5 Tips for Building a Valuable Jewelry Collection

"Timeless" is a word that comes to mind when perusing pieces designed by Los Angeles-based fine jeweler Lizzie Mandler. Her 11-year-old brand is full of buttery 18k gold-and-diamond pieces—some beautifully delicate, some wonderfully chonky—that you could easily imagine passing down to a daughter or niece. Think gemstone-topped signet rings and chain necklaces featuring cleverly conceived elements such as interlocking oversized links. 

No surprise then that Mandler (who, incidentally, debuted her first boutique in L.A. this past summer) turned out to be the perfect jewelry pro to offer advice on how to build a collection of covetable and valuable fine jewelry—one you'll be proud to pass down to future generations. 

Here’s what she recommends:

Buy What You Love
My cardinal rule is this—if you love it, buy it,” Mandler says. “People ask me all the time, ‘Is rose gold going to go out of style?’ or “Is yellow gold just a trend,' or 'Is this timeless?’ My answer is always the same: “If you love it, buy it. Fine jewelry is forever, and you want to buy pieces you will hopefully always love. But truthfully, our styles evolve and change over time, so no matter how hard you try you can't guarantee that a piece will always be your style.”

Know You Can Re-Do 
And because styles change, “designers can help you take a piece that no longer feels like you—or feels out of style—and reimagine it into a brand-new piece that fits your current aesthetic,” Mandler notes. Gold can be melted and diamonds and other gemstones can be reset. It’s one of the things that makes the investment in fine jewelry worth ityou are not married to the original style of your engagement ring, or to a necklace that was once trendy and now seems dated. Never let your pieces collect dust in a drawer. If you don’t think you’ll ever wear them, breathe new life into them!

Lizzie Mandler
Jewelry designer Lizzie Mandler

Lizzie Mandler jewelry styles
Lizzie Mandler jewelry, from left: 18k gold and diamond Striped Pave Medium Fluted Crescent Huggies, $1,565; 18k gold and diamond Double-Sided Pave Crescent Ring, $6,650; 18k gold and diamond earrings, price on request

Celebrate the Milestones
Jewelry has the unique ability to tell our stories for us,” she adds. “We build our collections over time, adding pieces that were gifted to us on a special occasion or to commemorate a moment or memory. Personally, I don’t think matters if in ten years a piece you wear feels dated or looks super 90s for example, because that's part of your storymaybe you bought the piece to commemorate your first job, or as an anniversary gift. Wear that early 90s piece with pride! Collections tell stories. I always suggest buying jewelry with that in mind.

Pick an Aesthetic
For those nervous about having a collection that feels scattershot in style and/or tone, Mandler recommends “deciding on what your jewelry archetype isare you a maximalist, more understated and minimal, or do you want to wear a mix of vintage and modern?” She also urges her clients to think about how they want to wear jewelry: “Are you looking for everyday pieces you never take off, or special occasion pieces? Think about where you might have holes in your collection to help inform your search for new pieces.

Identify Holes 
Buying jewelry styles that are compatible with (or complimentary to) the jewels already in your collection can bring a sense of cohesion to your jewelry wardrobe. I like to pay attention to not just varying lengths, but also weight an textures, and I’m very specific about the order things go inI like my earrings to go from large or long (in the first piercing) to smaller as they work their way up the ear,” Mandler says. “When you're looking to add a new piece to your stack, especially for everyday wear, bring your everyday pieces with you so you can see exactly how that piece will play with the others." 

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