Investing in Pearls

April 4, 2014 by Melissa

Top of the range pearl jewelry can be considered as an investment, as well as being particularly beautiful jewelry in its own right. The investment story, however, is much more complex than it might seem.

While it is perfectly true that the best pearl jewelry is expensive, that’s not the whole story. The price of pearls does tend to go up somewhat over time, but it’s really the quality of the pearls that dictates basic prices.

There is another equation in this mix, however. The fabulous Akoya pearls, for example, have both intrinsic and design value.

Note the use of the expression “design value”. The designs, in fact, are very much part of the value. As individual pieces, pearls are assessed very much on their design features. A dazzling cascade of pearls, each in a unique setting, for example, will have a lot of extra value as a piece of jewelry.

When purchasing pearl jewelry, it’s important to determine the reason that you are spending the money. Are you looking for something that will look good, or are you really searching for a heirloom piece of jewelry that you will be able to pass on to your children or grandchildren?

The investment/valuation picture has become broader, too. The rapid spread of freshwater pearls and Tahitian pearls has added depth to the investment value of pearls, both in quantity and in the range of design values on the market.

These new pearls, including the fantastic examples of colored pearls that we see today, have redefined pearl jewelry design values. Many of these pieces are unique, and simply can’t be replicated any more than a Stradivarius. Their value increases with their rarity of the pearl and the demand from the market.

If you’re looking at pearls as an investment, research your market, know your pearls, and be prepared to be surprised. A properly chosen pearl can hold it’s value easily, and might even grow it over time.