How to Handle a Jewelry Inheritance

Whether you are giving or receiving jewelry as an inheritance, the priority is to determine its worth.

Rather than rushing into what to do with the jewelry, take a moment to reflect on what the gift means to you. Value is measured in different ways:

Sentimental Value

Jewelry with sentimental value is tied to the memories it evokes. Heirloom or estate jewelry often has a personal story to tell, one that has significance to you and your family. Chances are, you’ll decide to keep these treasures as keepsakes.

  • Safeguard the jewelry as an ongoing inheritance for future generations.
  • Wear the jewelry yourself, so you can appreciate it on its own.
  • Consider having a personal jeweler design a special piece for you using the jewels of your inheritance. Wearing old jewelry in a new way gives it a second life while honoring the person who gifted it to you.

Scrap Value

If the jewelry you inherit holds no sentimental value for you, then selling it may be your best option. After all – jewels turned into cash could be a valuable resource to help with the down payment on your first home! It can also be a practical way to divide the value of inherited jewelry among family members.

The scrap value of jewelry is the price a jewelry store or dealer will pay you for the items to be broken down into metal and gemstones that are usually sold as stand-alone items, although many people love to buy old jewelry. Naturally, you’d want to sell to a reputable source who has the expertise necessary to make competent offers. Just remember: Sell only the jewelry that you’re ready to part with, to avoid having any regrets later.

Insurance Value

The insurance value of inherited jewelry is the cash amount an insurance company will pay out to replace it, if the jewelry is lost, stolen or damaged. It’s especially important to insure older pieces, because it may be impossible to replace them; at least you can be compensated for the jewelry’s financial value. The insurance or financial value of jewelry should be recalculated every few years or so because the prices of gold and gemstones fluctuate with the world market.

The Importance of Appraisals

One of the best decisions you can make is to have your inherited jewelry appraised – regardless of what value you give it personally. Knowing what the jewelry is worth in financial terms helps when selling it or keeping it; to insure it for the proper amount or sell it at a fair price. The age of a piece can affect its value in several ways, as well as the quality of workmanship, the current price of stones and precious metals or whether it’s a collector’s item from a noted designer or manufacturer. Even costume jewelry pieces can be worth more than you might think.

Find a qualified appraiser who is a graduate gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) with a gem lab and the instruments required to properly examine a stone and determine its quality. According to the American Society of Appraisers, a competent appraisal should:

  • State clearly the purpose of the appraisal
  • Describe the jewelry in the detail appropriate to the type of appraisal
  • Include images of the jewelry (except when it has been lost or destroyed)
  • Specify the type of value provided such as replacement cost, fair market value, marketable cash value, etc.
  • Explain the procedures used to arrive at a value
  • State any circumstances that limited the performance of the appraisal
  • Give the date of the appraisal
  • Be signed by the appraiser with contact information provided
  • Describe the qualifications of the appraiser

Trust Indy Facets with Your Inherited Jewelry

Jewelry is meant to be worn and enjoyed by generations. Whether you want to keep the jewelry as is, want to have it transformed into a new piece of jewelry or intend to sell it, we are experts at appraisals, professional restoration or custom re-design. We also specialize in providing our clients the highest cash offer for diamonds, gold and estate jewelry. In many cases, we can use the value from your gold and diamonds towards the purchase of a new piece. Let’s Get Started!

Indy Facets – Everyone’s Private Jeweler

Indy Facets seamlessly blends the expertise and full service of a traditional jewelry store with the value and convenience of a personal jeweler experience. We give you the face-to-face interaction with an expert that you deserve, in a private setting where you can relax and feel comfortable. Owner/Designer Shaun Goodyear and his team have earned an excellent reputation as Indiana’s private jeweler for engagement rings, custom design, investment grade diamonds, luxury Swiss timepieces, estate jewelry, jewelry repair and the highest level of customer service, available to you from an onsite, state-of-the-art Custom Design Studio and Gemological Laboratory by appointment only. You are guaranteed a unique, fun and exciting experience without the hype, pressure, judgment or uncertainty associated with other jewelry shopping options. Visit IndyFacets.com or call (317) 810-1665 to schedule your appointment Monday thru Friday, 8 am to 4 pm.

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