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  • Things to know about your jewellery when getting divorced

Things to know about your jewellery when getting divorced

"When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn’t a sign that they "don’t understand" one another, but a sign that they have, at last, begun to." said Helen Rowland.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found 45% of marriages will end in divorce before a couple’s 50th anniversary if rates continue, with almost half of these splits occurring before couples reach 10 years of marriage.

After the first decade, fewer than 31% of marriages will end in divorce, and after 20 years the proportion falls to about 15%

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With these numbers in mind, one can imagine how many engagement rings end up on the market for sale.

In an effort to help divorcees understand their jewellery (and what they can do with it in the time of a divorce), I have put together the following list:

1. Know who is entitled to the jewellery
The rightful owner is determined by several factors including how it was given, local jurisdiction and reason for marital dissolution. A first good step is to consult a family lawyer to determine ownership.

2. Be emotionally ready
Whether you decide to sell it, redesign it or keep it, make sure you are emotionally ready to go through the process. It is not always a walk in the park. If you decide to sell it, it can be the most difficult (or most easy) step depending on the situation.

3. Keep it in a safe place
Keep it safe (in a safe). Whether you put it in your safe at home or at the bank, don’t be a victim of a sock-drawer disappearance.

4. Know what it’s worth
Most jewellery shops or buyers will be able to give you a rough estimate of what your jewellery is worth. Make sure to shop with a jeweller who has been recommended so they will give you a realistic and worthwhile estimate.

5. Know how to get the top price for it if you decide to sell it
Getting the maximum value for your jewellery requires understanding its worth and finding the best buyer for it. Chose a reputable buyer who comes recommended. This can be a very confidential endeavor so consider choosing a jewellery buyer in a private setting, and make sure you shop around.

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All in all, the good news is that the owner of a jewellery asset has the choice to do with it what he or she wishes. If one were to ask Shakespeare what to do, he might say, "To sell, or not to sell, that is the question."

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Lewis Malka

Specialist Engagement rings made in Hatton Garden, London

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