5 Tips For Collecting Heritage Jewellery, According To A Certified Gemologist

Watches & Jewellery

November 28, 2017 | BY Emilie Yabut-Razon

From now until December 3, Van Cleef & Arpels’ is celebrating the expansion of its Peninsula Hotel boutique by bringing in a third of its entire Heritage Collection—close to 80 pieces—to Hong Kong. What’s special about this series is that many of the pieces come from a distinct period in history or have a great provenance. Better yet, they are all available for sale.

Highlights include a gorgeous pair of Mystery-set bracelets, one in emeralds and the other one in Burmese sapphires, that were created in 1936, for Jessie Woolworth Donnahue, a known jewellery collector and the aunt of Barbara Hutton, the heiress who inherited the Woolworth fortune.

Other interesting finds include a bowknot brooch from 1945 set with diamonds and rubies, a series of whimsical animal brooches, from an emerald-eyed owl to a golden tiger. There are coral and turquoise necklaces and bracelets from the ’70s, as well as a maharajah-inspired set with rubies and diamonds.

Nicholas Luchsinger, a certified gemologist at Van Cleef & Arpels who heads up the team in charge of procuring the pieces for the collection, shares five important tips for would-be collectors:

Bowknot clip, 1945. Yellow gold, round diamonds, round rubies, Heritage collection. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
1

Buy with your heart

If you are a beginner in collecting jewellery, you are bound to make mistakes, but always remember that each piece is valuable and an important part of history.

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5 Tips For Collecting Heritage Jewellery, According To A Certified Gemologist
Météore Décentré ring, 1956. Yellow gold, platinum, round diamonds, pink gold, Heritage collection. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
2

Always buy signed pieces from reputable boutiques

Be careful and always get a certificate of authenticity. There are so many copies out there and the stones may have been replaced with ones of lesser quality.

Clip, 1967. Yellow gold, round diamonds, cabochon-cut rubies, white gold, Heritage collection. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
3

Build a collection out of specific time periods

When you are starting off, it is easier for you to familiarise with one period before moving to the next.

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5 Tips For Collecting Heritage Jewellery, According To A Certified Gemologist
Bird clip, 1970. Yellow gold, white gold, cabochon-cut and pear-shaped emeralds and rubies, round emeralds and diamonds, Heritage collection. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
4

Find signature pieces from the brand

Try to find signature pieces from the brand you are collecting pieces of, for example for Van Cleef & Arpels, it would be zip necklaces, mystery-set pieces, ballerinas, animal brooches.

Flower clip, 1980. Platinum, Mystery SetTM rubies, baguette-cut and round diamonds, white gold, Heritage collection. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
5

Protect the past

Remember that by investing in the past, you protect the value of the piece today and in the future.


The Van Cleef & Arpels Heritage collection will be on display at the jeweller’s boutique at The Peninsula, from November 24 to December 3, 2017.

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