While expensive in both their raw and processed states, gold and diamonds are not really as rare as the mainstream jewellery would have you believe. In fact, there are literally tons of both floating around at any given moment, whether in a gold and diamond jewellery store or adorning the throats and fingers of the world’s super-rich.
When we consult with a customer hoping to sell gold and diamond jewellery with us, we are often asked about the value of the raw materials, the actual gold and diamonds that the piece is made of, compared to the value of a piece with a very exclusive brand name behind it.
In the case of most gold and diamond jewellery sold second hand by private owners, it is rare for a piece to be valued significantly above the so-called sum of its parts based solely on a brand label. This is because, when bought brand new, a branded gold and diamond jewellery piece by a company such as Cartier or Bvlgari, you have already paid more than the piece is actually worth, simply for the name on it. A second-hand jewellery dealer is under no obligation to pay the same high price for a brand name, and is far more likely to give you what he believes is a fair price for the raw materials that the piece is made of.
There are, however, exceptions to the rule, and these are antique, vintage or particularly hard-to-find pieces by renowned jewellery houses. These pieces appeal to collectors, rather than dealers in raw gold and diamonds, and can fetch amazing prices at auction if the right collectors are in attendance.
Antique pieces by any of these top 5 most expensive jewellery brands should be appraised by an industry professional before a sale, to make sure you’re getting the right price.
Number 5: Tiffany & Co.
Not only one of the priciest jewellery brands in the world, but also one of the most pervasive in terms of pop culture, this brand was made famous by the book and subsequent film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
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Number 4: Buccellati
Famous for the quality of their gold and diamond jewellery, this Italian brand was founded by father-and-son goldsmiths Mario and Gianmaria Buccellati.
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Number 3: Van Cleef & Arpels
This famous French brand produces watches, perfumes, and of course, fine jewellery, and has over the years become famous for its ability to attract celebrities to its jewellery. Famous fans of the brand include Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly. The Van Cleef & Arpels style of jewellery is often characterised by the use of flowers, fairies and animals.
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Number 2: Cartier
Chances are you’ve heard this famous name before, even if you’re a stranger to the world of fine jewellery. Founded in 1847, this brand maintains its market leading status to this day, and has been responsible for some of the most exclusive and expensive pieces ever made.
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Number 1: Harry Winston
This American brand is best known for their incredible engagement rings, as well as their acquisition of the famous Hope Diamond, an enormous dark blue diamond, one of the largest ever found, with a history stretching back centuries.
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