Inherited Jewelry you do not want to keep… consider selling it!

As we turn over the calendar to a new year, many of us partake in an end of the year clean out ritual to rid ourselves of the things that no longer serve us.

I decided to start my clean out with a box of jewelry I inherited from my mother and grandmother. I personally do not wear a lot of jewelry and my taste and ring size are not the same as the generations before me, so I knew I did not want to keep most of it. Additionally, I could not tell which pieces were real and which were fake. After giving some pieces away to family members, I needed professional guidance to know what to do with the rest.

I found a local jewelry store in my neighborhood with a good reputation that buys gold.  I identified the pieces that I wanted to part with and brought them to the jeweler for her to sort through. There were several pieces that I didn’t recognize as being real gold and others I thought were valuable that turned out to be costume jewelry.

A trick the jeweler shared with me to determine if something is real gold, is to take a good magnet (not one from your refrigerator) and see if the piece sticks to it. If it does, it is likely made from something other than gold.  Real gold and silver also have markings, albeit usually very tiny markings that are often not visible to the naked eye.  24k gold was worth more than 14k gold. Silver apparently is not all that valuable right now. Much to my amazement, I had been sitting on a mini “goldmine”.

Gold prices are up – in excess of $2,000 an ounce. I identified one piece I may repurpose into a pair of earrings and decided to sell the rest. The jeweler selected what she wanted, weighed it, and paid me based on the weight.  She took everything that was real gold. Some rings and earrings had gems embedded in the gold, mostly tiny poor-quality diamonds. For those, the jeweler included the gems as part of the weighted gold.  I did not ask for an appraisal, nor was I told I needed one. I may have been able to make more money elsewhere, but I was not prepared to shop around.

Overall, I can say that I had a great experience and was pleasantly surprised by the value of what I had. While I did feel some guilt parting with the jewelry that my mother and grandmother had come to love and left to me, I also felt lighter for the simple fact that I had been able to find a useful and lucrative way to keep from accumulating more of that “stuff” that tends to weigh all of us down after we lose someone we love.

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