When we talk about precious metals we usually mean gold, platinum and another pure metal, fine silver. Silver is one of the original materials of value mentioned in the Bible, together with other originals such as precious gemstones that existed from the beginning of time.
This explains part of the attraction associated with these ‘non-virtual’ commodities – they existed for a very long time in human history, and presumably even before. Used throughout all generations and nations they have been and are one of the preferred ways to display symbols of value and are used as objects of beauty and style in jewelry. As a form of personal expression and ‘street art’.
Thinking of fashion styles we tend to look at clothing, hair styling and makeup first. However accessories are a major part of the outfit. Jewelry one of its coolest forms.
Why then is silver jewelry one of the constants that remain throughout history? What is the real mystery and the secret of silver? It’s not only its cool attraction — it is one of the commodities that existed before paper money, and it will retain it’s value after currencies are gone.
In a world that goes more virtual by the minute we keep a few valuables that have their own pre-set value outside our current reality. Currencies will go virtual, jewelry will not.
To give you an idea about the differences of investments in tangible and intangible products and how it works out in real life, let me give you an example that nearly did cost me $25.000 in the past.
During the first oil crisis I lived in New Zealand for a few years and had to invest my assets in appropriate channels at that time. Because back then not only oil prices went up, also other commodities such as gold and silver increased slightly in value and I decided to invest some money in metals.
After locating a company that advertised selling of gold bullion, I went to their downtown store and asked a clerk to purchase gold for about $25.000. I never did this kind of investment before and was a bit unsure about where to keep it save from curious people and for the possible event of burglars in the house.
Knowing what was on my mind the clerk asked me that memorable question “would you like to have this in gold options, stocks or physical bullion?” He went through great lengths to explain me the advantages of “gold papers” that follow the value of gold at any time, so increase in value if the gold price further increases. There would be no necessity to actually touch physical things, and I could cash in the papers at any time.
I almost agreed to his offer, when suddenly a small yet bright thought of warning flashed my mind. Something that a goldsmith I met before told me years earlier, he said: “If you ever buy gold, remember the reason why you buy it, and do not buy virtual gold, but the real thing only”.
This thought won in the end because my adviser taught me many basic things about jewelry and metals, and I highly respected his opinion. Turned out he was right. Less than 6 months later, the company I bought the bullion from faced bankruptcy and all their options, shares and other papers lost all of their value. I still had my physical gold however, that increased in value by about 10% at that time.
With that example fresh in mind, I personally still make distinctions when I buy personal products that enhance my lifestyle today.
Yes I invest a lot in software for example that enhances my virtual PC desktop, and helps websites function the way they should, and also loose a lot of it every few years when a harddisk or server crashes. I also enjoy the latest designer clothes, however they wear out and generally get damaged by usage over time.
However I keep a small collection of silver and gold jewelry in the same fresh looking condition as I originally bought it many years ago. These items never wear out, never go out of style. And never loose their value. It’s the real thing.
George Ahrens is editor at BlueOceanJewelry.com where you can find a fresh breeze in style of unique silver jewelry with a touch of smart elegance and sophistication. New designs with colorful precious gemstones that express vitality and dynamic energy. Bold statements of style, fun and timeless elegance.