Diamonds are still a girl's best friend

Article date: 13 April 2011

Sparkly engagement rings are still the most precious pieces of jewellery in UK homes, but they could be worth a lot more than you think – research reveals that the value of gold, silver and gems has risen by over 70% in the past 10 years.1

White gold and platinum solitaire diamond rings were the most common item Aviva replaced for its home customers in the second half of 2010,2 but their price today is £850 higher than a decade ago, while eternity rings have risen by 136% to nearly £1,300.

Top 10 items of jewellery replaced by Aviva in 2010 and how prices have changed1

Jewellery

2001 Average value

2011 Average value

% Change

1. 18ct white gold & platinum 0.5ct diamond solitaire ring

£1,650

£2,499

51%

2. 18ct white gold & platinum gem set eternity rings

£550  

£1,299

136%

3. 18ct white gold diamond single stone stud earrings

£995  

£1,575

58%

4. 9 & 18ct white & yellow gold gem set earrings

£55  

£95

73%

5. 9 & 18ct white & yellow gold gem set pendants

£275  

£450

64%

6. Chunky silver jewellery – charm bracelets etc

£90  

£165

83%

7. 9ct white gold diamond & pearl stud earrings

£90

£159

77%

8. 9ct gold, freshwater pearl bracelet

£65

£119

83%

9. 9ct gold cultured pearl earrings

£25

£49

96%

10. 9ct gold 0.17ct diamond set ring

£235

£499

112%

Total average value and increase

£4,030

£6,909

71%

Soon-to-be-royal Kate Middleton's engagement ring cost £28,000 when it was bought by Prince Charles for the then Lady Diana Spencer in February 1981. It is reported that at today's prices the oval 18-carat blue sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds would cost an estimated £85,000 – rising in value by 204% in the past 20 years.3

“Obviously most couples won’t be investing in anything as expensive as Kate’s sapphire,” says Jonathan Cracknell, household underwriter at Aviva.

“But whatever the price, it is important that homeowners check their valuables are insured for the right amount. Engagement and eternity rings have huge sentimental value and often customers are devastated to lose them so it's important that at least they are compensated financially for such items.

“Even if you have only had a special piece of jewellery for two or three years, it is likely its value has increased in that time. A reputable jeweller who has a NAG (National Association of Goldsmiths) registered valuer will be able to tell you what your pieces are worth and you can then make sure it is insured for the right price.

“This means that in the unhappy event that they are lost or stolen, customers will get the best like for like replacement we can source or even the choice to re-create their piece of jewellery if a suitable match can’t be found.”

To ensure that all your treasured pieces are covered, Aviva has increased its standard cover on "Single Articles" in the home, such as jewellery, to £2,000 per item and its overall valuables limit has increased to £10,000.

The growing value of jewellery has been fuelled by the rising price of precious metals, like gold and silver as the levels of demand outstrip the available supply. Sourcing these precious metals and stones has also become increasingly difficult which has pushed up their value. For example:

  • On April 8 this year the price of gold was £897.80 per oz - 12 months ago it was £755.81per oz 4
  • Silver was £24.60 per oz – 12 months ago it was £11.82 per oz4

For more information on insurance direct from Aviva go to www.aviva.co.uk

-ends-

For further information please contact:

Aviva Press Office:
Rebecca Holmes 01603 685177/07800 690 731 rebecca.l.holmes@aviva.co.uk

The Wriglesworth Consultancy:
Suman Hughes/ Hugh Murphy 020 7427 1400 s.hughes@wriglesworth.com

Notes to editors:

1 Average retail high street prices in 2001 and 2011 from Aurum Holdings (Aurum is the largest prestige and luxury jewellers in the UK which now includes Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths brands within its portfolio - http://www.aurumholdings.co.uk/)

2 Top 10 pieces of jewellery replaced by Aviva after being lost, stolen or damaged in last six months of 2010

3 Information from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704615504576172310174841214.html

4 Source: Cookson Precious Metal Bulletin  - www.cooksongold.com

Aviva is one of the world's largest insurance groups* with 53 million customers worldwide and 46,000 employees.

Aviva’s main activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion*.

In the UK, Aviva takes care of its 19.2 million customers by helping them look after their future, protecting what’s important – from their health to their homes, their cars to their business – and saving for the future.

Aviva has a 10.5%** share of the UK life and pensions market and insures one in six homes and one in 10 cars in the UK. It is also one of the oldest UK insurers, with a heritage stretching back more than 300 years.

RAC, which is owned by Aviva, provides breakdown and insurance services for individuals and businesses and has around seven million customers.

Aviva is carbon neutral worldwide, and is ranked in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. In the UK, Aviva invested £3.8 million into local communities in 2009. Read our corporate responsibility report at www.aviva.com/cr.

Aviva’s global Street to School programme is working in partnership with Railway Children in the UK to get children living on the streets back into education and everyday life. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.

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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

** Source: ABI data released August 2010

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