A Fine Idea: Why Buying Second-Hand Jewellery Might Be Your Smartest Investment Yet
If you're luck enough to have some spare cash, you might be tempted to turn it into stocks, savings or even crypto. But how about something with a bit more... sparkle? Not just an accessory, jewellery is the latest currency helping those in the know turn pearls into serious pounds at the click of a button.
Never has the market for fine jewellery been more active or delivered a more eye-watering return on investment (ROI) than in 2023. As the popularity of resale sites like Depop and Vestiaire has shown, it’s not how much you spend but how much money you can make with your investments that matters. And it’s only getting started.
According to Statista forecasts, the world’s second-hand fine-jewellery market will grow from an estimated $444m in2021 to a staggering $1.3bn by 2027. Meanwhile, the growth of interest in branded second-hand fine jewellery, from the likes of Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier, is expected to outpace the fine-jewellery market and reach up to 30% of the total industry by 2025, according to research by BoF and McKinsey. Vestiaire Collective’s fashion director and co-founder Sophie Hersan agrees: ‘We saw a 19% increase across the jewellery category in2022 vs 2021, making this a safe investment choice.’
But how can you be sure that, when you buy a piece, you’ll get your money back when you sell it on? Susan Caplan, a renowned luxury vintage-jewellery curator who trades in pre-loved Chanel and Dior – including pieces recently worn by Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in The Crown – explains: ‘The financial investment comes from the rarity of a piece, its provenance, its historical association and quality of craftsmanship.’
Hanushka Toni, co-founder and CEO of luxury resale platform Sellier, is one of the experts helping customers find the biggest ROI opportunities. ‘Luxury consumers are turning to pre-loved more as a trusted source of authentic goods,’ she says. In the same way an Hermès bag increases in value in the secondary market given the brand’s limited-supply sales model,Toni says the retail value of the 2022 Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra holiday pendant (released to a small number of the brand’s loyal customers every year) is almost double its original store price. ‘Every time we listed one on Sellier, it sold out within minutes,’ she reveals. ‘A piece of vintage jewellery will increase in value if in high demand and low supply,’ adds Caplan.
So how do you start your investment journey? The experts agree that one of the most profitable designs to invest in is the Rihanna- and Meghan Markle-approved Cartier Love Bracelet. ‘We’ve seen a 30% increase in its value in the past four years inthe resale market,’ says Toni, who also predicts the Spinelli Kilcollin Halley ring (one of the most requested items on Sellier) and the Mateo initial ring will provide big ROI opportunities in 2023. Meanwhile, Hersan suggests investing in statement pieces from Gucci and Panconesi.
A pension fund may be more orthodox, but an investment you can wear now and spend later? Worth its weight in gold.
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