In my quest to declutter and simplify my life, I am tackling the old jewelry problem.
I am female. I married into a family with 3 boys...my husband is the only one of the three to marry or even have a long term relationship. From my parents: My dad--only son (3 sisters), my son the oldest by a lot and we are so responsible compared to the rest of the family. So, we have received valuable jewelry and other heirlooms from both sides. My dad's diamond ring, from his grandfather, reset. All of my in-laws' jewelry, costume and otherwise. I am attached to much family history, but not so much to the things.
What I did:
What I did with 3 gold chains and meaningless pieces, as well as a few meaningful diamonds acquired through inheritance:
My husband joined a website: www.nextdoor.com
, and asked the question what to do. Our neighbors suggested a local gold and coin dealer, and we confirmed it's integrity on Angie's list.
I took a bunch of stuff there. When I walked in, I knew it was the right place. Down to earth, family business. The guy who is there on Monday/Tuesday is the costume jewelry expert (actually his mom!). They deal a lot with gold and silver and old coins as well. Any precious stones, they have a working knowledge, but recommend the jeweler two blocks away for any work to be done. They taught me how to look at the jewelry and figure out the valuable stuff from the cheap stuff, and I had loads of gold and silver plated stuff. They made offers and shared with me the weight and purity of the few actual gold pieces. The dealer made some very astute suggestions for a couple of diamond rings, which I presented to my son...resetting for future engagement and wedding rings sets, using the value of the gold to pay for the setting--awesomely practical. We have a small town jeweler down the street from the gold place, who can customize such things. My son was very enthusiastic about the idea, as it is practical and frugal--heirloom value and saving money together, a combination hard to beat.
So, Angie's list and nextdoor.com have been helpful, plus living in a small town where trust is of paramount importance and ripoffs much rarer. Oh, and stay away from K*y Jewelers.
The store also deals with fine costume jewelry. I inherited a bunch from MIL and will be getting rid of that too, when their costume jewelry expert is in. Jewelry is so not my style. I'm glad to be letting go of most of it.
BTW, amongst the jewelry I found a diamond anniversary ring my MIL once wore. She would be proud that it fits me perfectly. Coming as an heirloom from DH's side of the family, it feels even better than one we picked out.
So, my story is done. Nextdoor.com and Angie's list have served me very very well. And I'm not afraid to get rid of bits of metal and other shiny objects. We assign meaning in such things; not the other way around.
One more thing--the cash I got will go into DS's bank account so he has his own emergency fund when he moves out for good.