A Fine Investment: The Jewellery Pieces to Collect
“Diamonds are forever,” sang Shirley Bassey – and the same can be said for many fine jewellery collections. Unwavered by ephemeral trends or ‘the next big thing’, fine jewellery can signify permanence in an impermanent world. A De Beers eternity ring, for example, is precisely that: eternal.
Fine jewellery, to most, feels more personal than fashion. Heirloom tennis bracelet or talismanic charm necklace, it can hold everlasting memories of people and places; of times past, but consequently never forgotten. As an investment, it has practical connotations, too. According to Rachel Garrahan, British Vogue’s jewellery and watch director: “Precious jewellery and watches are the most portable form of wealth in the world.”
So, where to start your collection? Branded jewellery – Cartier, Bulgari, Boucheron – generally makes for better odds. “These brands are hundreds of years old with quality manufacture and design,” reasons Rahul Kadakia, head of jewellery at Christie’s. Like any high-value purchase though, there remains an element of risk; the wisest investors consider both the emotional and financial capital of a piece in unison. “If you’re buying a jewel for investment,” says Kristian Spofforth, head of jewellery at Sotheby’s, “buy it also because you love it.”
One of the most recognisable pieces of jewellery in the world, Cartier’s screw-fastened bracelet is the original proposition of its now-expansive Love collection. Masterminded by Aldo Cipullo in 1969, who drew his concept from medieval chastity belts, the unisex design flipped the script on its archaic inspiration – intended to be worn as a symbol of everlasting love.
De Beers: Diamond Rings
What Shirley Bassey sang, De Beers began. Originator of the phrase ‘A Diamond is Forever’, the heritage jeweller is synonymous with gemstones of impeccable class – thereby making a De Beers ring a promising prospect for first-time investors. As Emily Barber, jewellery director at Bonhams, recommends: “First, set your budget, and then buy the best-in-class of what you can afford.”
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Inspired by a snake’s mythological associations of wisdom and rebirth, Bulgari’s Serpenti collection spans necklaces, bracelets, Tubogas timepieces and rings – all united by the house’s characteristically decorative lens. When choosing an investment piece, creative director Lucia Silvestri says it’s less about grandeur than it is clarity: “Above all, go for quality not size.”
Boucheron: Serpent Bohème
“You can’t place financial value on the emotional return of wearing something that you love every day,” says Kristian Spofforth of Sotheby’s. Truer words were never spoken – particularly in relation to Serpent Bohème, an haute joaillerie legacy that began in 1888 with jeweller Frédéric Boucheron and a necklace he designed for his wife, Gabrielle.
Jewellery is one of the most personal gifts you can choose for a loved one – which also means it’s one of the hardest. Luckily, we have experts who are in the know. Whoever you’re shopping for, here’s where to start.
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