Forget the pearls — it’s colored gemstones that are in vogue with the fashion investment set.
But according to the first-quarter reading of the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, it’s the rare whiskies that are the tech stocks of high-end goodies.
The price of rare whiskey has jumped 35 percent over the past year and 563 percent over the past 10 years. By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 9.7 percent for the year and is up 225 percent over the past decade.
For those who prefer to wear their luxury and not drink it — or store it away in their cellar — it’s been much harder to beat the market.
Luxury jewelry has had a tough run over the past year, with its value retreating 5 percent, driven by a 13 percent decrease in pearl styles.
But Belle Epoque and Art Deco jewelry appreciated by 9 percent while post-war jewelry increased 7 percent over the past year, roughly keeping up with the Dow Jones.
“Colored gemstones are outperforming the wider jewelry market with some significant sales taking place already in 2019,” said Andrew Shirley, head of luxury research at Knight Frank, a global property consultancy.
At Bonhams auction house in London in April, a 17.43 carat Kashmir sapphire, which was cushion shaped and formerly owned by European nobility, sold for 723,063 pounds, well above the projected 300,000 pounds to 400,000 pounds.
And a 1935 diamond and sapphire transformable necklace by the Spanish jeweler Grassy, with a 34.59 carat Sri Lankan sapphire necklace sold for 287,562 pounds, where 120,000 pounds to 180,000 pounds was expected.
“This necklace is the epitome of late Art Deco jewelry design and embodies the fashion for striking, sculptural ‘white’ jewels in diamonds and platinum,” said Emily Barber, director of jewelry at Bonhams U.K. “To discover a necklace like this — intact and never before seen on the open market, offered with the original design drawings — is not only rare but illustrates the compelling stories that period jewels can tell.”
Those stores have helped boost the value of luxury jewelry. According to the Knight Frank Index, the price of jewelry has risen 113 percent over the past decade, in-line with the increase seen in diamonds (the value of which held steady over the past year), although not quite as good as the U.S. stock market.
Watches gained 5 percent over the past year and are up 73 percent for the last decade.