When Heirlooms first opened in 1986, it was at the height of Romantic fashion – all frills, sentiment and statement jewellery. Georgian and Victorian styles were in demand and, as a result, Heirlooms only dealt in jewellery that pre-dated the 1930’s. Not only was antique jewellery fashionable but the stories behind the jewels were equally as appealing.
There were two types of client: those that wanted to buy the jewellery because of how it looked and how fashionable it was; and those who collected antique jewellery as a hobby and because they wanted to know the history behind the jewel. As a result, antique jewellery was in great demand and expensive to buy.
Fast forward 30 years and the jewellery industry couldn’t be more different. Antique jewellery is even more in demand but the market is much more selective because there is more on offer.
Online sites selling antique jewellery, the use of social media and influencers to sell jewellery and online bidding at auction has meant there is more antique jewellery available on the market and it is easier to access.
Due to this increased accessibility and availability, buyers have had to become more selective and only invest in a piece that is in perfect condition or that is really top quality.
For example, in the 1980’s, some jewellery repairs were considered acceptable such as lead soldering and the use of synthetic gemstones. These days technology has moved forward (laser soldering) and repairs like this are no longer acceptable. Why buy something that is repaired when you can simply keep looking and are bound to find something better? The availability of antique jewellery means buyers have this choice and retailers like Heirlooms have to offer only the best in order to get the business.
We’re very proud that Heirlooms never sell anything with old lead solder and we avoid anything that has been substantially altered from the original. If there has been a repair or alteration to the piece, we will always declare it to the buyer and this will be reflected in the price we ask. We never sell synthetic stones.
If you are looking to make an investment for the future, what better way to do this than to buy something from the past that has already proved it’s longevity?