All That Glitters Can Be a Good Investment ; Costume Jewelery Is as Colectable as the Real Thing-And It Won't Break the Bank
Jones, Gwyn, The Independent (London, England)
Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but even fake diamonds are worth becoming acquainted with. Not only has costume jewellery become respectable evening wear, it can also be a very good investment.
Such jewellery has been made for centuries and antique pieces are very well crafted, with most made of gold and silver and prduced with the same workmanship you'd find in a real diamond setting
Jean Ghika, head of jewellery at Bonham s with items from the 18t and 19th centuries. "Peop buy it for the age and style," she says. "There's always been a market for it but it has picked up in recent y "Old paste is a very authentic simulator - it actually looks like it could be genuine and you would have to examine it extremely closely to see if it was real diamonds or not. It's definitely a good buy and although people are buying these items primarily to wear, the canny buyer will know that in 10 years' time this type of jewellery will be worth more." Five or 10 years ago, it was unusual to see costume jewellery sold in single lots in a Bonhams' auction - a pair of paste earrings, say, might have cost less than pounds 100. Now similar ear rings would be a single lot and you'd have to pay up to pounds 250 for a nice example, with prices reaching several thousand pounds for some pieces.
Steven Miners, who runs vintage costume jewellers Cristobal, has noticed some big changes in the market. "Recently there's been a move away from collectors who simply collect a name, style or age to people buying the more decorative and wearable items," he says.
"Ten years ago you'd have Italians and Germans who wanted to buy every bit of Eisenberg or Trifari but now they're buying Miriam Haskell or Stanley Hagler for the look. The wearability is the great attraction - this is something you can justify because it's practical, highly decorative and yet the value will go up."
Five years ago a Stanley Hagler necklace and earring set would have cost pounds 120 - now it would be pounds 350 to pounds 400. …