Andrea Neethling at Indigo Lily Bespoke Jewellery is a real artist. We’ve asked her to give us the inside scoop on how to select jewellery that is not just aesthetically perfect, but that also makes for a good investment.
Some thoughtful advice on buying jewellery
The art of jewellery making is something I’m passionate about. The roughness of the work, big flames, hammering, filing and sanding contrasted with the beauty and detail in the finished product is a process I thoroughly enjoy. Gold, diamonds, platinum, tanzanite. The rarity and uniqueness of pieces of rock and chunks of metal found beneath the surface of the earth. The value that they hold as a promise to a loved one vs the value that they hold as an investment. I think the consumer has been sorely misled in the latter.
Jewellery, precious metals and precious stones are considered an investment. They can be. Unfortunately though, not to most. To make jewellery an investment large sums of money should be invested. I’m thinking 6 figures and up. It’s not an investment that can be cashed in quickly. It’s one for the next generation. There’s a large gap between the price of an engagement ring and the value of the engagement ring. Retailers cash in on this. People generally want to impress with a flashy price tag, but what is the ring really worth as an investment?
Breaking down the price tag there’s three main components, as with many goods. The cost of the materials, the cost of the labour and the profit. Jewellery, as an investment, is only really worth the cost of the materials. The frills and fancy that makes for a beautiful ring is non-refundable, unless of course, the ring is resold as is, to a buyer who wants that specific ring and has that specific budget to spend on it (a very rare occasion in my experience). People are too often heart-broken when they are offered cost price of the materials (or less) for their once prized possession. That can be as little as 20% on a gold diamond ring, less in sterling silver.
Here’s a few tips for buying a piece of jewellery with a limited budget:
*Consider it a splurge for the one you love. Chances of a true beloved not appreciating a gift is minimal.
*Choose the design that you love. One that can be worn with ease and confidence.
*Consider the quote you get as a starting point, rather than the real deal. There are so many factors in jewellery that can be adjusted to suit what you would rather spend, without over-extending yourself. For example, 18ct white or yellow gold could rather be 14ct or 9ct, taking up to several thousand off the price; or diamond weights, colour and clarity can be adjusted – does she really need the stone to be so big and so white (the difference between a few points in size or letters in colour grade can make a huge difference to the price).
Here’s a few tips for buying diamonds and precious metals as an investment:
*Buy the biggest, whitest, purest diamond you can afford.
*If converting it into jewellery, limit the design to something simple. A classic solitaire. Elegant and timeless. Free from lots of small diamonds that don’t hold their value and add to the cost of labour to secure them all in place. Gift it to the one you love. Jewellery is better worn and enjoyed than lying in a safe. Otherwise save those extra few thousand and keep the loose diamond in safe keeping.
*Invest in a gold bar or coin. It’s pure. It’s value is measurable (check the daily gold price with the price you’re quoted). It’s easy to resell. Coins are as little as 1g. Bars are as little as 10g.
And some general tips for those jewellery purchases:
*Choose a reputable owner run jewellery business. Someone you can trust to choose a diamond that is full of life and sparkle and metals that are refined and on par with the purity you are paying for. The prices are also generally better than a store with huge overheads.
*Once you’ve chosen your trusted jeweller, avoid shopping around. It’s tricky to compare apples to pineapples.
*Insure your jewellery. Update your valuation every few years. Keep photographic record of your jewellery. (And remember, the price that it’s valued at is not the price you can sell it for. Unless your timing is excellent.)
I run my own jewellery manufacturing business. I make tiny works of art for people to wear, whether it be rings, earrings, bangles, pendants. Each piece is handmade with love.
Andrea Neethling – Goldsmith and Business Owner
Indigo Lily Bespoke Jewellery