Rising quality jewellery prices leave wealthy exposed

By Lee Rhodes, Managing Director, Quantum Underwriting Solutions Plc

There is no doubt that the continually rising prices of diamonds, platinum and other precious metals is putting the insurance cover of thousands of wealthy individuals at risk.

There has been a marked increase in prices for luxury jewellery and Swiss watches in the last few years, and my experience is that there are large numbers of wealthy people who don’t appreciate the real value of their prized possessions. Inflation may be on the increase, but the value of these luxury items is growing at a much faster rate.

To combat this phenomenon it is vital that people review their insurance cover regularly in order to keep pace with soaring values.

Boodles, the luxury jeweller, tell me that many customers visiting their stores are under-insured, even on items bought as little as one year ago. To illustrate the point they tell me £6,500 that the price of a 10 carat round brilliant cut diamond has

soared in the last 12 years from £175,000 to £345,000 – virtually a 100% rise. A gent’s calendar chronograph platinum watch which sold for $100,000 three years ago recently sold at auction for $146,000.

Boodles point out that the price of platinum has nearly doubled in a year and diamonds over three carats have increased by over 30% since the start of 2008. Watches of Switzerland tells us that the last five years most quality Swiss brands have increased by an average of 10% per annum. Indeed, Rolex prices on steel watches have risen significantly in the last three years, ranging from 20% to 45% dependent on the exact model.

Inflation is not the only problem when it comes to watches. Despite a recommended retail price of £4,850 one of most sought after Rolex models, a Daytona Cosmograph in steel, To illustrate the point they tell me for which there is a four year waiting list, would cost to replace in the second hand market.

Lee Rhodes is Managing Director of Quantum Underwriting Solutions, a specialist insurance broker dealing exclusively with the personal insurance needs of affluent clients. Quantum insures properties all over Europe and combines market leading

For more information visit www.quantumplc.com