Records and earnings
Among the jewels of the Bourbon-Parma royal family, which were put up for sale at Sotheby's in Geneva, was a natural pearl pendant that belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette. It was sold for 36.5 million francs. Previously, the highest price for pearls was $ 11 million. This is how much the famous "Peregrina" from the collection of Elizabeth Taylor was estimated. This pearl also knew queens, and more than one - but the sad fate of Marie Antoinette was the best catalyst for the price.
The new record once again raised the main question for sellers and buyers of jewelry: jewelry is an investment of money, an object of investment, or (with a unique provenance) an object of collectibility and worship. Was the pearl of Marie Antoinette a priceless investment? It is unlikely - its exceptional historical value played a role in the final figures. Will it cost more in the future? Also unlikely. Is this price justified? This question can be answered only by the one who bought the jewel - for him it is justified, for less sentimental dealers - incredibly overpriced.
The sacramental question - what to invest in - always comes up when it comes to jewelry. For centuries, people have been indoctrinated with the idea that gold and stones are expensive and forever. As soon as they did not name diamonds: and portable wealth, and anti-crisis investment, and capital that will never fall in price. At the same time, any financier will tell you that precious stones are a passive investment that can serve as a way to save funds, but not as a way to increase them. Dealers in gemstones will most likely advise to purchase not one large stone of high performance, but ten small so-called commercial quality - they can always be sold in difficult times. But if you are not a dealer and do not intend to devote your life to reselling jewelry, this operation is unlikely to bring the expected result.
A pearl that belonged to Marie Antoinette © press service
Auction as a value regulator
How can one determine what is temporary in this world, and what will only grow (or at least not lose) in value in the future?
There is still practically no secondary market in Russia. It is already becoming very difficult to buy a jewel under the current legislation, but to sell it is almost impossible. Pawnshops and purchases will offer you compensation at the price of scrap gold, stones will be priced at the lower price limit. The scattering of precious stones in modern products will not be taken into account at all.
All over the world, jewelry prices are regulated by auction houses. The largest of them are Sotheby's and Christie's, which have been selling stones and jewelry for several centuries. Major trades take place in Geneva, New York and Hong Kong twice a year (spring and fall). They are called Magnificent Jewels and are the tuning fork of the auction life and world prices for jewelry.
© press service
The organizers of Christie's and Sotheby's are well aware that the world's most important dealers of stones and antique jewelry are unlikely to find time to visit the same place twice. Therefore, competing auction houses, having subdued possible pride, fit into two days, and the audience smoothly flows from one room to another to see everything that the jewelry world is rich in today.