Salcedo Stories

#SalcedoSays: 5 Things to Remember When Collecting Jewelry

#SalcedoSays: 5 Things to Remember When Collecting Jewelry

  • 27 August 2020

BY JOSEF SAGEMÜLLER — You don’t have to be a gemologist to appreciate a beautiful piece of jewelry, neither do you need to be a millionaire to start a solid jewelry collection. Jewelry hardly ever depreciates in value but you have to be aware of what it is you are buying and do your research. Jewelry is usually evaluated in terms of the quality of the stones used, the purity of the gold, and the craftsmanship. Here are some simple principles to keep in mind as you build your collection.

1. Mother knows best!

Mothers know what they’re talking about when they encourage you to start collecting your own pieces. If, for example, you were lucky enough to buy gold in 2016 when the price was at an all time 10-year low of $1050 per troy oz you would have indeed made a sound investment as the prices now have shot up to over $2000! As for diamonds and quality colored stones, when you choose to invest in quality stones and pieces, you will be able to hedge your savings and money from inflation, hyperinflation and economic crises.

SA Stories Things to Remember

A very important pair of diamond ear pendants mounted in 18k white gold. Accompanied by GIA stating that the 3.53ct and 3.51ct pear brilliants are G color, VVS2 and VS2 clarity, from the ‘Fine Jewelry & Timepieces’ sale, September 2014

BVLGARI, A fine colored gemstone and pearl demi-parure set in 18k yellow gold from the ‘The Well-Appointed Life: Fine Jewelry & Timepieces’ sale, September 2015

2. Quality is key.

Cartier, Bulgari, Tiffany & Co. and the other jewelers are good investments as they usually keep their value over time. However if you are expecting quick money from such an investment you would need to again know what you are buying. The more common pieces that are mass-produced will not appreciate as much as their ‘haute joaillerie’ or high end jewelry.

CARTIER A fancy yellow and white diamond bombé ring. A pavé set ring, of bombé form mounted in 18k yellow gold signed Cartier Paris and numbered 754917, circa 1960 from ‘The Well-Appointed Life: Fine Jewelry and Timepieces’ sale, September 2019

However, if you want a sound investment you need not always buy from the famous brands. Often enough unsigned pieces of jewelry tend to offer great value because they still offer superb craftsmanship and design without the price premium of the famous brands.

A 2.27ct fancy intense yellow diamond dress ring with fancy yellow and white brilliants in a pavé set band from the ‘Jewelry & Timepieces’ sale, February 2015

Vintage and Antique jewelry have a refined elegance and aura about them. They are as valuable or oftentimes even more valuable than modern pieces. Just like valuable cars or paintings that have been passed down by generations and withstood the tests of time they are just as beautiful, valuable and wearable! They are often very well made, often even hand made and hand finished and are offered at lower prices because there are no manufacturing costs factored into the price.

A diamond bandeau assembled from a circa 1930s Art Deco baguette and emerald cut diamond bracelet, approximately 40tcw, H color, VS clarity from ‘The Well-Appointed Life: Fine Jewelry & Timepieces’ sale, September 2016

A vintage 1950s gold bead, sapphire and diamond cuff set in 18k yellow gold. The four diagonal rows of deep blue sapphires on each side, totaling approximately 4.50 cts, frame the three rows of D-F color brilliant diamonds, VVS-VS clarity, totaling approximately 2.16 cts. From the ‘Fine Jewelry & Timepieces’ sale, March 2016

3. Diamonds are your best friend.

While diamonds have not experienced the huge jumps in price like gold, they have persevered as a sound investment with a steady increase in price yearly. Colored stones such as jade, sapphires, emeralds and rubies have seen a dramatic increase in price and are also very interesting to look into as an investment.

A diamonds and rubies bracelet, the diamonds of 5.72 tcw and rubies of 24.35 tcw from The Well-Appointed Life: Fine Jewelry and Timepieces, September 2018

A sumptuous natural Burmese sapphire and diamond ring accompanied by a GRS certificate from ‘The Well-Appointed Life: Fine Jewelry & Timepieces’ sale, September 2017

4. Get certified.

Invest in larger sized diamonds and colored stones of excellent cut, color and clarity and, when buying, check for certificates. The most respected in the industry are the Diamond certificates issued by the GIA or Gemological Institute of America, followed by HRD Diamond Certificate in Belgium.

An impressive GIA-certified 9.33 ct emerald cut diamond ring set in platinum, K color, VS2 clarity from the ‘Fine Jewelry & Timepieces’ sale, March 2017

For colored stones consider rubies, emeralds and sapphires that are GIA certified or, for me personally, certified by AIGS of Thailand, which is a very well respected Institute with a high degree of specialization in colored stones.

A pair of emerald and diamond cluster earrings, each centered on an approximately 3ct oval cut emerald in vivid green surrounded by oval white diamonds with 5.0tcw, D-F color, VVS2-VS1 clarity, set in platinum and 18k yellow gold from ‘The Well-Appointed Life: Fine Jewelry & Timepieces’ sale, September 2016

5. Be savvy!

There are bargains to be made especially in auctions and private sales. If you have the spare cash and are looking to invest, it is necessary to inform yourself and research to make sure you are getting a good deal.

When looking for the right piece of jewelry, focus on the quality of the stones, the design, and the quality of craftsmanship. Do your homework! Get a feel of the prices by looking at past auction results from the Salcedo Auctions website and even check the International auction sites. Some simple research into past sold lots will provide you with a gauge of current selling prices and their tendencies in the future.

The ‘Fine Jewelry & Timepieces’ sale of Salcedo Auctions’ The Well-Appointed Life auction weekend is a great opportunity to find select pieces that fit various price points. If you’re looking to offer a jewelry piece at auction, feel free to fill out this consignment form.

Josef Sagemüller has been Specialist, Jewelry at Salcedo Auctions since 2017. He started dealing with jewelry since he was in his teens and studied Jewelry Design and Goldsmithing in Germany with a Graduate Gemologist Degree from the Gemological Institute of America, specialising in Vintage and Antique Jewelry.