Is Jewellery a Good Investment


About Author

Patricia Sedgwick

SEDGWICKS founder, Patricia Sedgwick grew up on a sheep property at Longreach in Western Qld, and completed an Arts Degree at the University of Queensland before joining the auction world. With over 30 years experience in the jewellery industry, Patricia is a highly regarded jewellery specialist and seasoned auctioneer, heading jewellery departments for international auction houses Sotheby’s and Bonhams. Patricia is a qualified Gemmologist, Diamond Grader, Valuer and Licenced Second Hand Dealer as well as being a collector of fine, beautiful and unusual pieces.

Is Jewellery a Good Investment

Is Jewellery a good investment

Bought well yes. Recent times have seen significant growth in value across most areas of investment including diamonds, coloured gemstones, antique jewellery and watches.

But as with everything there are traps for the uninitiated. Not everything is what it seems. Diamonds are a case in point, do you have the expertise to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic? Similarly coloured gemstones can be man made or treated to improve colour & clarity. Any gemmologist or diamond grader will advise caution in purchasing these items, even with expert qualifications and years of experience

How to avoid a bad jewellery investment.  

Rule number one, buy from a reputable source. You must feel confident that the supplier is accurately representing the item they are selling. Are they a member of an industry Body such as the National Council of Jewellery Valuers or the Gemmological Association of Australia or the Australian Antique Dealers Association. 

Word of mouth, google reviews, all can point you in the right direction.

Do your homework and make sure you understand what you are buying. 

Always ask lots of questions and remember to shop around as part of the self-education process. The more you see, the more you will know.

Should I believe what is on the internet

The internet is a wonderful tool, but don’t believe everything you read. Be selective, find a reputable dealer that provides accurate information such as Langs Antique Jewellery University. For information on Diamonds & Gemstones visit institutions such as the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) OR GEM-A, The Gemmological Association of Great Britain

What courses are there that I can do to learn more about jewellery

If you are serious about investing in jewellery then knowledge is everything.

The Gemmological Association of Australia offers introductory courses

that are designed for the beginner wanting to gain an understanding of gemmology. 

Course include Gems & Gemmology, Coloured Gemstones, Pearls & Pearl Stringing, Diamonds, Opals and Antique Jewellery

What jewellery is a good investment

There are so many kinds of jewellery, antique, vintage, modern, designer, costume, diamond and gemset, gold, silver … Some categories will hold their own better than others. Jewellery like most collectable or investment categories will be affected by fashion. And bear in mind fashions change. A classic example would be the Princess cut diamond, a big deal in the 90’s, this particular cut has been superseded in 2022 by the oval.

Always buy well made items, look for exemplary workmanship, high quality gemstones with certification from recognised laboratories such as GIA, HRD & SSEF. 

When buying watches, some brands will hold their value far better than others. Avoid fashion watches and concentrate on those brands that are respected horologically. If you are interested in vintage watches look for original condition with original paperwork and boxes.

Tips for buying well

Always buy the best you can afford

Buy good quality from a reputable dealer (Sapphires bought on a beach in Thailand may seem to be a great investment at the time, but you will be disappointed when you come to sell them)

Is Antique Jewellery a good investment 

Antique jewellery in original condition is a rarity. Rarity equates with scarcity and scarcity drives value. Antique jewellery cannot be replicated. Each piece is unique and it cannot be duplicated using modern methods. As time passes, less antique jewellery survives. And increasingly there are fewer jewellers who are able to restore or repair antique & vintage jewellery. There will always be a market for antique jewellery. Who doesn’t love to be original? Finding a unique jewel in great condition that has not been mass produced, that no-one else will have, is a pleasant circumstance in today’s mass-produced world. Especially as it will also increase in value over time

What is antique jewellery

Strictly speaking, Antique Jewellery must be 100 years old or older.

Are diamonds a good investment 

They can be. As always, buy the best you can afford. Again look for stones with well regarded certification (GIA, HRD) and always a larger single stone of good quality rather than multiple smaller stones. A solitaire will tend to hold its value more so than a cluster ring. 

Avoid buying poor quality stones by learning all you can about the four ‘c’s.

The Four C’s of Diamond Grading

Developed by the GIA in the 1940’s, the 4Cs are the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. GIA diamond reports are trusted by museums, auction houses, and consumers all over the world.

Colour - White diamonds are graded from D - Z, with D being the top grade (colourless) and most valuable, right down to Z, which are decidedly yellow in colour

Cut - describes the shape of the diamond and the quality of the cutting of the stone. Cut is important because it dictates the way light travels through a stone and determines a diamonds brightness, sparkle and beauty

Clarity - Using 10x magnification, diamonds are graded for clarity from Flawless to Included.  Diamonds commonly contain natural inclusions, present from when the stone was formed in the earth and as they can affect the appearance of the stone they are given a grading. The freer from inclusions a stone is, the more valuable it is.

Carat - the most measurable characteristic, it relates to the weight of the diamond. As a general rule the larger the stone, the more valuable.

Unless you have an unlimited budget,  a tradeoff might be necessary when choosing a a stone.  Prioritise. Decide what is more important size or quality? 

Synthetic diamonds or moissanite

Will not be an investment. They are man made and plentiful so no shortage of supply or rarity. Resale value will be poor.

In conclusion, while it can be said that jewellery is a good investment, it needs to be noted that not all jewellery is a good investment. 

Best advice

Do your homework. Happy Shopping!

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