I’m a big fan of gold jewelry – rings, necklaces, earrings, you name it! My outfit is never complete without a jewelry piece or two, and I also sport multiple ear piercings (eight in total!) and a belly ring, which I never take off.
When I was a child, my dad had a tradition of gifting me a jewelry piece every time I would go onstage to receive an academic award. This happened every year until my last year of elementary school. It served as some form of extrinsic encouragement for me to do my best.
I did get quite sad when the jewelry tradition stopped because apparently, my best was no longer enough for me to receive any awards. But screw that, because now that I’m running a jewelry business, I can gift myself with jewelry any day for just existing. Yes, surviving another day is an achievement in its own right!
So, jewelry, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
People have worn jewelry to adorn their bodies from the earliest days of civilization to enhance their beauty or to show their societal status or religious/tribal affiliation. These days, most people get into jewelry for the sake of beauty or style, and it’s usually marketed as a fashion item.
It’s An Investment
Gold jewelry is an investment. In developing countries like the Philippines, the investment component of jewelry is often what ultimately entices people to set aside a budget for gold jewelry pieces, even though they can be expensive. Filipinos are often attracted to the thought that they can easily pawn gold when they are in need of money.
As a matter of fact, “pawnability” is a huge factor – if not the only factor – typical Filipino buyers take into consideration when buying jewelry. The overall design and attractiveness of a particular jewelry piece may come in a distant second.
As the wife of a person with chronic illness and certain physical limitations, it’s important for me to have various income streams and investments. Things may be manageable right now, but you’ll never know when a health-related emergency might strike. Chronic illness can be a traitor. A single bad flareup might cost someone (and their whole family!) their entire living. Thus, it’s important to have an emergency fund.
For me, the great thing about having an emergency fund in the form of gold is that it’s not liquid. Unlike cash, it cannot be readily spent. You have to find some way to exchange it for money before you can use it to purchase goods or pay for things. Still, it’s relatively easy to get cash for your jewelry if you know how.
What makes gold a superior, non-depreciating investment is that it has intrinsic value. Its value is already “built into” it and doesn’t change regardless of whether many people like gold or not. Just do a quick Google search on “gold price today” and you’ll see how much your gold should be worth.
The Significance of Jewelry
Historically, jewelry has been prized for its significance. In the 1930s, the De Beers company launched a successful marketing campaign to sell diamonds to young men seeking to propose to their future brides. Since then, diamond jewelry has become synonymous to love and commitment.
As for me, I do enjoy learning about the meanings various cultures ascribe to particular gemstones. For instance, citrine is considered a lucky stone and is said to bring about financial abundance and good fortune. Jared and I liked its meaning, so we decided to name our daughter Citrine.
Various studies suggest that having meaning in one’s life is more important than simply being “happy.” In one such study, subjects who reported living meaningful lives had lower risk of divorce, were less likely to live alone, and were much more involved in the social sphere. They also had lower risk of chronic disease and were less likely to become depressed.
And of course, when you’re more financially secure, you feel more peace of mind, and you’re more likely to go after things that are truly meaningful to you!
How Jewelry Can Become Money
Like I mentioned earlier, jewelry isn’t a liquid investment. You need to exchange it for money before you can make use of its value. How is possible to do so?
Here are some ways you can convert jewelry into money when the need arises:
I can state from experience that the best way to earn money from jewelry is by selling it as a retail product. This is because you can charge for the intricacy of its design and the value of every add-on (gemstones, diamonds, engravings, and so on). This way, you can ensure that you’re getting the right value for your piece and not just the raw material value. Remember: the true value of a product should always include the cost of labor required to make it, and other miscellaneous costs, on top of the cost of material used.
The only downside of jewelry retail is that may take time. Compared to food and other daily needs, jewelry is a slow-moving item. It’s not all the time that someone says, completely out of the blue, “Hey, I want to buy jewelry!” For the average buyer, the decision to buy jewelry comes as a result of a well-thought-out process (ex. “I want to propose, so I’m buying a ring” or “It’s mom’s birthday next week, and she loves jewelry, so I’ll get her a pretty necklace”). Unless the prospective buyer is a jewelry enthusiast, in which case he or she might “fall in love” with a jewelry advertisement and decide to buy it on impulse.
When you put an item up for retail, you are taking a chance on the possibility that buyers see the same value in your product as you do – but this may not always be the case. To get past this obstacle faster, it may be a good idea to remain open to negotiation – especially if you’re not running a jewelry store with concerted marketing efforts.
Here in the Philippines, pawnshops are a very popular way to obtain spot cash (in exchange for valuable items like jewelry). The thing to remember when trying to pawn jewelry is that pawnshops have different standards for appraising jewelry, so the same piece may not be valued at the same amount by all pawnshops. It’s wise to shop around for the best price first, if you have spare time.
In my personal experience, some pawnshops can be very picky about which items they accept. I tried to bring in a white gold ring to a neighborhood pawnshop once, only to be turned down because they still had many rings on display.
If you intend to buy back your jewelry piece (or in local terms, tubos), you should look at the interest charges and ask for a clear explanation of the re-payment schedule.
Please see this article for more information regarding pawnshop loans in the Philippines. Disclaimer: I am not personally affiliated with this website; I simply regard it as informative.
Do You Like Jewelry, Too?
To sum up, I like jewelry because it’s beautiful, significant, and definitely worth something! And to a chronic illness wife and mom, the latter is important because I always need money to fall back on when emergency situations strike.
Here are some of my favorite pieces from my personal collection! As you can see, I’m quite partial to gold with Moissanite. Why not diamonds? I like to keep prices economical, while not compromising on beauty.
Do you like jewelry too? Tell me your reasons, or feel free to share the most significant items in your collection!