I like jewelry a lot. I realize that it can be a kind of frivolous thing, but I love the way jewelry mixes beautiful materials with great artistic designs. Plus, I love fashion and--of course!--looking pretty. So, I like jewelry, and I put a fair amount of money into it, because jewelry is expensive!
What’s I’m wondering is this: how well does jewelry hold its value? If I decided later that I want to sell some of the jewelry I’m buying now, would I be able to get most of my money back? I’ll feel better about my love of jewelry if I can tell myself it’s an investment.
How well jewelry holds its value depends on a variety of factors; most notably, the materials used to craft the piece. However, the good news is that many types of jewelry hold their value quite well. That means that you could sell your jewelry and diamonds later in life and get some of that cash back. Still, that’s not quite the same thing as saying that jewelry is an “investment.” Remember that, even if you get back every penny you spent on a piece, you’ll still be missing out on the interest you could’ve gained in a savings account or in the stock market, as well as losing out thanks to inflation.
So, what makes a piece of jewelry hold its value? First and foremost, diamond buyers tell us, it’s the quality of the materials. No matter how great the design is, a piece of costume jewelry is going to have a hard time retaining its worth in the way that gold, silver, and diamonds do. A poor or dated design is less of an obstacle, because gold can be melted down and re-cast, and diamonds can be reset in more modern pieces.
That’s not to say that design doesn’t matter at all. Iconic brand names, such as Tiffany & Co. and Cartier, are a good source for pieces that will hold their value. These companies have earned a reputation for quality materials and superior design. Collectors and other fans of fine jewelry will be more interested in a vintage piece if it is particularly beautiful, especially if it comes from a brand name that has cache in the jewelry business.
Another factor that looms large is the condition of the jewelry. Broken jewelry is, of course, significantly less valuable. Clean, well-maintained jewelry will be worth more than tarnished and poorly maintained pieces. If you want your jewelry to hold its value, look into proper jewelry maintenance.
If you care for your pieces and keep these factors in mind, there’s no reason to fear them losing too much value. However, remember why you buy jewelry in the first place. It’s not so that you can just resell it later! If an investment is what you’re looking for, turn to the stock market. Jewelry’s ability to hold its value makes it a nice asset to rediscover during tough financial times, but that doesn’t mean that it makes sense to go out of your way to “invest” in jewelry or use jewelry’s resale value to justify overindulging at your jewelry store in the near-term. Keep enjoying your passion, but keep making smart financial decisions!
“Every piece of jewelry tells a story.” - Gem Hunt
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