Is Chanel Jewelry Worth the Investment?
Costume jewelry isn’t made to provoke desire, just astonishment at most. It must remain an ornament and an amusement.” – Gabrielle Chanel
During the pandemic, consumers started investing more in jewelry since it could be seen in a Zoom call, and it was viewed as a hard asset and a tangible form of wealth. So, it should come as no surprise that jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels, Hermes, Tiffany, and Chanel have been trending at LePrix Wholesale.
If you read our Summer and Fall 2021 Trends Reports, you already know pre-owned designer jewelry were some of our best sellers, and Chanel brooches, cuffs, necklaces, belts, and earrings were some of the hottest items of the year. Chanel’s use of high-quality goods and artisan craftsmen makes these items more than worth the money. And while many people may question the resale value due to the fact that most of their pearls are not real — in fact, Chanel chose to use cultured pearls because she loved mixing high-end and low-end jewelry — and many stonesare either poured glass or faux too.
Before Chanel introduced the concept of layering jewelry (a mix of high and low), wealthy customers were uncomfortable wearing expensive jewelry out in public and would wear costume jewelry as a way to protect their investment pieces. So, they’d leave their precious jewels at home and wear the faux which begs the question…why is Chanel jewelry so expensive? Let’s find out!
CHANEL JEWELRY THROUGH THE YEARS
In the 1920s, Coco Chanel introduced the concept of costume jewelry. She wanted to give women another way to dress up without displaying their wealth, and let them accessorize and accentuate their entire look, and not just one piece of clothing. Chanel’s first jewelry line was created by a designer named Etienne de Beaumont and it was exclusively available only to select Chanel customers. Needless to say, these pieces are extremely rare and if you can get stock your store with these items, you’ve got a gold mine.
1920s - 1939
The Roaring 20s were all about dresses, fringe, long pearl necklaces, and Art Deco-inspired jewelry. In 1927 an artist by the name of Fulco di Verdura introduced us to Chanel’s famous black enamel, Maltese Cross cuff bracelets. In 1932, Chanel began experimenting with her first fine jewelry collection, dubbed the Bijoux de Diamants.
Chanel also worked with other designers like François Hugo, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Suzanne Gripoix to jointly create some of the highest-quality costume jewelry the world had ever seen.
The House of Gripoix made Byzantine-inspired jewelry, and Coco Chanel was so impressed with the artful use of colorful, poured glass designs, she commissioned a partnership with Gripoix that lasted for decades. Check out some of our favorite Gripoix pieces below.
1940 - 1954
During World War II, Chanel closed up her 31 Rue Cambon shop and move to Switzerland.
1954 - 1971
In 1954, Coco Chanel moved back to Paris and reopened her 31 Rue Cambon shop. This is when she began adding a signature CHANEL stamp to her pieces or attached the signature to a hangtag. For her most exquisite pieces, three stars were stamped directly below the CHANEL logo. She also began producing Camellia Brooches, multi-strand and beaded Sautoir Necklaces, and faux pearl clip-on earrings.
Then she hired a Chief Designer of Jewelry, Robert Goossens, who introduced the fashion house to luxe pieces crafted from gold and diamonds, which were then replicated as bijouterie in her collections.Coco passed away in 1971.
1971 - 1980
Following Chanel’s death, Alain Wertheimer and his brother Gerard took ownership of Chanel (and they’re still in control). They recognized the importance of preserving Chanel’s name and therefore began to trademark the jewelry. This was the introduction of the CHANEL plaque with copyright and registration marks along with the interlocking CC logo and ‘MADE IN FRANCE’.
1981 - 1992
In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel as Head Designer and a year later, he hired Victoire de Castallane to run the jewelry design. While at the helm, she created some of Chanel’s most collectable and memorable pieces to date. She also introduced a new dating system, moving from a specific year to a season.
1993 - TODAY
There have been a few more changes with Chanel jewelry, such as the addition of a double-digit figure featuring the year (on the left side of the logo) followed by the letter ‘P’ for the Spring collection, ‘A’ for Autumn or ‘C’ for Cruise to the right. This method is still used today.
MATERIALS & MORE
Is Chanel jewelry worth the investment? While it is costume jewelry, it’s also a collector’s item and won’t lose its value because…it’s still Chanel. Whether your customers prefer real rubies and emeralds, or the artful and increasingly rare Gripoix glass beads, Chanel has items to satisfy their every need. While there were a few fine jewelry lines that featured precious metals and jewels, they were discontinued in 2010.
Some of the materials currently used to make Chanel jewelry include:
- Faux and semi-precious stones
- Gold- and silver-plated metals and sterling silver
- Glass beads and cabochons (Gripoix)
- Faux pearls
- Leather, ribbons, fur, lace and velour
- Rhodium and stainless steel
STOCK UP ON CHANEL JEWELRY AT LEPRIX WHOLESALE
We’re here to help you source the best margins and best pre-owned Chanel jewelry items for your shop.
On our wholesale platform, every item comes with a description, condition, and letter grade for top brands. By leveraging deep data analytics and AI, our platform also shows you a suggested minimum resale price and estimated profit margin for top pre-owned brands like Chanel, Hermès and Dior. Every item is LePrix-vetted and inspected so you and your customers can rest assured knowing that each purchase is authentic.
If you’re a business, you may qualify for exclusive access to authentic, pre-owned designer bags and accessories at wholesale prices. Find out more here.
*LePrix is not affiliated with any brands in any manner. All items are LePrix Vetted and Approved: LePrix’s team of specialists inspect every item before it’s listed and sold on LePrix Wholesale.