How to Start a Jewelry Collection

Walters Art Museum [Public domain, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

People collect for two reason or a combination of the two, they are passionate about it or they are collecting it for an investment. I originally started collecting Victorian jewelry because I love the style of it, and it slowly grew into an investment the more knowledgeable I became. Below are some tips on what to look for, expect, and what to avoid.

1. Do your research. Find out what styles appeal most to you, and how their value holds up over time by studying auction house websites & catalogues.

2. Buy the best quality you can within your budget. Don’t buy the lowest priced item just because it seems like a bargain. For example, don’t buy brand names just because they are brand names.

3. Have patience. If someone is pressuring you into buying or a deal seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. Sleep on it, or call a knowledgeable friend to see what they think.

4. Expect to pay more for quality that will hold it’s value and appreciate over time.

5. You don’t need to invest thousands to start. Quality pieces of Victorian, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and vintage Southwestern jewelry can be found for a few hundred.

6. Never stop learning and exploring. It’s like buying fine art. Explore the wide world of fine gems and younger designers. Try your hand at discovering the next big name in design. A truly great curated collection contains a balanced range of pieces. Even though I primarily collect Victorian pieces, I have a few by modern designers in the same style.

7. Have fun with it. Not everything needs to be a serious purchase. If you think it is a great piece, it is likely someone else will too. And this will help you round out your collection, making it truly unique.

This is part of my "What to Know When You're Collecting" series. To find more posts on this subject search for: What to Know When You're Collecting.

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