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Where/how to appraise estate jewelry

QueenofDiamonds33

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 8, 2014
Messages
51
Hi all! I recently inherited a large amount of jewelry after a close relative's passing - I know that a lot of it is costume, but I know that some of it isn't. What is the best way to go about finding out what has value and what doesn't? Can I take it to an appraiser or jewelry store?

There are of course 14kt markings on some of the rings - so I know they are "real" - but I don't know about the stones, etc. The whole purpose behind this is that I intend to split up the items that are of worth among my siblings, so I am trying to be fair about it. I don't intend to sell the pieces that I am keeping, but my siblings may (I have no idea).

Thanks in advance for the advice!
 

Unobuck19

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
64
Great post! I've wondered the same thing. I am in same situation. I was going to go local but Im not sure I want to go to a pawn shop and I'm not sure about the local jewelers. I wanted a custom piece done and received a total of 2 emails back- so not really impressed.

Good luck!
 

Luce

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Messages
1,113
I was just in the same situation. My Jewelry store was going to charge a bundle to appraise so I went to 'home consignment'. Where they sell estate jewelry. The proprietress appraised about 40 pieces for no charge. I made an excel spreadsheet of each item with description which made it easier for her to jot down the values.
 

Unobuck19

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
64
Luce-
what a great idea! I think I will do the same- love Excel lol
I will also see about going to an antique/ vintage jeweler too
I'm excited!! :dance:
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 2, 2013
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3,409
QueenofDiamonds33|1444306282|3936221 said:
Hi all! I recently inherited a large amount of jewelry after a close relative's passing - I know that a lot of it is costume, but I know that some of it isn't. What is the best way to go about finding out what has value and what doesn't? Can I take it to an appraiser or jewelry store?
There are of course 14kt markings on some of the rings - so I know they are "real" - but I don't know about the stones, etc. The whole purpose behind this is that I intend to split up the items that are of worth among my siblings, so I am trying to be fair about it. I don't intend to sell the pieces that I am keeping, but my siblings may (I have no idea).
Thanks in advance for the advice!
Are you the executor of the estate? If so, appraisal costs are chargeable against the estate, and because you have a fiduciary's responsibilities-duties, I would use an independent appraiser for at least what seem to be the more important pieces.

Even if a local jewelry store's employee has the GIA Graduate Gemologist diploma & is willing to do appraisals, that doesn't mean s/he is competent to do so & you or your siblings should feel content with whatever piece of paper s/he produces.
* GIA itself doesn't offer any appraising classes, so a GIA GG can be as ignorant about appraising as any random stranger on the street.

* If there are any pieces with what appear to be a diamond or diamonds that aren't insignificant, please know that if a jewelry store has a master set for color comparison assessment (you don't want to rely on someone merely eyeballing your diamond for color), the set is almost certain to be comprised of CZs. CZ master set colors are typically no better than the upper half of the color grade, not the beginning, and CZs "drift" with the passage of time.
A diamond master set of usefully sized stones that's met the approval of GIA or AGS is a pricey investment, even if it's the basic 5-stone set, not 7 or more. So unless your retail trade is dedicated to appraisals, you wouldn't expend the big bucks, energy, and time needed to assemble a GIA or AGS approved master set. Indeed, there are a number of appraisers-only who use just CZ master sets. That matters less to people who have a grading report from a solid lab for, e.g., the center diamond of their e-ring. But you don't have any such independent documentation.

Sooooo, consider using only someone who holds the Master Gemologist Appraiser certificate from the American Society of Appraisers:
http://www.appraisers.org/Disciplines/Gems-Jewelry/master-gemologist-appraiser
or the top credentials as described here:
http://www.antoinettematlins.com/pressroom/articles/Reputable_JewelerB.html
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,409
P.S. I 'd like to recommend that you avoid assigning yourself the task of splitting up items among your siblings. Once you have an inventory roster, distribute that to the sibs in advance of you all getting together. Present them with a fistful of straws cut to different lengths, but held so the tops are all aligned. After each of them has drawn a straw, the person who got the longest one selects his/her first choice, followed by the person with the second-longest straw making her/his top selection, and so on until everything has been spoken for, or it reaches the point where no one cares about what hasn't already been chosen.

This MO eliminates suspicions that you favored one or more of the other sibs (or yourself). Plus, it's entirely possible that your anticipated distributions don't jive with the priorities and tastes of every one of the others, e.g., one of your siblings might value having, for sentimental reasons, a piece of lesser monetary value & make that one of their early selections in the round-robin rotations.

Of course, this is easiest if you all can arrange to be physically together for the round-robin. But variations of it can be done in long distance scenarios.
 

QueenofDiamonds33

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 8, 2014
Messages
51
Thanks for all of this useful information! I am the executor of the estate, so good to know. And the straw idea is perfect, I was thinking something similar as far as choosing numbers and setting a rotation where everyone could pick what they wanted.

Thanks for the advice! :)
 
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