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Inherited a significant amount of jewelry - looking for advice on next steps

mamallama2

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
6
Hi all,
I'm a newbie here and you all seem so helpful I thought I'd ask for advice.

My mom just passed recently so I've inherited not only her jewelry (mostly gold, some with opals and small diamonds) but also my grandmother's jewelry (several pieces with either larger diamonds or lots of diamonds, or both). I was told that my grandfather only went for higher quality diamonds, but I don't have documentation.

There are some pieces I would sell, and some I would keep. I know everything will need to be appraised and that there are different types of appraisals etc but it's all new to me. If it was only a couple of pieces I feel like it would be fine, but there's a lot to go through and I know appraisals cost money so I want to be smart about it. I would appreciate any advice as I embark on this process.

Thank you!
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,998
Welcome to the forum :))

@denverappraiser and @oldminer are two PS-recommended appraisers that may be suitable for your needs, and if you hover over their names, you can click on their profile pages and find their contact details :)


I think I speak for everyone here when I say it would be cool to see some pictures of what you have ;-) :) but I appreciate you may not wish to do so!
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,149
If it was me, I’d put aside anything I want to keep and not worry about appraisals on those pieces for the moment; if I hadn’t paid for it then I wouldn’t want to be paying insurance on it, especially if the value is potentially ‘only’ sentimental, so an appraisal would be pointless. I would, however, get anything that looks old or delicate looked over by a jeweller before wearing it, just to make sure it’s safe to wear (prongs won’t fail etc).

Then I’d get appraisals as and when I wanted to sell any remaining pieces, assuming I thought/guessed that they warranted the expense.

I’m sorry for your loss and hope the pieces you keep bring your good memories and comfort.
 
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Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
6,123
My condolences on your mum's passing
get it off to a trusted jewlery to be cleaned, appraised and sized so you can start wearing it
i would also caution against selling straight away unless you really need the money
just take your time to apptrate what you now have
And remember if there are styles not to your current taste - you could have some pieces converted...and taste does change especially was we get older and become less interested in what's in fashion and more interested in what we like

but also are there other family members who would appreate a sparkly momemto of your mum - perhaps a particularly close neice or your own (or future children)

My mum had us to choose a ring for my sister's daughter's 16th (she was only 6 at the time) and also something for a great neice my mum was particularly close to

especially if you have family pieces like from your grandparents

If i may also add, i would caution aganist desiding what to keep or sell or give away just by the monetary values (unless you really need the money now)
Take you time and wear the pieces and get to know them and what you enjoy wearing with what

my sister wasnt intetested in some of my mother's lesser value pieces yet i have very much enjoyed wearing them out and about

also have fun with mum's jewlwey and remember the pleasure she got in wearing it and the plessure your dad must have got giving it to her
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,133
Where are you located? You will need an independent appraiser who is not going to take advantage of you and try to buy the items from you for less than they are worth. As @OoohShiny posted above, we know of some independent appraisers, but they may not be close to you.

I would be clear to the appraiser that I am not interested in an inflated retail replacement value. I'd want to know the value of the gold pieces and diamonds. You may or may not decide to insure any of it, but if you do, the appraisals will help you determine the ones that are most valuable and harder to replace. Some of the pieces may be appraised for gold value only if they are pieces that are not in good condition or very out of style. Gold is quite high right now, so it would be a good time to sell those pieces for gold value only.

So sorry for the loss of your mother. I hope some of her special jewelry pieces will bring you happy memories!
 

mamallama2

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
6
Welcome to the forum :))

@denverappraiser and @oldminer are two PS-recommended appraisers that may be suitable for your needs, and if you hover over their names, you can click on their profile pages and find their contact details :)


I think I speak for everyone here when I say it would be cool to see some pictures of what you have ;-) :) but I appreciate you may not wish to do so!
Thank you - I will check them out. One is not too far away from where we go a couple of times a year, so maybe I can connect with him next time we'e there.

I'm attaching a picture of a few of the items. They aren't the greatest pictures but you get the idea. The solitaire looks like it has a weird dark spot in the photo, but it isn't like that in person and I don't have it with me right now to be able to retake the photo. The bottom right piece used to be one big opal but it somehow broke so they tweaked the design to reset it. It looks weird to me but my grandma loved her opals.

