you purchase. This way you can enjoy your investment before cashing it in for a substantial return.

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