Investing your money in jewellery in general is one of the best investments you can make - especially if you do your research and pick a company or designer known for their integrity and respect for materials. In an economy that might crash at any minute again (who knows), there is something so simple yet effective about choosing to spend your hard-earned money on something that will always be in demand. Jewellery is the perfect contender for that - as long as you know what to look for and understand the quality aspects and how much they can vary.
If you think about it: it's something ornate that you can USE everyday if you like, it's something VALUABLE that you can trade FOREVER (precious metals will never become worthless because there is limited supply in the world - we cannot simply "make" more of it) and let's face it, in case of an emergency it's also pretty easy to pack and take with you on the move.
Just like in the movies, where the villain always has a few gold tacks stacked away in his safe - it actually makes perfect sense (the villain might be evil, but he is smart). The cash in the safe next to the gold might lose value, but the gold (precious metals in general) will always be a good investment cause it will always be in demand, always moves with the market and therefore a pretty smart investment.In today’s world the markets are flooded with more choices than our minds can possibly process and it’s no wonder many of us get "sold" by a brilliant sales pitch without thinking twice about what we put our money on. This is surely a scenario we all recognize – that purchase we made that one time that we still regret in hindsight once it became evident the price did not match the quality you expected.
The jewellery jungle, as I like to call it, is cluttered with poor quality items that still seem to creep into our jewellery boxes even though that might not at all be what we stand for as human beings.
No matter how different we might be as individuals, one thing is very clear - we all want quality in our lives and do not enjoy being taken for a ride by buying something that brings nothing but disappointment.
I have created a quick, 5 step guide to get you started on the right path to choosing your next jewellery with a bit more caution and care.
– Do you know where this jewellery comes from?
Do your due diligence and find out the conditions the brand works under. Nobody wants to own a blood diamond or a piece of jewellery made under unethical conditions – and it’s important to remember that closing our eyes and staying blissfully unaware doesn’t change the conditions that piece of jewellery was made under. It’s important to remember here that every time you buy something you silently cast a vote for what you want more of in the world. So use your “vote” with caution and support your local artists by shopping as locally as you possible.
– Are you clear on what to look for in jewellery stamps?
Here's a quick guide to some of the most popular metal stamps you most likely already have sitting in your jewellery box at home:
925: 92,5 % silver, 7,5% other alloys (also known as Sterling silver). The most commonly used form of silver out there.
375 aka 9 carat or 9K
Has 37.5% pure gold; it is the most affordable form of gold jewellery and portrays a light yellow hue. Its higher percentage of other metals, makes it stronger and more durable and particularly suited to the creation of jewellery.
585 aka 14 carat or 14K
has about 58.5% pure gold and has a warm yellow hue. It is more affordable than 18ct gold, making it a popular choice.
750 aka 18 carat or 18K
contains 75% gold, with the rest made up of other more durable metal alloys used to add colour and strength. White metals will be added to create white gold with copper added to create rose gold. 18ct yellow gold is appreciated for its radiance and is much warmer and brighter in tone than 14ct and 9ct gold – but with its high percentage of gold, it still comes at a higher price.
916 aka 22 carat or 22K
consists of around 91.6% gold and so is highly priced. It is also very soft, so it's not ideal for stone set jewellery, being more suitable for plain gold jewellery, such as wedding bands.
990 aka 24 carat or 24K
is the ultimate gold carat – it doesn't go any higher than this. It's the purest form and consists of 99.9% gold. It is naturally yellow and highly valuable, but very soft and malleable, so it is not usually used to make fine jewellery or intricate objects.
4. Longevity & Purpose
Consider whether the purchase is worth it for just the one-time event of if you could opt for something you get a bit more use out of. Choosing over-the-top designs or opting for a hot trend might sound like a good idea when you are shopping with the intent of one specific event in mind, or season in mind, but do you really want to spend your hard earned money on something that will just end up sitting in the deepest corner of your drawer and be forgotten about after you wear it that one time? As a rule of thumb, I tend to picture at least 10 outfits I can wear the jewellery with before I decide to make it/buy it, just so I know it’s actually my style and is worth an investment – even if it’s a bit on the pricier side.
5. Value for money
– Are you getting what you pay for?
To avoid overpaying for products that don’t stand a chance to survive the test of time, let alone an additional season than the one it was created for, style-wise, you need to know what to look for. Keep in mind that handmade jewellery usually costs a bit more because there is an actual person behind that piece – not a machine. The handmade process also limits the options to how cheaply something can be made and still look good, so this in turn means handmade more often than not, equals better quality. To make jewellery with cheap margins, you need machines and factories involved, so if something says handmade you can be sure you are making a better investment. Handmaking jewellery does not leave space for technology to come in and make something appear expensive and luxurious if it actually isn’t. I work with solid metals only and never plate or coat my metals with anything. Here, you get what you pay for. 100%.