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Old 04-17-2015, 07:00 AM   #1
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The current thread on "safes" brought to mind security and then (as mentioned), jewelry.
What, why and how?

Our local resale store has six large jewelry cases, ala fine jewelry stores, and they are all filled with jewelry... rings, necklaces, bracelets, broaches and every manner of wearable jewelry. In the back room, the workers test for gold, and platinum and pearls, but not silver. To the untrained eye, absoutely no difference from what is seen in "Fine Jewelry Stores". Quite beautiful, classy, and at one time well loved by the original owners. Almost all of these pieces are priced below $8.

Without asking about your personal ownership, how do you relate to the ownership of jewelry, and it's value as a personal net worth asset? Is it worn regularly, as in a wedding or engagement ring, or mostly kept safe for wearing on special occasions?

If it's not considered an asset, why would one wear real diamonds or pearls, when very, very few would be able to tell if those 1 carat diamond earrings are real or zircons.

How much do you think a $2000 diamond ring would bring in the open market?

Not making judgement, as I am well aware of how ownership is valued by friends and family, but just curiosity. I do not consider that coffee can with gold... buried in my back yard, as jewelry.

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Old 04-17-2015, 07:28 AM   #2
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I consider jewelry a toy rather than an asset.

I have an eclectic collection of jewelry, including some gifted to me, but mostly items that I have purchased myself over the years. I like coloured gemstones, amethyst being a favourite. I enjoyed picking up interesting pieces when traveling, e.g. Lapis lazuli in Chile, gold in Saudi Arabia. I stopped buying it when I had "enough" to wear something interesting that complements an outfit on any given day. I have favourite pieces that I wear several times a week, but no wedding or engagement rings. Some of my favourite pieces are not valuable at all, e.g. a piece of costume jewelry that my mother had that I find aesthetically pleasing. I store my jewelry in a lockbox and put the more valuable pieces in my safe when I am away. I take minimal jewelry with me when going on vacation.

My mother had some nice pieces that I had hoped to inherit, but unfortunately a burglary interfered with that. In my will, I leave my jewelry to a goddaughter. She can do whatever she wants with it.

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Old 04-17-2015, 07:28 AM   #3
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Aaah, that's been an expensive vice of mine since I was young. I inherited it from my maternal grandmother; it skipped right over my mother.

First of all, it's beautiful. It sparkles and gleams and always will if it's real. Even if I'm in jeans and a T-shirt I feel more dressed-up with gold earrings, a good watch, my engagement ring, a ring on my other hand, a bracelet and a necklace. Like meadbh, many pieces are from trips and bring back happy memories. I'm pretty careful and stick to inexpensive pieces (e.g. a charm for my bracelet) with minimal gemstones (too hard to gauge quality). The most expensive piece was a bracelet I bought in Brazil but it was H. Stern. I trusted them! So far nothing has turned green on me.

I think the other part is the geology geek in me; it came from deep down in the earth, accidentally heaved up where they could get it.

I keep mine in a safe at home and keep a few pieces out at a time so yes, everything gets worn.

To me, jewelry really isn't an "investment". I've taken odds and ends (a single earring, a chain that can't be fixed) to a "We Buy Gold" place and gotten about half the meltdown value of the gold. I'm paying for the enjoyment of wearing it over decades and that's OK. My BIL told me that last time he and my sister went to the Caribbean they bought $14K worth of tanzanite jewelry. My sister is a doctor but she started Med school at age 30 and they've done a lot to prop up their daughters financially and I REALLY hope they have enough for retirement.

Diamonds are a crapshoot. I don't have any over 1/3 carat and the center stone in my engagement ring is a pink topaz. An interesting podcast yesterday on "Freakonomics" followed a couple who won a 1-carat diamond at a charity auction, valued by the jeweler who donated it at $7,500. While they were resolving what to do with it they tried shopping it around and got estimates of about $5K. They decided to sell it on e-Bay. Bids are now just over $5,000.

Freakonomics Charity Diamond 1 000ct F GIA Princess VS2 | eBay
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:42 AM   #4
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Jewelry is sentimental for the original owner. I think it is much like artwork--people bought Tiffany vases a long time ago because they loved them, not because they might one day appreciate in value. Maybe the inheritors of jewelry and fine art will be able to profit from their sale one day, or maybe they will keep them for sentimental reasons.

Many people don't like jewelry and for them there would be no sentimental value, so why bother. I know people on both sides.

I have some rings DH gave me that I will pass on to granddaughters. I can't imagine looking at jewelry at a resale store, though. It would have no sentimental value and is just stuff, and I hate stuff.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:02 AM   #5
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Somewhat related - I have an insurance policy on my DW wedding ring (which is less than Home Owners Ins wanted for it) and this year they added, at no additional expense, repair coverage to retip the mountings holding the diamonds as the tips have become worn down in 7 years. It would have cost $500 (2X annual cost of coverage) but cost me nothing (extra). Sure it reduces their risk of paying a claim under the policy but was good piece of mind anyway. I can choose to not like diamonds all I want but it doesn't change her opinion
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:27 AM   #6
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I never wear jewelry and haven't since my undergrad days in EE. Since I don't wear jewelry, I really don't relate to it as a substantial asset.

