As appraisers, we see many clients with items of jewelry bought while on destination vacations, including quite a few from cruise ship vacations. More often than not, the story does not have a happy ending. For our vacationing friends (as well as others traveling on business), our advice is simple: If you want to buy gems or jewelry away from home, especially on a cruise, do so because you’ve fallen in love with the piece or as a memento of your vacation, but never buy jewelry for the purpose of “investment.”
The cruise ship travel industry is vast. In 2010, industry estimates of cruise ship passengers was 14.8 million with 16.3 million in 2011. The industry revenue for the US economy was $37.85 billion.¹ That is ‘b’ as in Billion. These statistic present a titanic (if you will excuse the pun) opportunity for deception and puffery from jewelry stores affiliated with the travel business, and vacationers looking to be “entertained.” The numbers suggest that the cases we hear about may really only be the tip of the iceberg (again, excuse our reference!).