If you are considering purchasing jewellery this holiday season and are planning on taking advantage of sales online, here are some tips to help you with your search:
- Once you have determined your budget and chosen a jewel you would like to purchase, find comparable examples that have sold at auction in the last year or so. This means you won’t be paying more than you should if similar pieces are selling for less than what is advertised online, or on the contrary you could be looking at a bargain! Look online at independent and local auction houses, avoid eBay. Auction houses and prices posted online usually include buyer’s premium and VAT.
- Some jewels might include gems which require special license if you are having the item shipped abroad. Jewellery set with: horn, ivory, bone & skin, shell, mother-of-pearl and coral are subject to CITES regulations.
- Ask if the item is signed or hallmarked? A hallmark can guarantee the piece is indeed made with a specific precious metal.
- Ask if larger gems come with a report from a reputable laboratory, such as GIA or AnchorCert. Establishing the natural origin of a gem makes a big difference in the overall value of a jewel.
- If you are buying at auction always remember to view the sale prior to the auction and always ask for a condition report of the items you want to buy, so you know what you are buying is in reasonable condition or not.
But above all, buy what you like rather for an investment. Like cars, jewellery will often depreciate if you buy at a retail level and even if you buy at auction, you will have to pay a premium in the form of commission. So, you may as well enjoy your purchase!