Why Vintage Fine Jewelry Is a Good Investment
Many contemporary fine jewelry pieces not only have great value but will appreciate over time. And, while they are a perfectly good investment, vintage fine jewelry is almost always a better investment. There are certain factors that make vintage jewelry a better investment such as the quality of the piece as well as the authenticity (if it is signed or not, etc.).
Christie’s explains the importance of choosing a signed piece and why that enhances the value and ultimately the return on your investment, “Signed jewellery indicates the name of the jewellery house or maker with an engraving on the underside of the piece or the inside of a ring…Is signed jewellery more valuable than unsigned jewellery? Generally, yes. If it is one of the top makers, a signature can add 50, 100 or even 300 per cent to the value. Christie’s jewellery specialist David Warren recalls seeing a bracelet from the 1920s — an attractive and slightly unusual design — that had been estimated some years earlier at £8,000 to £12,000. After a great deal of scrutinising, Warren discovered what appeared to be remnants of ‘Van’ from a Van Cleef & Arpels signature. A photograph was sent to the company, which confirmed and precisely dated the piece. The bracelet turned out to be a rare example from the much sought after Art Deco period and subsequently sold for £250,000, with premiums.”
Is ALL Signed Vintage Fine Jewelry a Better Investment Than Contemporary Jewelry?
While it is true the majority of the time that signed vintage fine jewelry is a better investment than contemporary fine jewelry, the initial value of the piece, the brand, the condition, and more will influence whether or not it is a better investment. There are certain brands that, as a rule of thumb, almost always not only hold their value but appreciate over time. These brands include names like Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, Boucheron, Bulgari but are certainly not limited to these fine jewelry brands.
Vintage fine jewelry can sometimes be found at auction for a good deal, at estate sales, or you may already own a vintage piece that has perhaps been passed on to you from a relative. Either way, the odds of getting a better return on a vintage piece are greater because contemporary pieces are subject to modern pricing and inflation so they will not yield as much of a return – until they are vintage and rare. Consider investing in signed vintage fine jewelry rather than contemporary jewelry if you are looking to maximize your investment return.