Carl Faberge the world-famous goldsmith and jeweler to the Tsars of Russia created a variety of items for the Russian royal family. He made an arrangement in 1885 with Emperor Aleksandr III to fabricate a special Easter egg with a surprise in it for the Queen.
He did just that, and everyone was impressed. A new tradition was born. Approximately 45 or so eggs were completed over the next 30 years, and the world has come to know them as “Faberge Imperial Eggs.”
Recently Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg (one of the richest Russians) bought the world’s largest private collection of Faberge Eggs from the family of Malcom S. Forbes…for what is rumored to be more than $100 million!
The nine eggs were originally set to hit the Sotheby’s auction block, but were snapped up in a private deal prior to letting the public have a crack at them.
It seems this Imperial Egg sale is just the tip of the iceberg in what appears to be a growing trend in luxury goods investment.
Be it a vintage Rolls Royce or a vintage Mustang, fantastic Faberge Egg or Ming Dynasty porcelain, it seems the world demand for scarce and collectable goods is on the rise.
With interest rates at 40-plus-year lows, and economic growth barely visible, what’s a millionaire or billionaire going to do with “surplus cash?” Well, a traditional hedge against inflation is to invest in gold, diamonds, paintings, and other valuable and rare objects.
This undeniable trend of late implies that a certain segment of our society may harbor some fear regarding inflation. And if the world keeps trending towards low interest, high inflation, and modest to zero growth…the best place for your money might be in an oil painting or vintage rock guitar.
The investment opportunities abound. Most of us don’t have a hundred million or a hundred thousand dollars to throw at some art object, but in our own way we can quietly find an investment outside the world of stocks, bonds and real estate.
Keep your eyes open and your nose to the ground. Those investments are out there, big and small.