Why buying jewellery online at auctions is breaking records Rock-solid investment.

October 9, 2020

“A Diamond is Forever”, and so is gold. While the sparkling gemstone makes us think of love and engagement rings, it also represents stability and security. This is why gold and precious gemstones are the first choices for savvy investors in times of crisis, and more and more people are buying at online jewellery auctions. So, it’s no coincidence that during this uncertain COVID-19 pandemic, auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s are setting new records.

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Jewellery online auctions in numbers

In April this year, for example, Sotheby’s sold a multi-coloured Tutti Frutti bracelet for 1.14m Euros. The stunning bracelet was created by Cartier in the ’30s with carved gems and diamonds. It was the highest price ever paid by someone buying at online jewellery auctions. Two months later, a 28.86ct D colour diamond (the most valuable shade) broke this record, selling online for 1.78m Euros. 

Gold throughout history

Looking back in history, we see that jewellery pieces have been a portable store of riches. In fact, they are a safe haven during times of financial crisis. The growing interest in buying jewellery online during the pandemic is best explained by the Austrian Mint. Münze Österreich states that “despite all the crises endured over the centuries, gold maintains its purchasing power. For example, according to the Old Testament, in ancient Babylon in 6 BC, an ounce of gold could buy 350 loaves of bread. This exchange is broadly the same today.” And they add, “in the course of history gold has shown itself, particularly in times weak economies, to be an excellent, rock-solid store of value. Gold remains gold, in good times and in bad.” 

Classic pieces like Tiffany's bracelet are safe bets at jewellery auctions.
Tiffany & Co Schlumberger bracelet.

Who is buying jewellery online?

Not only investors and collector are buying fine jewellery at online auctions. Both Christie’s and Sotheby’s reported a huge increase in digital engagement, with new clients visiting the sales pages and buying jewellery online. The head of jewellery at the auction house Philips explains that during the pandemic, “spending has shifted away from luxury holidays, couture and high-end accessories to jewellery, diamonds and gemstones as a store of wealth, a hedge against possible inflation, an undeniable mood-lifter and a memento that can be passed down.”

Gold and diamond ring by Repossi.
Repossi pink gold and diamond ring.

What type of jewellery to buy at online auctions?

We can see that classic pieces, especially those signed by well-know jewellery houses like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, are the best bet. You should look for rare signed pieces and fine-quality gemstones to make a good investment. They are more likely to maintain and even go up in price. Diamonds are a safe bet at jewellery online auctions. Thanks to the 4C scale, they are easily qualified by their clarity, carat, cut and colour. Additionally, white diamonds are also trending now; in July, for example, Christie’s Geneva sold a rare 100ct diamond for almost 4m Euros.

Cartier Panthère necklaces are sold at jewellery online auctions.
Cartier Panthère necklace.

Pearls are also sought after when buying jewellery online or at auctions. Natural and extremely rare pearls can increase in value. Especially since the record sale of a pearl and diamond pendant that once belonged to the French Queen Marie Antoinette. When Christie’s Geneva sold the pendant in November 2018 for more than 30m Euros, it reached the world record price for a pearl jewel.

Buy Chanel jewellery online like this pearl necklace that never goes out of style.

Chanel pearl necklace

Where start buying jewellery online?

Before buying your new jewellery piece online, watch the video to learn about the history of the cocktail ring.

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Photo via Shutterstock.