Vintage Signed Pieces “An Investment Worth Making”
When it comes to money, there are a multitude of ways to invest with the hope of building wealth. One thing any Financial Advisor will do is tell you it is important to diversify your investments rather than put everything into one type of investment such as real estate, stocks, bonds, collectibles etc.
Jewelry may be something worn every day, on special occasions or, put in a vault for safe keeping. Not all jewelry is an investment that will appreciate, and that is okay, but if you want to acquire assets that will, Vintage signed jewelry is the way to go.
Whether you choose to invest in Vintage jewelry to wear or to just own as an asset, seeking the right pieces from a Specialist Dealer is a must! Depending on the piece, it is an investment that will appreciate as an asset with a significant return in your lifetime or it may be something you choose to pass on as a family heirloom to appreciate even further over time!
Why Estate Jewelry “Sparkles”
Every Hard Asset “collectors” market has had it’s tipping point, that turning point where something goes from having a dedicated following specialty market to becoming mainstream with a wold wide following and consistent accelerating prices. A turning point that opened the floodgates and told the investing public that it’s time as a Wealth Accumulation Vehicle has arrived!
For estate jewelry, it may have been 1987, when a dazzling array of jewelry that the Duke of Windsor had bestowed upon his Duchess, American Wallis Simpson, went under the hammer at Sotheby’s. The pieces sold for six times the estimate (over 50 million) bringing unique one of a kind jewelry pieces into the same rarified air as paintings by Tier 1 artists like Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat!
Since then, auction houses have become a glamorous funnel for storied jewels. They became the source to acquire rare, one of a kind handcrafted wearable art as an investment. Fueled in part by the global expansion of wealth, jewelry sales have become a multi billion dollar international marketplace. Now, a substantial volume of important pieces change hands between collectors and private dealers. For those who shun the limelight and are not interested in notoriety, Private Dealers have become the “go to” source.
In the world of antique, vintage and estate pieces, signed pieces by a blue chip standard bearer like Bulgari, Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels continue to escalate in value and are coveted by savvy investors!
Diamond jewelry, especially Colored Diamond jewelry can be a great investment. Rahal Kadakia, former International Head of Jewelry at Christie’s in New York attributes strong jewelry sales to prices achieved by Natural Colored Diamonds, especially blues and pinks. When it comes to rubies, sapphires and emeralds value is placed on quality (Untreated) cut, clarity and country of origin.
Colored Diamond Jewelry (rings etc)
Pieces with the greatest investment potential have a level of craftmanship and scarcity that makes them stand out. Recently when Ellen Barkin, the actress, sold 17 pieces with the initials JAR the only identification of the creator, the prices reached established a new era for pieces of jewelry at auction. JAR is the signature for Parisian designer Joel Arthur Rosenthal, who produces fewer than 100 pieces per year. A year ago, one pair of JAR earrings fetched $1.8 million at auction. As with art, the price was paid for the artist creator’s work, not because of a significant colored diamond or a magnificent Burmese pigeon blood red Ruby! The name and the work has become “the thing”!
The Allure of Vintage
Jewelry period pieces are not only the most sought after, they are also the most valuable. According to analysis done by Art Market Research, prices for the most desirable vintage jewelry has risen significantly in the past decade. These pieces harken back to a time of affluence and confidence, when master jewelers were the equivalent of Rock Stars working with precious gems and medium like platinum. They created lace like filigree pieces that had the appearance of being weightless. It followed a desire to be “modern” and often featured bold forms inspired by Cubism. The clean geometric lines of that era have a timeless appeal that still captures the imagination.
Another popular time for beautiful jewelry design that are still in vogue is Belle Epoque. This era covers the period in Western European history between the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and the start of the First World War.
The most sought after treasures from the Belle Epoque and Art Deco period have risen by more than 90% in the past decade or so.
Best Investment Pieces
Some of the best returns come from Art Deco pieces, a style that originated in France just before World War One and was extremely popular in the U.S. in the 1920’s and 30’s. Classic pieces from makers such as Van Cleef and Arpels, David Yurman, Cartier and Jean Schlumberger, a French designer who was especially well known for his work with Tiffany’s, are outstanding collection pieces.
Other key jewelry artists that investors love include Belperron, Boucheron, Bulgari and Chaumet. Other names such as the previously mentioned Schlumberger also include Lalique, Tiffany and Harry Winston.
There has also been a growing appreciation of U.S. and British makers from the 60’s and 70’s including David Webb, whose creations are loved by everyone from Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis to Oprah and Lady Gaga! He has delighted clients for decades with a menagerie of bejeweled animal interpretations and established animal themed jewelry as an icon of the late 1960’s! Monkeys, frogs, elephants, tigers, seahorses and many other members of the animal kingdom were created with Webb’s classic choice of materials – gold with primary colors of enamel, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and diamonds. Webb moved on to creating representations of zodiac signs. These pieces are highly sought after and they are extremely scarce. It is a very good day for a famous jewelry auction house when one is listed in their auction manifest.