Valuations advised as period jewellery soars 80% over past decade

Period and designer jewellery have grown more in value than the housing market, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), making jewellery re-valuations highly advisable.

The research revealed the rarest 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 (the 1920s and 1930s) and Belle Epoque jewellery (1890 to 1915) pieces have soared by 88% since 2006, according to Art Market Research, while antique jewellery and post-war era (1945-1975) jewellery 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 simply do not know exactly how much it is worth. Bonhams said many owners 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.”

Nigel Sykes of the Hatton Garden company Prestige Valuations said: “We really do advise everyone in times like these to have their jewellery professionally valued. Without an accurate up to date valuation, you run the risk of being underinsured in the event of loss or theft. Many insurance companies will also insist that you have items over a certain value specified individually on your policy and regularly valued to ensure the limits are adequate. See our site at for more details”