"I have all my Mothers jewelry and I don't know what to do with it all!"
We get several calls a month concerning clients inheriting their parents jewelry. The call quickly reveals an overwhelming and grand task of "going thru all of moms/dads jewelry". Cleaning out a deceased parents home results in thousands of exhausting decisions and involves a desire to make thoughtful and correct final decisions.
So often we see bags and boxes and cases of all kinds of jewelry. Overwhelming to be sure!! "What is real....what is not real....what in the world do I do with all this?"
At Brummitt Jewelry Design Studio, this is what we do:
1. Make an appointment and we block off time to methodically handle and sort each item. We do not charge a fee for this session.
2. We sort and evaluate an A. "It is precious metal or gemstone " pile and B. "It is fake/faux" pile. We do this by using a loupe or microscope to read trademark and karat stamps and verify the stones are genuine.
3. For the fake items ,we have resources that love to get donations. These include the Raleigh Little Theater and several nursing homes that love little baubles for bingo prizes and treats. All my clients have been thrilled to "pay it forward" and bring joy to someone with their parents jewelry items. Some of the items may even be broken but their are ladies that like to tinker and recreate their own creations. This is usually such a relief to the client because it is hard to throw heartfelt things away.
4. For the real items we further classify the jewelry.
~First the client determines what they want to keep "as is". These are cherished items that they will wear and enjoy without any changes other than maybe finger sizing.
~Second decision is "What can be scrapped and refined?'. That means we refine the precious metals and remove any gemstones worth repurposing. We had one client whose mom shopped on QVC every day. She had over 179 gold rings that we refined with other dated chains and earrings and the client netted over $8000.00 in refining money. Quick and easy pocket change!
~Thirdly we offer redesign ideas on items that may not quite be the clients style but can become a repurposed and recycled memory! People reupholster dated furniture so why not redesign precious jewelry? Aunt Mary would want you to use it and enjoy it!
~ We finish by discussing any other jewelry services such as insurance appraisals, jewelry repairs, stone resetting or jewelry alterations such as size and length and restringing.
It is hard to change jewelry when we have seen our mothers wearing her jewelry our whole life! We are sensitive to these emotional decisions and work at the clients lead to transform some pieces for this next generation. We don't all have the same sense of taste and style, but I have heard so very often that these women just hope you can use it and enjoy it even if it is redesigned! That's the great thing about jewelry as compared to sofas, it can be handed down to the next generation and still carry value and style and most especially memories of our loved ones!