ETA: wow I need a manicure - please ignore that part lol
IMG_0730.JPG
 
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mamallama2

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
6
Where are you located? You will need an independent appraiser who is not going to take advantage of you and try to buy the items from you for less than they are worth. As @OoohShiny posted above, we know of some independent appraisers, but they may not be close to you.

I would be clear to the appraiser that I am not interested in an inflated retail replacement value. I'd want to know the value of the gold pieces and diamonds. You may or may not decide to insure any of it, but if you do, the appraisals will help you determine the ones that are most valuable and harder to replace. Some of the pieces may be appraised for gold value only if they are pieces that are not in good condition or very out of style. Gold is quite high right now, so it would be a good time to sell those pieces for gold value only.

So sorry for the loss of your mother. I hope some of her special jewelry pieces will bring you happy memories!
Thank you - that helps!
 

mamallama2

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
6
My condolences on your mum's passing
get it off to a trusted jewlery to be cleaned, appraised and sized so you can start wearing it
i would also caution against selling straight away unless you really need the money
just take your time to apptrate what you now have
And remember if there are styles not to your current taste - you could have some pieces converted...and taste does change especially was we get older and become less interested in what's in fashion and more interested in what we like

but also are there other family members who would appreate a sparkly momemto of your mum - perhaps a particularly close neice or your own (or future children)

My mum had us to choose a ring for my sister's daughter's 16th (she was only 6 at the time) and also something for a great neice my mum was particularly close to

especially if you have family pieces like from your grandparents

If i may also add, i would caution aganist desiding what to keep or sell or give away just by the monetary values (unless you really need the money now)
Take you time and wear the pieces and get to know them and what you enjoy wearing with what

my sister wasnt intetested in some of my mother's lesser value pieces yet i have very much enjoyed wearing them out and about

also have fun with mum's jewlwey and remember the pleasure she got in wearing it and the plessure your dad must have got giving it to her
Thank you - that's what I was thinking re: having something redesigned and keeping some items as heirlooms to pass down. As it is we have a couple of diamonds that were my grandmother's earrings that were repurposed into rings for my mom and I.
 

mamallama2

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
6
If it was me, I’d put aside anything I want to keep and not worry about appraisals on those pieces for the moment; if I hadn’t paid for it then I wouldn’t want to be paying insurance on it, especially if the value is potentially ‘only’ sentimental, so an appraisal would be pointless. I would, however, get anything that looks old or delicate looked over by a jeweller before wearing it, just to make sure it’s safe to wear (prongs won’t fail etc).

Then I’d get appraisals as and when I wanted to sell any remaining pieces, assuming I thought/guessed that they warranted the expense.

I’m sorry for your loss and hope the pieces you keep bring your good memories and comfort.
Thank you - I think for the most expensive pieces I will insure them asap, but I'm not as concerned about the less expensive pieces that are sentimental. That's a good reminder that I don't need to get everything appraised and to get things checked over to make sure they're sound.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
10,438
Appraisers do this kind of thing all the time.
Here is a list of independent appraisers:
I would take it all and discuss with the appraiser what your criteria is for having an item appraised and let the appraiser sort them for you.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
6,123
Thank you - I will check them out. One is not too far away from where we go a couple of times a year, so maybe I can connect with him next time we'e there.

I'm attaching a picture of a few of the items. They aren't the greatest pictures but you get the idea. The solitaire looks like it has a weird dark spot in the photo, but it isn't like that in person and I don't have it with me right now to be able to retake the photo. The bottom right piece used to be one big opal but it somehow broke so they tweaked the design to reset it. It looks weird to me but my grandma loved her opals.

ETA: wow I need a manicure - please ignore that part lol
IMG_0730.JPG
All so beautiful
Thanks for showing us
we love photos
The opal looks good tp me
like two halves of an egg and diamonds spilling out
I can see why your grandmas loved it and top marks to who ever designed it
 

mamallama2

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
6
All so beautiful
Thanks for showing us
we love photos
The opal looks good tp me
like two halves of an egg and diamonds spilling out
I can see why your grandmas loved it and top marks to who ever designed it
ah - it does look like an egg with diamonds spilling out! I didn't really see it like that before. I wonder if that was intentional.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,149
Thank you - I will check them out. One is not too far away from where we go a couple of times a year, so maybe I can connect with him next time we'e there.

I'm attaching a picture of a few of the items. They aren't the greatest pictures but you get the idea. The solitaire looks like it has a weird dark spot in the photo, but it isn't like that in person and I don't have it with me right now to be able to retake the photo. The bottom right piece used to be one big opal but it somehow broke so they tweaked the design to reset it. It looks weird to me but my grandma loved her opals.

