Period and designer jewellery has grown more in value than the housing market, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The research revealed the most rare and sought-after pieces of vintage jewellery have soared in value by more than 80% during the past 10 years. It compared this with house prices in England, which have risen in value by just 47% over the same period.
Art Deco (1920s and 1930s) and Belle Epoque jewellery (1890 to 1915) pieces have soared by a 88% since 2006, according to Art Market Research, while antique jewellery and jewellery from the post-war era (1945-1975) have risen by 68% and 70%, respectively.
Despite the rises, auction house Bonhams claims Britons are sitting on millions of pounds worth of designer jewellery because they do not know exactly what it is worth.
Bonhams said many people do not realise how valuable their jewellery is because the hallmarks, signatures or initials of its creators are unnoticed or unrecognised.
Jean Ghika, head of jewellery for UK and Europe at Bonhams, said: “People tend to think designer pieces of jewellery are very obviously branded by their creators, but that’s not always the case. The identifying marks of many leading designers can be incredibly subtle.
“Hallmarks, signatures, initials, even a name or a code on the back of a jewel can signify that a piece of jewellery has come from a highly sought-after house. These could include names like Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels and these ‘signatures’ can make a huge difference to the eventual selling price.”
In response, Bonhams has launched its ‘Jewellery January: Makers and Eras’ campaign to encourage people to find out the up-to-date market value of the jewellery they own.