Your wedding period is a great time to buy jewelry that will become an heir loom to be passed through the generations. Imagine the pride of handing down a beautiful ring, or necklace to your daughter or daughter or law in thirty years’ time; knowing you have given her something beautiful, unique and valuable. Starting traditions doesn’t have to be the reserve of a fifty or a hundred years ago. You can start one now, and help to knit the future generations together.
In this piece we will look at how jewelry is valued, to help you understand some factors to consider when making your choice.
Jewelry is an art that has fascinated us for decades, creating artistic pieces that express human emotion through gemstones and precious metals. From a very young age humans are drawn to jewelry, because of the shine, sparkle and aesthetics. This draw towards jewelry drives us to create new pieces, and pay close to a small fortune for genuine antique jewelry pieces.
There are a variety of factors that influence the value of jewelry. These include the quality of the materials, the metal, design, and other history associated with the piece.
Gem quality has a great deal of impact on the value of a piece of jewelry. The color, cut, and clarity of an individual stone are the difference between being worth a pittance and a small fortune. Other rarities and inclusions in individual stones can make them unique, and greatly influence their value. When appraising an individual gemstone a gemologist will be incredibly useful because they will know all of the value factors influencing the price of a particular type of stone.
The quality and purity of the metal used to make a piece of antique jewelry has a great deal of bearing on the value of the piece. In the case of gold this is expressed in Karats, and is usually stamped inside the jewelry. A 14K gold piece is only 58% pure while a 24K gold piece is 99.99% pure. It is also important to understand if this applies to the piece or the plating.
You can see more about Karat percentages on this page.
In the world of fashion and jewelry, the designer is a very important part of the value of a piece. Antique jewelry from famous collections designed by major fashion and jewel houses hold their value better than generic pieces of jewelry. Similar to buying new the purchaser is paying a premium for the brand associated with the jewelry. In general there is a strong market for high end “vintage” jewelry pieces, and while they will still be worth less than their original purchase price they will be worth more than most other pieces containing the same quality of stones and metal.
It might surprise readers to learn a large part of the value of jewelry is based on its history and rarity. Some unique one of a kind pieces that are often described as priceless, are not worth a whole lot if they are sold for scrap. Their value lies not in their stones, and precious metals, but in the unique history of the piece. A great example of this is the Faberge collection made for the Russian monarchs. The unique one of a kind design, the end of the Russian monarchy, and the place in history occupied by the pieces has given them 99.9% of their value. Most of these priceless artifacts would scrap for less than one thousand pounds.
Most of all you need to buy something that you love and will cherish. It is your affection for the piece that will make it most special on your wedding day, and as it passes down from mother to daughter over the years.