In today’s ever-changing world, it can be hard to decide where to invest your money. Interest rates are on the rise, and we’re seeing property values and even vehicle costs shifting every month. But one of the safest places to put your money may be a lot more attractive – and more accessible – than you might think. With fine gem investment firms cropping up around the world – and around the Web – it’s time to see jewelry as an investment opportunity, one whose glimmering value will endure for generations to come.
Jewelry: The Wearable Investment
For millennia, members of all cultures and economic classes have recognized and harnessed the value of gemstones. Famously, twentieth-century Russian aristocrats fled their palaces with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds sewn into their dresses and overcoats. During wartime, jewels were often the first things packed away – small and easy to transport, they were the perfect mobile asset. In times of trouble, jewels are a far easier possession to grab than a home – or even a pile of cash. Much of the gemstone’s beauty, then, lies in its portability.
Today, the tradition of acquiring jewels as long-term assets continues as investors sock individual stones in safe deposit boxes around the globe, safeguarding their retirements and their grandchildren’s futures. Barring catastrophe, jewels, which occupy the elusive “market of rarity,” will, like gold, always appreciate in value.
Rules of the Game
Any investment involves some element of risk, and the realm of jewelry investing is no different. Educate yourself before you put down any money, and remember the most important trick of the trade: Be patient. Until the right stone comes along, you shouldn’t feel obligated to invest – and you’ll know when the right piece does come along. Most practiced collectors describe a feeling of “rightness” – a physically tangible recognition when a high-quality jewel passes through their hands.
Understand which stones are quality and which aren’t, and be scrupulous about determining the difference. An attractive, inexpensive stone won’t fool anyone – not today, and not thirty years down the line. Shopping with integrity will insure that your investments pay for themselves and then some, providing a true nest egg, safety net, or college fund decades down the road.
Brush up on any stones of interest. Be sure to understand where high quality stones are sourced – emeralds from Colombia, for example, or cornflower-blue sapphires from the icy mines of Kashmir. Train yourself to distinguish between the real deal and lesser imitations, and you’ll set yourself apart from other collectors. “There could be three Picassos in the room,” says Henri Barguirdjian, diamond expert and financier. “One is worth $18 million and one is worth $3 million.” It’s up to the professional, then, to spot the finest of the fine – the ultimate diamond in the rough.
Necklaces, Bracelets, and Rings: Complete Pieces as Investments?
Stones, because of their size and potential for a range of settings and applications, are the more common asset, but that doesn’t mean finished pieces, like necklaces and bracelets, can’t stand in place of stocks and bonds as legitimate financial investments. Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces continue to draw hundreds of thousands at auction. Yet finished pieces hold more risk, partly because trends come and go so quickly. Still, classic pieces by Charles Garnier, as well as timeless, sleek staples by the likes of Roberto Demeglio and The Hook Company, are almost guaranteed to hold their value into the next century.
The Old Adage Says it Best: Follow Your Heart
When it comes to any investment, it pays to follow your passions. What guides you in life should, in a perfect world, guide your investments. Those who care about the arts should invest as such; those crazy about cars or real estate should consider investing in vehicles or property, respectively. The same goes for the jewel-obsessed and the gem-wild. If you love all that glitters, consider pursuing that passion as an investment avenue.
At Grand Jewelers, we love the idea that jewels are like snowflakes; no two are exactly alike. Visit our store or browse our comprehensive website, and allow our brilliant collection to inspire your next one-of-a-kind investment.
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