So you’ve inherited an estate that encompasses jewelry and/or precious metals and stones. After you’ve taken the time to properly grieve the deceased, what’s the correct path forward, for dealing with your inheritance? A lot of unanswered questions can arise, questions that you may not know the answer to if you’re not already a jewelry or gem collector. 

If you’d like to keep the jewelry, do you need to get it insured? When should you sell inherited jewelry? Is selling your only option if you don’t particularly like the inherited pieces?

To help guide you through what can be an uncomfortable and confusing situation, the Yamron team offers a little advice on what to do if you inherit jewelry. 

Determining the Value of Your Inherited Collection 

If the value of your inherited collection is not entirely clear, you’ll want to determine that factor as quickly as possible. The value of your inheritance can be determined via several means. 

A jewelry’s worth can be calculated based on replacement value, the most popular mode of calculating a piece’s worth and the indication of how much it would cost to replace a piece of jewelry with a new one if it were lost or damaged. In addition to being the most popular mode of calculating a piece of jewelry’s worth, the replacement value is also necessary for insuring the piece. 

Other modes of determining the value of jewelry include by calculating the estate retail value, or how much a piece would sell for if being sold directly to a buyer; the estate wholesale value, or how much a piece would sell for if being sold directly to a jeweler; and the intrinsic value, or how much a piece is worth based merely on the raw metals and stones used in its making.However you choose to determine the value of your inherited collection, ensure that each piece of jewelry or each stone or precious metal is valued using the same system, so as to get a more complete and accurate idea of your entire collection’s worth.

These values can be provided by a trusted appraiser with expertise related to your particular type of inherited jewelry collection. Once you know the value of the inherited collection, you may find it easier to decide whether you’d like to keep, sell, recast or do  anything else with the included pieces. 

Insuring Your Inherited Jewelry Collection

If your inherited jewelry collection is of any notable value, and you do not intend to sell the pieces immediately, you’ll want to pursue insurance. If you’ve had your collection evaluated and you know the replacement value, you’ve already accomplished the first step in obtaining an insurance policy.

There are multiple types of insurance policies you can choose from for your collection, including blanket and itemized policies. An insurance agent can advise you on what policy will be right for you, based on your intentions for the collection; regardless, though, you should schedule your items with the insurer, meaning each item of jewelry is insured separately. 

Don’t make the mistake of assuming your homeowners or renter’s insurance will cover your new jewelry collection, as most homeowners policies exclude items of significant value, from jewelry to art to furs.  

Selling Your Inherited Jewelry Collection 

If you’ve decided to sell your inherited jewelry collection, you’ll want to consider a few things as you set your expectations for what kind of price you’ll be able to get. Don’t assume you’ll be able to get the estimated replacement value price for your pieces. The sell price will depend on not only the quality and brand of the pieces, but also their age and condition, the intrinsic value of the materials and then the overall, general market demand for the style and type of jewelry. 

If the anticipated sell price for your collection seems agreeable, you can often work with a jeweler who will sell the pieces on your behalf. 

Maintaining Your Inherited Jewelry Collection

Perhaps, though, you love the pieces that were passed on to you. In that case, you might assume that you can simply add them to your jewelry box and move on with your life. However, in addition to insuring your new jewelry, you’ll also want to add a few other tasks to your inheritance to-do list.

Much inherited jewelry is in need of repairs by the time that it makes it into the hands of a child or grandchild. In those cases, you’ll want to work with a trusted jeweler to address any issues that can either reduce the value of the piece or, in the long run, make it unwearable. A jeweler can restore, remedy or replace worn prongs, worn bezels and edges, cracks or breakage, or broken clasps. They should also be able to assist you with any resizing needs. The end result should be a piece that’s restored to its original beauty, in your correct size. 

Redesigning or Resetting Inherited Jewelry  

But if you don’t want to sell your inherited jewelry, but you don’t quite love it enough to wear it as is, you do have other options beyond simply placing it in your home safe for the next few decades. A trusted jeweler can also help you to redesign or reset inherited jewelry, using existing gemstones and precious metals to revamp or update pieces so that you’re more than happy to wear them.Change a ring’s gemstone setting. Restring pearl necklaces — whatever you have in mind, a talented jewel can likely get it done.

Keeping Your Inherited Jewelry Safe Until You Make a Final Decision 

Regardless of the multitude of options that are available to you, we understand that making a final decision about something as personal as an inheritance takes some time. So, while you’re making up your mind, it’s important to keep your jewelry safe.

Beyond purchasing insurance, even if you don’t intend to keep or refurbish your jewelry, it’s still a good idea to have a jeweler look at the pieces for any pressing maintenance needs. You don’t want your jewelry to devalue as it awaits its final home. 

Additionally, take precautions to not lose or damage the jewelry, by only wearing it in suitable situations and keeping it in a home safe when not being worn.

The Yamron Team is Here to Help 

Whatever awaits your inherited jewelry collection, the Yamron team is here to help with our expert advice and years of experience in the jewelry industry. We can provide guidance and services from appraisal to maintenance, sales to redesign. 

Talk with one of our luxury jewelry experts today, by giving us a call at 239-592-7707 or email at contact@yamron.com. If you’re in Naples, stop by our showroom to speak with one of our team members in person. While there, you can explore our estate, pre-owned and other featured selections from some of the top luxury jewelry brands, from Bvlgari to Harry Winston. 

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