collection of vintage jewelry on white surface

How to Buy Antique Jewelry as an Investmentloooby – Getty Images

“Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links.”

Antique and vintage jewelry can be some of the most fun items to hunt for when building a collection. They can also be some of the most intimidating—especially if you don’t have a background in gemstone knowledge or regularly shop for these pieces.

So, how does one know if what you are drawn to is worth the investment? There are so many factors to consider: the materials, the gemstones, the brand, the particular design, what condition it is in, the list goes on. We tapped 1st Dibs Editorial Director Anthony Barzilay Freund to help shed some light on this multi-faceted topic. Here, his tips for buying antique or vintage jewelry that will only increase in value over time.

Pay Attention to Iconic Brands

Classic luxury jewelry brands continue to remain strong in value, and therefore, make them a solid bet to hold their value long after you’ve made your purchase.

“The classics remain consistently popular,” says Freund. “Jewelry houses like Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, and David Webb are some of the most popular among 1st Dibs shoppers. Items from Suzanne Belperron and JAR are also coveted by collectors for their artistry—and scarcity. “

<p>Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Necklace</p>
<p>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTEyNDI7aD0xMjQy/”/><img alt=

Hunt for Limited-Edition or Retired Pieces

There will always be jewels that remain popular and in high demand because of their icon status (think: Cartier’s Love bracelet or Elsa Peretti’s Bone cuff designed for Tiffany & Co.).

“The Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection continues to be popular among collectors, especially pieces featuring turquoise, lapis lazuli, and pink opal and coral stones,” says Freund. However, the rare and/or discontinued stones can really add to the piece’s value. “The jewelry house retired the turquoise version in 2002, so these pieces are hard to find and are highly sought after in the resale market,” says Freund.

Scarcity is key: Designers who only release a limited number of pieces a year—like JAR—tend to always hold their value, if not dramatically increase over time.

<p>JAR Diamond, Emerald, & Ruby Ring</p>
<p>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTEyNDI7aD0xMjQy/″/><img alt=

Get to Know Your Gemstones

When it comes to gemstones, the key is to make sure that the stone is properly vetted before you make the purchase. If this means you need to consult an expert before buying, then do it.

“Before you invest in large, important diamonds, make sure the seller provides you with a report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA),” says Freund. “With colored gemstones, get a certificate from a recognized laboratory. And, as with any major investment, do your research and don’t rush into making a purchase.”

Knowing where the stone was sourced from, the story behind it, and how the designer decided to design around and set the stone will not only make you feel more secure about what you are buying, but will also make you more emotionally attached to the piece —which, in the end, is what jewelry collecting is all about.

“We have seen an increase in interest in such gemstones as Padparadscha sapphires, alexandrite, and Paraiba tourmalines,” notes Freund. “But we never advise people to buy something because it is trending or because of its investment potential, whether that refers to a painting, an antique chair, or—perhaps most especially—a jewel.”

<p>Paraiba Tourmaline Flower Earrings</p>
<p>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTEyNDI7aD0xMjQy/″/><img alt=

At the end of the day, jewelry should be bought because it’s meaningful to the wearer, not just because it’s a good investment. Freund adds, “That said, any significant purchase should be done carefully and with the proper vetting and research. And we do tend to see that focusing on quality and rarity and pieces that are signed by their makers, does tend to pay off in the long term.”

You Might Also Like

By ting