According to the British auction house Bonhams, there is a treasure in your drawers: vintage jewelery has appreciated more than any other good ♦
Investing in jewels, provided you keep them for a long time, can be a bargain. The British auction house Bonhams claims it. According to an analysis conducted some time ago by the auction company, vintage jewelry has gained more than 80 percent in value over the past ten years. Yet, most of the owners of these jewels don’t fully realize it. Jewelery from the Art Deco period (1920s and 1930s), as well as pieces dating back to the Belle Epoque (1890-1915), have increased in value by 88 percent over the past decade. And post-war jewelry has gone up 70 percent in value. The auction house also makes the comparison with another capital asset: your own home.
In Great Britain, for example, average house prices have increased by 47 per cent over the same period considered. And in other countries, such as Italy, in the same period there was even a drop in property prices, even if they are now recovering. Attention: the increase in value of vintage jewels works for quality jewels, certainly not for jewels of unknown brands or uncertain workmanship. Maisons like Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels, for example, according to Bonhams are a guarantee of value that is preserved over time, even if sometimes the jewels are without labels. Therefore, it is advisable to carefully preserve the inherited jewels, even if they seem out of date. They could be of substantial value, although not all period jewelry is truly valuable.
Jean Ghika, head of the jewelery sector for the United States and Europe of Bonhams, also gave an example: that of an elderly lady who thought she had a useless piece of jewelery in her drawer, but which turned out to be a rare Chanel necklace designed by Coco Chanel herself. The necklace was appraised by Bonhams (who spotted a small engraved Chanel name) and sold for $83,188, based on a pre-sale estimate of $4,858-7,287. You better start looking in your drawers right away: maybe there is a treasure.
If you want to buy a vintage jewel as an investment, however, you must not choose at random. A vintage or period jewel is not necessarily something that is revalued over time. It is necessary to carefully evaluate the quality of the jewel, if it is worn, if it has damaged or worn elements, if it has precious gems. Another factor that greatly influences is the origin, which must be certified. Finally, it must be taken into account that a vintage jewel is more likely to increase its value if it was made by a large Maison, or if it was designed by famous jewelers or designers.
Much of the purchase of vintage jewelry is done through auctions. Often jewels of great value come up for auction and it is not uncommon for interesting prices to be found. But that’s not always the case. First of all, it is likely that those who trade in jewelry and are experts in the vintage market have already set their sights on the most interesting pieces and are willing to spend more. You also have to consider that the prices established during an auction must be supplemented by the mark-up for the auction house that organized the sale. Taxes must be added, if provided for by local laws, and above all the auction fees which vary but can even reach 25% of the clearing price. An aspect to take into account before buying a vintage jewel at auction.