Where to start? It's the age-old question when it comes to building any collection, and often the most difficult part. The first step toward starting a jewelry collection is to know what you like; everyone’s tastes are different but the fun of collecting jewelry is that it represents your aesthetics, and it should be something you will want to wear over and over again. Start with pieces that are easy to wear and enjoy – a pair of diamond studs or a classic diamond line bracelet lend a touch of glamour to almost any ensemble. Perennial favourites, such as a ‘Love’ bangle by Cartier, or Van Cleef & Arpels ‘Alhambra’ necklace or bracelet, are likewise a good idea – timeless designs that enjoy a worldwide following.
Once you’ve taken the plunge and bought your first few pieces, it’s always good to branch out into different styles and periods. Where you go from here is entirely up to you – a breathtaking diamond parure, eminently stackable Art Deco strap bracelets, beautiful antique hardstone intaglio signet rings or a bold statement brooch (the ultimate conversation starter) – the choice is yours.
Handle as many pieces as you can to find your style and refine your eye – come along to auction previews to look at and compare as many pieces as possible. Speak to the specialists in the department to get their opinions on the pieces, and don’t hesitate to ask for their recommendations and advice before bidding.
Keep in mind that it is better to build a smaller collection of high quality pieces rather than a larger collection of jewels that you’re less enamored with. However, not everything needs to cost thousands. There are always great finds, especially at auction, that can be very reasonable in price. While there’s no disputing the quality and allure of pieces by legendary jewelers, unattributed pieces can be every bit as beautifully made as their signed counterparts, but without the price premium.
Click ahead to see some great pieces to start your collection with.