ETA: wow I need a manicure - please ignore that part lol
IMG_0730.JPG
Are the pieces your style as is or do you think you’ll reimagine them? I love the idea of incorporating elements from an inherited piece into something personalised, to give the best of both worlds, and there are some inspirational threads on here. I love the pendant that looks like a bunny - it looks playful despite the sizeable stones!
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,998
Thank you - I will check them out. One is not too far away from where we go a couple of times a year, so maybe I can connect with him next time we'e there.

I'm attaching a picture of a few of the items. They aren't the greatest pictures but you get the idea. The solitaire looks like it has a weird dark spot in the photo, but it isn't like that in person and I don't have it with me right now to be able to retake the photo. The bottom right piece used to be one big opal but it somehow broke so they tweaked the design to reset it. It looks weird to me but my grandma loved her opals.

ETA: wow I need a manicure - please ignore that part lol
IMG_0730.JPG
Thank you for the pictures! They look like some interesting pieces :))
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,825
If it was me, I’d put aside anything I want to keep and not worry about appraisals on those pieces for the moment; if I hadn’t paid for it then I wouldn’t want to be paying insurance on it, especially if the value is potentially ‘only’ sentimental, so an appraisal would be pointless. I would, however, get anything that looks old or delicate looked over by a jeweller before wearing it, just to make sure it’s safe to wear (prongs won’t fail etc).

Then I’d get appraisals as and when I wanted to sell any remaining pieces, assuming I thought/guessed that they warranted the expense.

I’m sorry for your loss and hope the pieces you keep bring your good memories and comfort.
Not all appraisals have to do with insurance. It's about getting professional advice about an unfamiliar product and situation. Appraisers do this regularly and, I must say, using an unbiased and uninvolved professional can save a great deal of grief in this process.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,149
Not all appraisals have to do with insurance. It's about getting professional advice about an unfamiliar product and situation. Appraisers do this regularly and, I must say, using an unbiased and uninvolved professional can save a great deal of grief in this process.
I completely agree. But the original poster said that everything will need to be appraised, plus the OP seemed a little overwhelmed and also referenced the cost of lots of appraisals and being smart about it. I was trying, but obviously did not make it clear, to give them a way to break down the process into stages: park anything they may want to keep to deal with another day, and tackle items they’re thinking about selling for starters. Grief can be overwhelming and sometimes a clear plan of bite-size chunks can help get you through a larger process.

I also wanted to point out to them that their statement ‘everything will need to be appraised’ isn’t necessarily true. If the value of a piece is sentimental and spending money is a concern, then an appraisal won’t add to the enjoyment, comfort or memories that piece will bring. If they want to reset something in the future and are unsure of exactly what the item is, then appraisals can be done later in the process. If they’re worried about theft, then storage at a bank may be easier/cheaper than appraising and insuring unworn pieces and keeping them in their house. I just wanted to raise options in the face of a blanket statement the OP made that isn’t necessarily true. What was in my head didn’t quite make it on to paper well explained, as usual!
 
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denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,825
I charge by the hour for this kind of work and I do quite a bit of it. Separating out the 'costume' items from the fine jewelry pieces and separating the items that are likely to be worth their weight in gold but no more from that those that would benefit from more attention usually goes pretty fast. Maybe a minute each. That's still an appraisal even if it's not the familiar insurance documentation. Occasionally that leads to more in-depth work on some items but it's not necessary and it makes it possible to make that decision on an informed basis. We don't know what a 'significant amount' means but, assuming we're not talking about a palate load of complex and expensive items, this is generally not a particularly costly or time-consuming job. The conversation with the client about the various options on the table for sell/keep/restyle/gift and keeping expectations at a realistic level often takes more time than the inspection itself.
 

Modified Brilliant

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,489
Neil has explained it well. Baby Boomers nationwide are inheriting alot of jewelry and appraisers are a very valuable source of professional guidance and information.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
6,123
Where i took mum's jewlwey, the jewler offered a service to help divide up inheritance fairly between family members
i have no idea what that cost,
my mother left quite a detailed letter regarding who got what piece of jewlery so we had no drama in that dept
 

Rons Wolfe

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
Messages
41
I really like that solitaire, super cool mount! You're got some nice stuff there, hope it brings back happy memories for you.
 
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