As a culture, We Britons are fascinated by objects that belong to a bygone era. Classic cars, first edition books, Old Master paintings and stately homes passed down through the generations are all considered to be significant, beautiful and valuable.
The British upper classes are renowned for prizing a carefully patched up, beautifully tailored suit that used to belong to a great grandfather far above a new one. “They don’t make them like they used to”, goes the saying. And it’s often true.
Jewellery is no exception. Aside from the extraordinary beauty and refined elegance of old jewellery, there is something magical about a piece of jewellery with a past and it is a very sound investment, to boot.
For those who love and collect jewellery, there is a romantic, mystical beauty to vintage and antique jewellery which is virtually impossible to match these days. Very often hand-made by skilled craftsmen with extraordinary attention to detail, the subtle sparkle and old world techniques are unparalleled by modern design.
Buying antique, vintage and second-hand jewellery is VAT-exempt, which means you should automatically pay 20% less than the equivalent piece made new.
There are also no manufacturing costs to factor into the price. With old jewellery you are buying the same quality gemstones and materials without paying a premium for the seller’s overheads.
What’s more, many antique jewellery dealers are small businesses which sell via stalls, showrooms or online, saving on expensive retail costs. This tends to be reflected in the price of their jewellery.
Just as when buying a new car, you pay a ‘new’ price for new, modern jewellery. That purchase value then drops as soon as you buy it simply because it is no longer new. With antique and vintage jewellery the piece has already gone from ‘new’ to ‘old’ before you buy it so its purchase value remains the same.
In the same way that classic cars are always in demand and retain their value, so antique jewellery will always be collectable and desirable and retain theirs.