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Help with jewelry estimates
Old 03-12-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
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Help with jewelry estimates

I have been helping my mom out in Oregon this past week. One thing that is increasingly clear to me is that this rush to automation is making it hard for old folks.

We believe that in the move to her retirement home(or perhaps well before) a book safe (a book with secret compartment) was lost.

The book safe contained much of her nicest jewelry. She filed a claim with State Farm who sent her a letter with instructions to fill out a lot of details online. The website was a user hostile one, frustrating to me much less to an 86 year old.

The good news is my sister had taken picture of all her jewelry a few years ago. So by process of elimination we have identified the missing items. In all more than 2 dozen pieces that were missing. State Farm was nice enough to allow us to just email them a pictures and a short description. The rub is we have to place a value on the items.

My sisters and I are somewhat of a loss how to value the items. In general we know some details about them. e.g. graduated pearl necklace from Japan circa 1975, gold sapphire ring, with small diamonds from hong kong circa 1985. However many of the pieces are antiques. Cameo with gold leaf, and garnet passed down from my mom's great grandmother (circa 1870s). Any suggestions or process to use in evaluating these items would be greatly appreciated?
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:08 PM   #2
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If you have good pictures and detail of each piece, you can look for a jeweler that specializes in estate sales and pieces. They may be able to give you estimates of retail value - which would be your replacement cost.

Edit - it would help if your mother could give you some on each piece as well.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
graduated pearl necklace from Japan circa 1975, gold sapphire ring, with small diamonds from hong kong circa 1985. However many of the pieces are antiques. Cameo with gold leaf, and garnet passed down from my mom's great grandmother (circa 1870s). Any suggestions or process to use in evaluating these items would be greatly appreciated?
Hopefully a jewelry store that deals in heirlooms & estate sales would put you on to a knowledgeable appraiser.

Another attempt might be eBay with your keywords, looking for photo resemblance. In the process you'll come across the websites of more appraisers who might be willing to work with a photo and a phone call.

I was surprised by what came up on eBay for a silver dollar and a bunch of silver spoons, and the websites those led to were a big help in valuation.
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