By: Tony Gallacher, Head of Jewellery Retail, Ramsdens Jewellery
In recent years, sustainability has become incredibly important to the average consumer — particularly in the fashion and jewellery industry. The pace at which trends come and go has been steadily whipping up into a frenzy over the past few decades, so that concerns about the environmental impact of ‘fast fashion’ have reached all-time highs.
Fast fashion jewellery that is cheaply made and on a huge scale usually comes with a large carbon footprint, among other issues. What’s more, you have no doubt found that the pieces you buy from fast fashion outlets tend to fall apart or tarnish easily. They likely go out of style quickly too, which means that more of them will go to waste rather than be resold.
Choosing investment pieces for your jewellery collections is’t just good for the environment. Good jewellery is timeless, and it tends to contain valuable materials such as gold and diamonds that have fantastic resale value. So, by building a capsule jewellery collection of staple pieces, you can look incredible, save money, do your bit for the planet, and make a great investment all at the same time. Below, I’ll share my tips for finding jewellery that fits the bill.
Staple jewellery pieces to look out for
The first step towards building a capsule jewellery collection is to identify which jewellery trends are here to stay and which aren’t. That way, you won’t have to keep adding to your jewellery box in order to keep up with the latest styles, and you know you can resell your jewellery further down the line. Fine chain jewellery, either plain or customised with pendants, is a good example of a staple piece, as are stud and hoop earrings. All kinds of diamond jewellery, whether studded or solitaire, have been highly popular since the 1800s, so if in doubt, dazzle with diamonds.
While one tone in particular usually takes the top spot, precious metals never really go out of fashion. So, you’ ll always be able to resell good quality metals. If you prefer yellow, white, or even rose-gold, it’s better to stick to that kind of jewellery than buy an assortment of pieces you won’t end up wearing.
Identifying quality pieces
Once you’ve identified key jewellery types that you know you’ll wear time and time again, you’ll need to find high quality pieces in these styles. This is to ensure that what you buy is long lasting, saving you money in the long run and reducing your carbon footprint while ensuring your jewellery can be resold far into the future.
Cheap jewellery may be brittle and break easily, or it could tarnish and lose its lustre, but jewellery made from the best materials can last your entire life and beyond — particularly if it is cleaned and maintained well. Precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum are among the best options for long-lasting jewellery, so look out for hallmarks stamped into your pieces. Fake gold, silver, and platinum jewellery won’t have hallmarks, so it’s a good indicator of quality.
Where to buy jewellery from
The better quality the materials your jewellery is made from, the more of an investment piece it is. The problem is that fine, well-made jewellery is much more expensive than mass produced pieces, so you need to be smart about where you shop. Pre-owned collections are a great way to find precious jewellery made from fine materials for great prices, and as reputable second-hand jewellery shops have exceptionally high standards, its usually difficult to tell the difference between a new and pre-owned piece.
It’s important to remember that in most cases, the more you spend on jewellery that will last your whole life, the more you will save over time on repairs and replacements. Choosing real gold, silver, and gemstones means that any piece you buy will have a high resale value, so you can make your money back if you need to. All you’ll need to do is keep your jewellery in great condition. If you do, someone else can buy your jewellery instead of wasting money on a fast-fashion piece, so you can help keep the cycle going.
The tips in this guide can help you find more high-quality, long lasting jewellery. Whether you want to be more sustainableor make sure you earn your money back later on in life, why not give capsule jewellery collections a go?