Since the beginning, jewelry has been a pivotal accessory in Hip Hop, more specifically the diamond chain necklace. Because it symbolizes a mark of wealth, lots of rappers are sure to let you know how much they spent on their chain. As audience listeners, we’ve heard numbers as high as the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which might seem inconsequential for a rapper, but for us everyday folks, that’s a lot of money…typically what we’d spend on a 30 year mortgage.
This begs the question of why rappers spend so much on jewelry? Some people argue that they’re investing their money, which kind of makes sense. A lot of people who invest in gold or silver say it’s because their money holds value without being subjected to as much inflation as money in an account. A fair point, however, if you really think about the jewelry market, that doesn’t seem to add up.
For one, have you every tried reselling jewelry? It’s very disappointing. Since you can’t use jewelry (or gold for that matter) as actual money in everyday life, your options are to resell to a pawn shop, jewelry store, or cash for gold establishment, which will all offer you a fraction of what you initially paid. I’m not a rapper with an expensive chain, but when wearing gold necklaces was big in the 90’s, I had one, but eventually stopped wearing it…as time went on I took it to a cash for gold place only to have $10 offered my way. I’m positive the chain cost a few hundred dollars originally, and I understand that resellers intend to make some money too, but to only have a few dollars in value seems like a terrible investment, which hints at the main problem that resellers goals are to solely make profit, so they’re never going to pay anywhere near what you initially invested.
On top of that, diamonds mean nothing. Most of them are plucked from the jewelry before it’s melted down for it’s worth in metal. Though pretty, diamonds are a terrible asset. The demand for diamonds is completely man made and the market is a monopoly controlled by the De Beers Mining Company, so when it comes to resell, even a really fancy expensive diamond won’t get you a positive return on investment…they really are just pretty rocks.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t resell your jewelry…it just means that it’s not an investment. The main problem is you can never redeem jewelry for it’s traded price in gold/metal. In addition, even if you could somehow cut out the middle man and get the market value of your jewelry’s metal, you most likely paid way too much because of diamonds and other stones, so you’ll still be loosing on your investment.
Come to think of it, jewelry is more on par with video games when it comes to value. If you have ever tried to trade some old video games in for a new one, you’ll notice that the store doesn’t do an even swap…often a stack of old video games equates to a fraction of the new one and the same would happen if you tried trading your jewelry for some more too. So when a rapper says they’re wearing a $100,000 on their neck or wrist, it’s a little bit of a lie…they would be better off just wearing the actual money.