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What to do if you just Inherited Jewelry.

Inheriting a piece of jewelry can be a huge blessing. It speaks volumes about your relationship with your loved one. They valued your relationship so much that they wanted you to have one of their prized or expensive possessions.

Everyone has jewelry they do not personally care for and would feel guilty selling. Many people struggle to figure out what to do with these items. While there is no way to measure sentimental value, this article will help you figure out what to do with your inherited jewelry.


When establishing the worth of inherited jewelry, the most crucial factor to consider is whether or not the piece contains a sentimental value for you. That determination will be your guiding light when deciding whether to invest in jewelry restoration, appraisal, or other services. Even if a piece doesn't have a lot of retail value, it can provide you a lot of joy and is worth investing in to pass down to the next generation. You can sell jewelry with no sentimental value to you or another family member, but some people may feel bad about selling inherited pieces. There's nothing to be ashamed of because it's preferable to sell items you don't need and put the money toward a project that will benefit you more rather than just letting your inherited jewelry go to waste in the back of your cupboard.

Use it personally

If any of the jewelry you inherited has sentimental value, you should preserve it. Have you noticed the gleaming gemstone jewelry? Take them to your neighborhood jeweler for a cleaning, and they'll sparkle like new! You'll always enjoy a tiny bit of your loved one with you. If you choose to preserve inherited jewelry, you will always appreciate having a piece of your loved one with you. And you'll have a great time telling the unique story behind the item.

Pass it to the next generation

Save it as a family heirloom for many generations to come. If your family has a tradition of passing down wedding rings or other pieces of fine jewelry, it's probably best to keep those items in the family. Those pieces have sentimental value and share your family's history.

Consider repurposing some of the jewelry

While some people seek jewelry redesign specifically to eliminate the meaning associated with an item, others seek to repurpose to preserve the history of their jewelry, which is typically the case with heirloom jewelry. If you inherited jewelry following the loss of a loved one or as a result of reaching a life milestone, you might find yourself with a piece that must be repaired, updated, or restyled to suit your tastes. In the latter case, one common issue is whether repurposing an inherited object may generate conflict or damaged feelings. You know your family best, so draw on that knowledge to help you decide how to handle an heirloom.


Getting an appraisal is an excellent method to learn more about your inherited items. Keep in mind, however, that the appraised value does not equal the amount you will earn when you sell the products—the demand for secondhand jewelry changes regularly.

Valuations are so important when it comes to insuring your jewelry collection because they determine what you will receive should you need to make a claim. Insurers will not pay any more than the amount of the policy you've taken out, so if you have taken out a $10,000 insurance policy on your engagement ring, that is the maximum amount you will have to spend on a replacement regardless of the actual like-for-like replacement cost. This is why precision and regular revaluations through the years are vital.

Contact a certified antique jewelry appraiser to discover how much your inherited piece is worth; this is particularly critical if you intend to sell the jewelry. Most appraisers charge by the item, although mass appraisals may qualify for a discount. If your jewelers refuse to evaluate the items in your presence, ask them to agree to a preliminary value if they are lost or damaged.


Once you've decided that it is time to sell, where do you even bring a piece of gifted jewelry? How do you know how much it is worth? Before Considering selling off your inherited jewelry, you need to ask yourself one question which is:


It would be best if you acquired an evaluation from a member of the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers, or the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers to know the value of what you're selling correctly. Members of all three categories must follow standards and ethics. Appraisers may often act as brokers and assist you in selling your valuables. They may be able to recommend a broker to you. Look for someone with a lot of experience and contacts who can help you find purchasers. Some brokers charge a flat fee. Others charge anywhere from 10% to 60% of the sales price, depending on the effort involved.

Selling in person

Selling your jewelry to a local shop in person may still be the best option for getting the most money. There are coin shops, pawnshops, consignment shops, and jewelers to choose from here. The American Gem Society provides a list of local jewelers who buy jewels. For example, W.R. Chance Diamond Jewelers and Nelson Coleman Jewelers in Maryland advertise that they buy gold and other jewelry in the Washington region. Selling locally to a jeweler might be a secure option, especially if you have a good relationship with a reputable jewelry store. You can also sell to a pawn shop, which is the quickest choice but usually pays the least.

Selling online

Sending your jewelry to an online retailer might also sound appealing, but there's potential for your item to get lost. And, what if they are not a reputable business? You might lose your valuable inheritance item and any money you could have made. If you choose to sell your items online, please use caution.

Sell at an auction

Selling at an auction house like Sotheby's or Christie's is an option if your piece is very valuable and has a documented provenance of owner history that is compelling to potential buyers. This is a complicated process that is only available to high-end items.

Use Jewelry as a collateral

Another instance of how to trade your inherited jewelry is to use it as collateral to get capital to fund your business or attend to a need if you don't intend to sell it off immediately.

Trade Your Jewelry as a Barter

You can also sell off your inherited jewelry in the form of a trade by barter in exchange for a valuable product of interest to you.

Discreet Sales

You might also wish to work with a private jewelry buyer who can appraise your piece and either buy it from you or sell it for you at a fee. This should be a reputable jeweler rather than a pawn shop or pagoda in a shopping mall.

Are you prepared to part with inherited jewelry that has been gathering dust in your closet? Do you prefer having money in your pocket rather than an heirloom piece of jewelry you never wear? If you answered yes, it's time to see a professional jeweler. SAZ is always happy to help you decide what to do with inherited jewelry!

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