I bought a gorgeous humungous adjustable cocktail ring on Amazon for $60 about a year ago just on a whim. I found it to be very uncomfortable, in the way, and a much worse experience than I had been expecting. So, that was a waste of $60.

When my mother died, we had her jewelry appraised at three reputable places before selling it. We thought it was probably worth a lot, but in reality it hardly brought us anything at all, not even enough to pay for one dinner out for the three of us. And all those years she kept it in the safe, wore paste replicas, and insured it for a fortune. We sure learned a lot about the true value of used, very outdated jewelry.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:02 PM   #7
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When we go on vacations I almost always buy DW one piece of jewelry as a memento. She gets such a kick out of it and can tell me where each piece came from. Most pieces are priced between $40 to $80 retail.

Low cost sparkley fun.
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:40 AM   #8
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I don't own any diamonds. My engagement ring was a beautiful star sapphire, my choice at the time. My late husband and I were starving college students and I could not see the sense in buying a diamond ring on credit.

I still wear the star sapphire on my right hand. My wedding ring was part of a matched set of ArtCarved thick band gold rings bought at a going out of business sale.
I traded both rings in for cash a few years after he passed. The sight of the rings was an enormous negative emotional trigger for my loss. I donated the proceeds to charity.
I figured the matched set would be good for a young couple who were just starting out (like we were) to buy versus sitting in my jewelry box.

I have a collection of natural gemstone bead necklaces that I wear constantly. Every time my late husband traveled overseas to a new destination, I asked him to find me a strung bead style necklace from the local area. If we traveled together, I bought one for myself from the smaller out-of-the-way stores that featured local artists.

Current times...Mr B bought me a beautiful used "blue ice" ring at a Leggs Diamond store (used jewelry) when we were trading in some old silver and silverplate for his Mom. I'm not even sure what the stone is, or if it is real or not. All I cared about was it was something that caught his eye and wanted to give to me. I loved the color and setting.

My trust stipulates that all of my jewelry will go to my older sister, or added to the estate auction and proceeds given to charity. I might give some of it away while alive if the opportunity presents itself.
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
I don't own any diamonds. My engagement ring was a beautiful star sapphire, my choice at the time. My late husband and I were starving college students and I could not see the sense in buying a diamond ring on credit.
When DH and I got engaged he was making less than half what I was. He jokingly asked if the "guidelines" the jewelry marketers pushed was 2 months of his salary or my salary! I would have wanted at least a carat and it would have been a huge chunk of DH's salary. I would have cheerfully contributed if it had been a huge priority but I decided it wasn't. The center stone in my ring, a pink imperial topaz weighing a little over a carat, cost $1,000.

I had a diamond eternity ring from my first marriage, set in platinum. I was too practical to sell it at a bargain price, so I had it cut in half (loved the symbolism of cutting the "eternity" shape in half!) and had them made into a beautiful pair of half-hoop earrings.
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:35 AM   #10
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The DW has very little jewelry "by choice" since we can afford just about anything she would want. She wears her wedding ring and sometimes a nice watch. Same with me. She has a few other pieces of small jewelry but never wears them even when we go to the big city for a night on the town.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:44 AM   #11
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I don't wear much jewelry except for a watch but try to accessorize business attire with a pair of earrings or a simple necklace. Most of my jewelry is turquoise or coral which I prefer for my southwestern lifestyle. But I inherited a diamond ring from my older sister. It is a little more than a carat and is a solitaire on a large gold band - sort of outdated looking in my opinion. The early 1990s appraisal had the ring valued at $9K but when I went online to try to verify, the value came back much less at maybe $4K. I had meant to get it re-appraised and insured but never got around to it so it sits hidden in my linen closet in a Crown Royal bag. My long term plan is to get the ring reset more to my liking and actually wear it, at least on special occasions.
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Old 04-18-2015, 03:59 PM   #12
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Didn't want to eave the subject without showing off a bit of my personal jewelry, which is not kept in some safe deposit box.
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File Type: jpg Specialty jewelry.jpg (41.8 KB, 49 views)
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:26 PM   #13
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I wear my thin, gold wedding ring and my wristwatch daily. I also frequently wear a small diamond set in a bezel on a thin 16" neck chain. On occasion I will wear my diamond engagement ring if I go to a dressy event and might also wear my Mikimoto pearl necklace then, too. I am very fond of a ring that belonged to my mother which is a Victorian era amethyst set in rose gold but I can only wear it in winter as it is too snug if my fingers swell. My husband bought me a lot of very nice jewelry over the years like a custom-made diamond tennis bracelet, a Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra necklace, etc. but it is all packed away and never worn. I would give it to a daughter-in-law if I had one, but I only have a bachelor son. He will have to decide what happens to my baubles after my demise.

I have some vintage costume jewelry from the 40's and 50's that belonged to my Mom that I enjoy wearing on occasion. Suffice it to say I am not buying anymore jewelry of any kind. But I have no motivation to sell anything even though I am not wearing it. I would in a heartbeat if I needed the money though.

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