Family heirlooms often present a dilemma. Jewelry is no exception, but it does offer several options. One of those is redesign. In some cases a highly reputable jeweler that enjoys giving these pieces of bygone eras a facelift, has viable suggestions. But if he says he would use the item as is, you might want to take his advice. Treasures with so much sentimental value are difficult to part with, so rather than keeping them tucked away in a dusty jewelry box, itself an antique, preserve them by redesigning them. Another choice is keeping the particular article and sharing it for special events. The last and most emotional to consider is selling the treasure. Let’s investigate these various ideas and while doing so, maybe you will come up with an inspiration of your own.
One idea is to take large pieces with several stones and have individual pieces, i.e. earrings, made and give as gifts to relatives. In this case a card recounting the story behind the item would complete the specialness of the whole gesture. This author had the stones and gold from a cherished pin made into a beautiful necklace for our daughter as a gift on her sixteenth birthday. She still wears it and enjoys telling the story.
Since vintage jewelry appears as accessories to much of the fashion trends nowadays, trying various pieces with an array of outfits might prove to be a goldmine. Maybe a daughter, granddaughter, or niece has indicated a fondness for a particular item that you don’t mind sharing, let her sport one of the much lesser expensive ones on a special occasion. With the current economy, recession jewelry is certainly making a comeback. Why purchase new, when using classic reflects a sense of creating quality from recycling?
If, however, you decide to sell your vintage fine jewelry, know that it can be an emotional and intimidating undertaking. Remember very few jewelers have the experience, expertise or financial resources to offer a fair market price for fine antique and estate heirlooms. Therefore, choosing a reputable dealer to guide you through the process is an integral part of this difficult process. Sometimes established resale or pawn shops actually offer expertise often overlooked; a question unasked results in unknown information, so it may be worth a try.
Personally, I have several beautiful pieces, not of great material value but which enjoy enormous sentimental status. No doubt, it would not be cost effective to have them redesigned; the next time a shopping trip is imminent, however, I will consider keeping in mind a few of the pieces when making my purchases. And, since a wedding may be looming in the not too distant future, there may be a chance some of the small diamonds in my mother’s and grandmother’s rings will find their way into a special setting. Whatever the options for other people, mine is to keep these timeless treasures, even if my family would prefer otherwise. After all, I even played dress-up with a few of them in my mother’s classic Lauren Bacall – style gowns.
Jessica Goode is a fashion expert and mother of 3 girls who loves to redesign her old jewelry. She is also an avid writer and often uses grammar checkers to ensure her writing is free of any embarrassing mistakes. Her two areas of expertise are clothing and makeup.