by Admin
Updated: May 12, 2019

Jewelry may not represent a good investment but it does convey status and can be good business

Beyond any practical considerations such as telling the time and holding clothing or hair in place, wearing jewelry can convey & celebrate power, status and matters of personal significance such as affiliations, beliefs, memories and intentions.

It’s normal for people to be attracted to things that are shiny/sparkly. I speculate that this might have originated as a primordial survival skill for spotting fresh water. It would also have been useful for finding materials naturally hard enough to make tools and weapons such as flint, obsidian and metals.


Ownership of (control over) tools or weapons provides the ability to develop resources, or take them from others.


Ownership of items that are rare (workmanship as well as materials) indicates that a person has developed or won a lot of resources and should be treated with extra care and respect.

The rarer the items, the more distinguished the owner and the extent to which these items have no practical value - and can even be given as gifts - implies wealth and influence.

Jewelry as an investment

Generally, jewelry does not represent a good investment. In terms of resale value, new jewelry can easily lose 50% of its purchase price (approximately equal to its markup) as soon as it is purchased.

Controlled sustained supply means that the value of the materials, however precious, will not appreciate significantly over time (this is definitely the situation with diamonds but may less true of precious metals).

The usual advice it to buy second-hand, i.e. let someone else take the initial hit. However, even then it can be difficult to realize any gain unless there is something special about the history or workmanship of the pieces.

Further disadvantages of jewelry as an investment are that it can be difficult to transport and is subject to theft/loss.

Jewelry as a business

People like to buy jewelry.

It is a highly competitive marketplace but there are also opportunities to add perceived value.

Someone I used to know was a highly skilled silversmith specializing in chains and maille. Her husband was a well-established artist and their businesses worked synergistically.

Another friend of mine imported jewelry and sold it at business networking events by wearing it. The little price tags were always a conversation starter and whenever she had the opportunity to talk about her business she would be sure to let everyone know, “All the items I’m wearing are for sale.”

I thought this was genius. Everyone at these meetings was there trying to get business but she was there to do business. Not only did it work well (she sold a lot), but she avoided the costs of a retail location, socializing equaled sales, and travel in order to source new products could be a deductible expense.

Some guys I know are trying to make their own watches.

Warning: Carrying a stock of precious things can be dangerous.

More info

“Is buying jewelry a good investment?” discussion at

A small but influential group of experts make the case... at

In case you were wondering, jewellery is a valid spelling -

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