The essential value of jewelry is derived from wearing it and enjoying its beauty and the comfortable feeling that it brings. A piece of jewelry has value because it suites your taste, and because it fits well and can be worn. Even when choosing jewelry as a gift, its value is derived from the joy and profound emotion that it arouses when it is worn by a loved one. Purchasing jewelry for the sole purpose of making a profit is a meaningless proposition.

Anyone would rather wear high-quality jewelry of beauty and elegance. If we discover that an acquired piece is of low quality, the desire to wear it will disappear immediately. Understanding quality and being able to correctly select jewelry gives one the confidence to wear it and allows the realization of its comfort. Everyone is interested in knowing whether or not the price of a favorite piece of jewelry matches its market value. The ability to judge quality is necessary to understanding value, because the value of jewelry is established by supply and demand at its particular quality level.

The quality of jewelry is determined by the quality of its conception, the manner in which the component materials are used, and the degree of care taken in its fabrication. Jewelry that is poorly conceived is especially doomed to fail, because such jewelry cannot carry out its most basic purpose, which is to be worn. Even if the materials used are not of the highest quality and it is not especially carefully made, well-conceived jewelry can still be a pleasure to wear.

Since gemstones are products of nature, their quality is controlled by the forces of nature. However, jewelry is conceived and created by people, so it can be said that jewelry’s quality is determined by the stores and manufacturers that produce it. Top management chooses the directors who establish the design objectives, the specialists who acquire the component gemstones used in the jewelry, and the craftsmen who set the gemstones and put together the finished piece. The intensions of top management therefore take shape in the quality of the jewelry made. It is apparent that beautiful jewelry such as the pieces shown in Chapter1 are made possible only through a fundamental commitment on the part of jewelry stores and manufacturers to create fine jewelry, regardless of the cost.

Jewelry is an implement that is used to adorn the body. No matter how superior its form and construction, a piece of jewelry so old that it can no longer be worn belongs in a historical collection. The basis for judging the quality of such an item is different from that for jewelry- its high value comes from its rarity as a historical piece. Even if it could be worn, one would not do so on a regular basis, out of fear that the piece might be ruined.

The value of jewelry does not fluctuate widely over the short term, but moves slowly over time within the currents of large-scale forces. Long-term changes in value are influenced by large variations in the popularity or the mining production levels of specific gemstone varieties. The market for amethyst, which was once a high-priced gemstone, saw its bottom drop out in the 19th century, after the discovery of mines in the Ural district of Russia and increased production from Brazil.