There are many things that change with each generation. Tastes, fashions, technology and culture are all transient things. But while jewellery styles may change, jewellery itself never goes out of fashion.
So, it’s almost certain that in every house across the country there’s a box or two of old jewellery that’s been collected over the period of someone’s life. Some of it will be worn regularly, some of it might not have seen the light of day for decades.
Most of that jewellery will be high in sentimental value, but low on financial worth. One or two items might be almost priceless. The rest of it will be somewhere in between.
When someone dies, their jewellery is part of the estate that’s portioned out according to that individual’s Will.
Then the issue will be about which items are heirlooms to stay in the family, which are to be kept, worn and discarded as the beneficiary sees fit, and what gets sold.
The question then is how to tell what’s worth hanging onto and what can be moved on to someone new. That’s where I come in.
Many of my clients come to me when they inherit to ask if I can assess the jewellery they’ve been left, and it’s a service I’m always happy to provide for people.
Beyond establishing what’s the real deal and what is really just costume jewellery, there are a number of other benefits to having a professional jeweller look over the personal jewellery items you might inherit.
The first is that if there is a valuable item among the collection you’ve received, it’s an opportunity to you to have it formally valued.
It’s always a good idea to have an up-to-date valuation on significant individual items of jewellery for insurance purposes. It means that as long as they’re specifically listed within the policy, you have a much better chance of your insurer paying you their full value should the item be lost or stolen.
Another advantage to having a professional assessment of your jewellery is that a good jeweller will also be able to advise you on whether an item that’s broken can be repaired and whether that’s worth considering.
That decision will often come down to whether it’s a piece that has sentimental value and/or whether, as the new owner, you’ll ever want to wear it.
Another advantage is that your jeweller should be able to point out opportunities to remodel items, bringing them up to date and into line with current fashion.
Much inherited jewellery – especially older pieces from the early part of the 20th Century – is unfashionable, but a creative and skilled jeweller will be able to see ways to reinvent a piece so it can have a new life.
In fact, there’s a growing fashion for recycling jewellery, with many people now making a hobby out of sifting through bric-a-brac at charity shops, car boot sales and antiques houses in the hope of not just finding a hidden gem, but also something that has the potential to be recrafted.
And the final advantage of getting a jeweller to give your inherited items the once over? Well, if you have decided to sell one or more pieces should the price be right, your jeweller might just be the person to take it off your hands.
If you have some jewellery that’s been bequeathed to you and you want to get an idea of what it might be worth, get in touch and let’s make an appointment for me to come and look at it.
I make it my business to give you a fair and honest appraisal so you know exactly what you have in your hands.