Most people don’t think about jewelry as an investment. Sure, they lock their precious items away or keep them safe, believing that if worst came to worst they could always sell those items…but how much have you really looked at the resale value of different jewelry items?
The truth is, not all jewelry is made the same. Some gemstones are more attractive to others—diamonds, for example—and others do a better job at holding onto their resale value. You don’t always buy jewelry with a phrase like “resale value” in mind, but if it’s an important part of the equation to you, then you’ll want to keep reading as we explain the jewelry that retains the best value.
Gold: A Time-Honored Investment
The most obvious answer: gold. Gold retains its value not only as jewelry, but as a commodity often traded on the open market. In fact, you don’t have to look very far in the business section of your newspaper to find out the current price of gold; some outlets even publish it next to the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Gold has its ups and downs, like many investments, but the overall trend since the early 1970s has seen gold move from double to quadruple digits. What’s better: there are always dealers looking to buy gold simply for its resale value, which means that items you own made of gold will always have some sort of demand built right in to the price.
Silver: More than Just a Metal
Silver is more readily available than gold, but it has intrinsic value because of its many uses. Yes, it’s useful in jewelry, but it also has use in making silverware—silver’s been known to even have medicinal properties. Silver trades at a much lower price than gold, but that also means it’s an easier investment to make if you don’t have the upfront cash to secure jewelry made from 14 karat gold.
Like gold, silver is an “up-and-down” investment, so whether or not you believe in its long-term resale value reflects what you believe about precious metals as an investment. The good news about silver is that it never loses its spectacular qualities as one of the most useful metals there is.
Gem Pieces: Do They Retain Value?
Anyone watching precious metals knows that they sell high and retain their value well. But what about gems? What about pieces of jewelry aside from strictly silver or gold bands and bracelets? Do those retain their resale value?
The only honest answer is, “it depends.” Many branded pieces of jewelry retain much of their resale value when a brand is in high demand. Other custom-made pieces tend to hold more sentimental value for their initial owner, which is why these items are so highly prized as heirlooms.
The bottom line: if you’re buying jewelry for resale value alone, then silver and gold items like rings, bands, and bracelets are where you want to be. But it’s important to remember that there are other ways of determining value than mere resale, as well.