Helping to Sell Inherited Jewelry

by Jane Becker on April 16, 2018

Periodically I am asked to appraise inherited jewelry for insurance, estate tax purposes, or simply to know the value of each piece.  Everyone wants to know the value of their jewelry so that they can enjoy it themselves, pass it on to the next generation, sell it, or even repurpose it.  It’s very exciting for me to tell my client that what they have inherited is valuable.  This helps them to decide what to do with each piece.

A good example of this is that recently I’ve worked on two separate estates – the first was from a trust and estate attorney who hired me.  He knew that his client had a safe deposit box but wasn’t sure exactly what was in it.  Once he got permission from the bank to take possession of the contents of the box, I appraised each item, photographed them, and gave the entire estate a dollar value.  About a month later, the client contacted us.  They only wished to keep one piece from the estate and asked me to sell the rest.  Over the course of several months I have collected a dollar value that is very close to the appraised value.

A second estate I worked on recently, started as a referral to a client who wanted to custom make their wedding bands.  Before we met she asked me if I work with estate jewelry.  I told her yes, I did, and during our meeting she showed me all these lovely pieces that she inherited from her mother but was never going to wear.  I was able to sell them for her and as of today those sales have covered most of the cost of her custom wedding bands.

This just shows the power of knowing the value of your jewelry so you know how to proceed.

Tip:  When you have an older piece and you want to sell it, do not polish or repair it, as it will diminish the value of that piece.

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