Jewellery bargains

I have been collecting jewellery for a long time. I am not sure why I enjoy it so much. I like accessories because they can change, accent and add so much to an outfit. Jewellery is small, often has sentimental value, and is easy to travel with  (that is important to me because I have moved around so much in my life). If you purchase wisely, it can also be a very good investment.

I still have my gold-filled baby bib pin, a rolled gold bracelet I got when I was 2 (it still fits perfectly!), sterling silver gifts from my christening, holy communion and confirmation (cross pendant, crucifix brooch and rosary ring). I have two silver bracelets given to my mother when she was bridesmaid, her charm bracelet, my charm bracelets (both my mother and I had one year where parents gave the bracelet and all the guests at the party brought a charm. This was then added to each year on birthdays and at Christmas). Even though I don’t wear any of these sentimental items very often, I often take them out to clean them and it feels comforting to hold them in my hand and think of all the happy memories.

Over the years I have also built up a small but good fine jewellery collection of my own, which will go to my family when I die. Most of it comes from estate sales and auctions so the prices were good. Buying at a regular jeweller means you pay way more than you would if you buy second hand, for what is essentially the same thing. High street jewellers have a huge mark up on their items.  Unlike most costume jewellery, fine jewellery tends to increase in value the older it gets, as the price of raw materials increases and the supply thereof dwindles.

Pawnbrokers’ auctions are where some of my beauties have originated. In Sweden when you pawn something, you are given a certain time in which to pay back your loan (plus interest and costs) and retrieve your item. If you do not do so, the company then auctions the items to settle the debt. If the auction yields a higher amount than that which you received in loans and paid in costs and interest, you will be given the difference.

At pawnbrokers’ auctions, I don’t squirrel around in the individual items but rather in the lots (this is a good tip at regular auctions as well). Lots often comprise bits of scrap gold and broken jewellery but very often you find a perfectly good item hidden among the broken earrings, clipped open rings with missing stones, and chains. I then sell on the scraps for the smelting price of the gold (which is the price I pay at auction), and keep the little item/s I have found hiding away in the middle.

These two rings were one of my finds. I found them hidden away, all tarnished and scratched in a lot and bought them for a ridiculously low price. They are exactly what I like – bold (but not blingy), broad, heavy and unique. I tend to wear one on each hand when I wear them because they are different but look so good together because they have a common theme.

They are heavy sterling silver with solid gold accents. This is what they looked like when I pulled them out of the lot.

And this is them after a quick dip in silver cleaner and a wipe with a soft cloth.

They blend silver and gold tones beautifully, and I can wear silver and/or gold jewellery with them. I tend not to mix silver and gold but these make it much easier because they do it so well.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

4 thoughts

  1. I collect jewelries too. I like big rings just like you, but prefer designs in modernism or brutalism. Lapponia is one of my favorite brands. I find Efva Attling is a bit too ‘stilren’ (don’t know the English word for it).

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