He anticipates that the prices of the rarer stones, including the large pinks, blues, and greens, may continue to rise around 4% to 10% every year until 2020 if purchased well.
For those with a more modest budget, well-designed classical pieces of quality with a known and well respected maker’s name should make good investments. The key is to buy at the right level, says James Constantinou, founder of Prestige Pawnbrokers and star of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn. He says: “You’re likely to take a hit on new items of jewellery purchased from a high street store, so I would recommend selective second-hand or pre-loved pieces with a renowned brand name, such as Cartier, Tiffany or Van Cleef. Pieces that are pleasing on the eye and of classical design will deliver a better return.”
When it comes to buying vintage or second-hand pieces, then the auction house is the way to go, with some of the less well known provincial auction houses the source of real hidden gems.
“Discuss the piece with the auctioneer pre-sale to get his opinion on it,” says Constantinou. “They are there to assist you as well as the seller. Use the internet to cross-reference any information on the piece to verify any claims made, and remember that original packaging and paperwork is likely to add value.”
Watches can also make good investments and, for the unseasoned, the old cliché of “only collect what you like” is the best way to start. Research is key to finding pieces at the right prices, says Michael Ayres, valuations manager at vintage jewellery specialists Est.1897.
“Vintage watches only ever seem to appreciate, so brands such as Rolex and Omega will always be a safe bet,” he says. “Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and other Swiss heritage watches also have a strong market value. These brands plough huge sums into marketing and advertising, so they are doing the grunt work for you to keep your investment desirable. Brands such as TAG Heuer and Baume et Mercier make lovely watches, but the resale value is often low, so I would recommend collecting these pre-owned.”
Budding collectors can get a good idea of the market value of a piece by checking specialist auction sale results and visiting various dealers. And they should always buy from someone they trust, or who has a good history in the trade.
And don’t forget about security. It’s important to tell your insurer about any items of value (try to get jewellery cover as part of your home insurance) and remember to keep receipts for valuable items as proof of the purchase price. Then enjoy.
- Buy at the right level: second-hand or pre-loved
- Use the internet to cross-reference and verify information
- Get one really good valuation from a reputable source