Collecting TIPS

8 GOLDEN rules for collecting fine jewellery

Collecting is always fun; the thrill of finding unique items is unbeatable.

It is also a good investment, as the right group of items put together is worth more than each one separately. Another great advantage of collecting jewels is that one gets to WEAR them!
Rather than putting our friends and family through the ordeal of having to admire the latest acquisition... Furthermore one’s selection of pieces is exclusive and personal making it a valuable reflection of our personality and taste for future generations.

This site is for everyone who shares this passion.

1.   CHOOSE A THEME: In Jewellery, when a piece is well executed and has beautiful stones we tend to like everything. To add value to our collection it is important to follow a thread, so that it also tells a story. It is better to begin with a small scope but very consistent. For example, if we decide to go for one period, let’s say Art Deco, first get a ring, a brooch and a pair of earrings, then a bracelet, a pendant and as a final piece, a sautoir. Another approach could be to collect the same type of piece over the different periods of history; like a selection of rings ranging from Victorian to contemporary.

2.  TRAIN YOUR EYE: Before you start buying, we need to learn to differentiate the basics, one way to appreciate the value of one piece is by comparison. Only after having observed and touched many jewels is when we start realising the small details that make the difference. Exhibitions are where the finest examples can be found and they are key to set up the reference but those jewels are rarely possible to buy so we need to go to the marketplace, visit antique fairs, auction exhibitions and shops.

3.  FOCUS ON CRAFTSMANSHIP AND DESIGN: Impeccable execution is always key. Regardless of the stones, a piece that is not finely crafted will always be second tier and will not have a lot of value. Check as carefully the back of the piece as the front, look for flaws and for signs of repair. A jewel that needs to be fixed is not a good idea, it may not be possible or become too expensive later.

4.  VALUE RARITY AND HISTORY: This will be a lot more important at a later stage in the collection. At the beginning it is not recommended to make a large investment and it should not be needed since there are many suitable pieces that can be added without having to look for rare and valuable ones.

5.  LEARN ABOUT STONES: When the stones are small, most of the value of the antique lies in the piece itself: the design, execution, period etc. However if the stones are important they can represent a large percentage of the price; in this case, it is a must to obtain a certificate stating the exact quality and characteristics of the stones.

6.  GO TO THE AUCTIONS: Going to auctions is very important in order to learn in the beginning. It is recommended to do some dry runs as exercise before actually bidding. Going to an exhibition, study the catalogue, select a few pieces and then compare the price we would have paid with the one realised can bring a lot of surprises. Always remember to check the condition report before putting a bid!.

7.  TRUST THE EXPERT: These are very special purchases and the antique dealer plays a very important role. It is much better to select a few of them to get to know them well and to trust them. It will be more expensive than auctions or internet but until we get confident on our expertise it could be safer.

8.  WEAR THEM: Go simple, stick to the one piece rule!.