If you’re feeling tired of fast-fashion, and you want something more lasting, it might be the perfect time to start an investment jewellery collection. By building a more lasting jewellery collection, you can make an investment while simultaneously wearing it. Here, Jack Jahan, from the jewellery experts, Ramsdens Jewellery, shows us how to start a collection.
Sustainability has become a key concern for customers throughout recent years. Rather than looking for cheap ways to follow trends, people are looking for more lasting products that allow them to be both stylish and eco-friendly. The benefits of starting a fine jewellery collection don’t just end at sustainability either — buying classic jewellery over trendy pieces means that you’re also making an investment every time you buy, and you’ll also have a timeless array of pieces that will last.
Buying jewellery that is durable is about finding styles and materials that will stay in fashion throughout your life, and create memories around milestones for you. Here, I’ll give you my advice for choosing jewellery that’s worth the investment.
Choosing essential jewellery pieces to start your collection
When you’re beginning to acquire your first pieces, the array of jewellery choices available can be overwhelming to say the least. But some styles are here to stay, and these are the ones you should look out for. Not only does timeless jewellery always look good when you’re wearing it, but it also means that if you come to resell a piece, you don’t need to worry about current trends. Timeless jewellery will always sell.
Diamond jewellery has been in vogue since the 1800s, so you can rest assured that it isn’t going anywhere soon. Diamonds also come with the benefit of being available in both subtle designs, and more statement styles, so there is plenty to choose from when bringing diamonds into your collection. You might opt for small diamond stud earrings, or a flashier pendant necklace.
Fine chain jewellery is another great example. These necklaces can be customised with pendants or be left plain. They also come in different lengths. When buying all kinds of jewellery, whether chains, bracelets, or rings, the choice of metal is personal and important. Gold, white gold, rose gold, silver, and platinum are all precious metals that are here to stay. So, don’t worry about picking a certain one — choose the metal that goes best with your personal style, and build your collection around it.
Picking out quality pieces when buying
The best quality jewellery is the safest investment, so when putting together your staple pieces, you should focus on high-quality, durable materials. Look for gold jewellery as opposed to gold plated jewellery, and always look for hallmarks stamped into pieces that show you it is made of the metal you’re looking for.
Hallmarks and metals
There are lots of different hallmarks for the various metals that jewellery can be made out of, so learning a bit about them is useful. Hallmarks prove that the piece is made out of precious metal. Our handy hallmarking guide will help you figure out what the symbols on your jewellery mean. These could be key to reselling if you decide to recoup your investment, so it’s worth deciphering them.
Precious metals are always the best option for your collection, as they can last a lifetime with proper cleaning and maintenance, whereas cheaper metals can tarnish. You can also check the weight of a piece in your hand — precious metals are typically heavier than ones like pewter and brass. If a chain feels lighter than another one of the same thickness, it is probably plated, not solid precious metal.
Gemstones — and estimating their value — are a complicated subject. Some pearls are wild, some are cultured, some gemstones are heated while some are unheated. When buying a piece, ask the seller how the gemstone has been treated. Rubies might be heated or glass-filled to improve clarity, and emeralds can be oiled to fill small cracks.
The treatment of your gemstones affects its value — for example, most rubies are treated, and this makes the ones that are untreated into a rare, valuable commodity. Diamonds are also a classic investment stone that has been in fashion since the 1800s, so you can rest assured these pieces will maintain both their value and style in the years to come.
Settings and workmanship
If a piece of jewellery has a gemstone or diamond, the setting of the stone largely dictates the design of the whole piece, so it’s important to pick one you like. But you should also look at the type of setting and the workmanship quality to determine whether it is a good investment.
The setting should feel smooth, with no sharp edges, and any prongs should be facing downwards and touching the surface of the gems. Any bezel settings (a frame of metal around the gemstone) should be of even width, smooth, and symmetrical. If any gems are set in a channel of metal, the gems should not overlap. Chains should have secure clasps that will stay closed all day. By choosing well-made pieces, you set yourself up to recoup your money, and for long-lasting wear.
Where to find quality jewellery pieces
Fine jewellery is more expensive than costume jewellery, and this is part of what makes it an investment. But don’t be intimidated by this, as there are plenty of options to choose from when jewellery shopping, and you can often find a few bargains. Second-hand jewellery shops have excellent standards, and it’s often difficult to tell the difference between new and preloved pieces.
It’s important to remember that buying high-quality jewellery will ensure you spend less on replacements and repairs. Plus, by buying for investment as well as for yourself, you’re more likely to make your money back if you decide to sell.
Buying fine jewellery can be both a way to treat yourself to some luxury style, and a way to earn your money back later in life. It also allows you to consume more sustainably. So, not only can you invest your money, but you can be sure you’re stylish and eco-friendly while doing it.