Buying jewelry at auction is often assumed to be difficult, expensive, or intimidating, when in reality, it’s much more attainable than you might think. Purchasing jewelry on the secondary market has several distinct advantages to keep in mind the next time you’re looking to give your wardrobe a facelift.
1). Authenticity – Why buy reproduction when you can have the real thing? When purchasing jewelry from an estate at auction, you have the opportunity to add classic, historically significant styles to your closet without settling for contemporary reproductions of historical masterpieces. Some pieces available at auction are not even manufactured anymore – Lot 164 in our upcoming October 17th auction, a Rare 18K Floral Diamond Necklace by Tiffany & Co, is a perfect example of a spectacular piece that is only available on the secondary market. Don’t miss the opportunity to add this piece to your collection! Pieces like these are what make buying at auction even more exciting and special.
2). Quality – When your parents or grandparents talk about how “things aren’t made like they used to be,” they’re right. Buying at auction means you get the elusive, heirloom-quality construction of vintage and antique jewelry from quality designers that will last you way longer than cheaper mass production styles. They might even become your own family’s heirlooms.
3). Accessibility – Many people don’t realize that jewelry on the secondary market is often much more reasonably priced than retail. While there are some added costs involved in buying at auction, you can avoid needless retail markups and get amazing pieces from brands like Tiffany, Cartier, and Bvlgari at steep discount compared to retail costs. “There’s a major cost advantage to buying certified stones at auction,” says Director of Jewelry Selden Morgan. Morgan went on to explain that certified stones often retail for 3-4 times the cost of purchasing them at auction. Lot 204 in our October 17th auction, A Ladies GIA 1.34 ct Diamond Ring in Platinum, is a timeless piece perfect for anyone looking to invest in a high-quality certified diamond for a great price.
4). History – Call me old-fashioned, but there’s something really special about having a piece that was a cherished part of someone else’s collection before it was yours. Buying something for someone you love that was a part of someone else’s story just adds an extra layer of unique history to your closet. Director of Jewelry Selden Morgan highlighted Lot 100, A Ladies Victorian Coral Cameo Necklace in 22K Gold, as a standout piece in our October 17th Auction for its historical significance. “I’ve been in the jewelry business for 30 years, and it’s rare to come across a piece of this quality in such excellent condition,” Morgan says. Don’t miss out on this showstopper.
5). Sustainability – By purchasing on the secondary market, you’re ensuring that quality jewelry pieces don’t go to waste, and giving incredible pieces a new life. With sustainable fashion on the rise, it’s important to remember that there are a variety of ways to shop ethically and sustainably. Shopping at auction is a great choice if you’re looking to shop sustainably, but still want some sparkle.
Next time you’re thinking of trying the next jewelry trend, consider investing in fine jewelry at auction– you won’t be sorry. To view all of the lots from the October 17th Gallery Auction click here.
Research Associate, Art & Fine Jewelry