The Tatler Guide to Building an Antique Jewellery Collection
A jewellery designer-cum-cultural historian, Kai-yin Lo has edited five influential books that examine a range of subjects, from Chinese furniture and living patterns to Hong Kong’s design culture. She unveiled her autobiography, Designing A Life: A Cross-Cultural Journey, just last year. A celebrated designer of contemporary jewellery, she gives Tatler Asia her advice on how to start collecting antique jewellery.
Identify its origins
"As with any work of art of some age, knowing the provenance of your antique jewellery is essential. This establishes an item’s collectible significance and ensures it’s authentic."
Do not buy for the sake of buying an antique piece
Collectors should always carefully consider what they want from their antique jewellery. You should buy not for the sake of it being an antique, but because it’s beautiful or has special merits and you want it.
Make sure it's a worthy investment
Even if you’re buying antique jewellery because it’s ultimately a financial investment, be it vintage Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co, Jar or others, find something you’d enjoy keeping and that you’re actually going to wear.
(Related: Bulgari's High Jewellery Collection for 2020 is an Ode to Baroque Style)
Check in with the experts
If you’re considering buying jewellery that’s set with gemstones, be sure to consult with the auction house or dealer that’s selling it to ensure that the jewels are in good condition and will hold their value.
(Related: Anne Wang-Liu Previews Christie’s Collection Of Fine Jewellery And Watches)
Form a relationship with a dealer you can trust
If you’re new to buying antique jewellery, I recommend finding a dealer that specialises in the style and period you’re interested in. This way, you can develop a relationship with someone with a solid reputation that you can rely on.
(Related: How to Refurbish Vintage Jewellery)
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