More people than ever in the UK are learning how to invest in jewellery.
Some 1,200 Brits now Google terms such as “invest in gold” every month, according to research by Hatton Jewellers.
With this in mind, the experts share how shoppers can make sure they buy the right items and avoid getting ripped off.
1. Make sure you buy from an authentic, reliable supplier.
Many less reputable brands are known to offer costume jewellery — like gold-plated pieces — while labelling it as “authentic, fine jewellery.”
“Buying inauthentic pieces is an easy mistake for junior investors, and one that happens all too often,” said Hatton Jewellers.
The expert advised customers to look up reviews from genuine review websites, such as Trustpilot, to check the authenticity of suppliers.
Trusted online jewellers will either have an Assay Assured certificate or be listed in Assay Assured’s online jewellery retailer directory.
Plus, it's always best to buy investment jewellery from a jeweller that offers returns — “just in case it isn’t quite what you expected”, the experts added.
2. Less work equals a better investment
The more work goes into a piece of jewellery, the more expensive it will be — you’re paying for labour on top of the value of the physical gold and gemstones.
This is one of the main reasons watches are so much more expensive than other jewellery types in terms of price per gram of gold, explained Hatton.
“If you’re looking for investment jewellery, we usually recommend buying a solid gold chain or bracelet, as these pieces usually require minimal craftsmanship.
“Gold sovereign coins are also popular as investment pieces, as they do not require any craftsmanship and can be easily melted down.”
3. Get an appraisal
One of the first steps for buying any investment piece is to calculate how much it's actually worth.
“From here, you can determine how much you should be paying for the piece in order to make it worthwhile,” said Hatton.
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Some jewellery stores offer appraisals upon purchase, however, if your jeweller doesn’t, it's best to have one performed by a third-party, the expert advised.
4. Take out insurance
Receiving an appraisal will also allow you to insure your investment jewellery.
Many experts recommend that investors keep jewellery for a minimum of 15 to 20 years — and a lot could happen to it in that time, so “skipping on insurance is certainly not worth the risk,” Hatton warned.
To make sure jewellery is insured for the correct value, investors would benefit from having it valued on an annual basis, in order to keep the insurance up to date, the experts added.
And even if it is insured, it should be kept in a safe place — especially if it has sentimental value, as “not everything is replaceable,” the jewellers said.
5. Avoid new diamonds
“Diamonds lose over 50% of their value the second you leave the jewellery store,” Hatton's experts warned.
This means that, unbeknownst to many people, any new jewellery that contains a diamond is generally a bad investment.
However, purchasing diamond jewellery, such as engagement rings, second-hand can often lead to “significant savings,” the experts said.
So, if you can find the right pre-owned diamond piece — especially one that is antique or vintage — you could benefit from a successful investment.
6. Buy what you like
Only invest in jewellery that you actually like, the experts said.
“It’s not just about the money — part of the fun of jewellery investing is buying fine pieces that you can enjoy wearing.”
What's more, when you’re shopping for something they actually like, customers are generally more patient with the process — meaning they're “more likely to make smarter purchasing decisions,” said Hatton.
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