Karina Rousou, former Director of Jewelry at Borro Private Finance recently sat down with Robb Report to discuss the market trends of jewelry and watches and how they can be used as an investment:
A few years ago, a woman came to Karina Rousou with an inherited vintage ring featuring a large, bluestone, with no paperwork. Pursuant to her mission of delivering an accurate appraisal, Rousou—who is a former jewelry director at Borro Private Finance now Borro —sent the ring to the American Gemological Lab for testing. The results revealed that the stone was an all-natural, untreated sapphire from Kashmir, making the ring worth roughly $250,000.
“Kashmir sapphires are really valuable and this had a beautiful cornflower blue color,” says Rousou. “Stones like this—exceptional in quality and without any treatments—do really well on the secondary market.”
Borro and its team of in-house experts provide appraisals for pieces like this sapphire ring—as well as watches, classic cars, fine art, and other collectible items—in order to assess their value as collateral for the short-term, non-bank loans it offers clients. Through these loans, clients can capitalize on short-lead investment opportunities or address unplanned expenses. (Learn how it works.)
For the company’s expert appraisers like Rousou, who is the fourth generation of a family of jewelers and studied at the Gemological Institute of America, being informed on secondary markets is essential. According to Rousou, vintage jewelry from iconic retailers garners high prices on the secondary market and those more traditional designs are inspiring new pieces.
“Designers are returning to classic styles, such as gold chains, hoop earrings, diamond studs and chokers, and charm bracelets, as well as working with more hard opaque stones like jade, lapis, and malachite,” Rousou says. Rousou also notes that collections from jewelry houses like Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Harry Winston, and Van Cleef & Arpels perform extremely well at auction. “These are highly collectible and in my opinion, will only increase in value.”