Young buyers under the age of 25 are leading to a surge in interest in antique jewellery, according to one of Ireland’s top gem experts and turned online sensation.
According to Matthew Weldon of Courtville Antiques in Dublin, the new generation is in search of sustainable stones and has a knowledge and enthusiasm to rival astute veteran collectors.
And much of that is due to the time they’ve found during the Covid lockdown to research their chosen gems.
Weldon has spearheaded an online revolution in Irish antique jewelery sales with over 3.4 million likes on TikTok – and also presents the hugely popular Gem Pursuit, which is in the top 5 percent of podcasts listened to globally.
He is one of the main exhibitors at Timeless, the Irish Antique Dealers’ Fair, which returns to Dublin’s RDS today after a two-year Covid hiatus.
“The younger market wants to understand things — if I have someone under 25 walking in to see something, they’ve researched it,” he said.
“They want to be talked about at a pretty high level about the details. They won’t say, “Is that an emerald?” – they will search for the origin and treatment of it.
“Before lockdown, young people would go in and buy the simplest engagement ring they could get, but given the time constraints on research, they want sustainable design classics.
“If I had a whole shop full of Edwardian solitaire gold rings I could sell them right now, such is the demand for stones that are completely one-of-a-kind – especially emeralds.
“Young people deal with antiques in a completely different way. They want to know about the piece independently of you, while the more traditional customer is guided by you and the store.
“The demand for tickets from our followers was enormous. They love the opportunity to see such a collection of design classics under one roof,” said Weldon.
“This is the first major physical gathering of dealers and nothing beats physically attending and viewing pieces.
“We will be doing multiple TikTok Lives, Instagram Lives and recording a podcast episode at the show.”
Courtville Antiques produces three Instagram posts per day, one story every other day and live video weekly.
*Ireland’s largest selection of timeless classics will be on display at Timeless, the Irish Antique Dealers’ Fair, from today through Sunday.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/timeless-appeal-young-generation-with-an-eye-for-a-gem-lead-the-charge-at-rds-antiques-fair-42012461.html Timeless appeal: Young generation with an eye for gems leads the field at the RDS antiques fair