What’s Old is New Again?


When I was younger, one of my favorite pastimes was to go through my mother’s closet and try on her clothes, shoes, lipstick, and jewelry. It was so fun to spend an afternoon pretending to be grown up. I was in such a rush back then (foolish me; what did I know?). And now that I’m older, and a parent myself, I have amassed my own collection of fashion and accessories that surpasses my own mom’s (sorry, Ma, it’s true). And although I have no daughters of my own, I am the proud auntie of the most girly girl I’ve ever known. Whenever my niece comes to spend time with auntie, she goes to my jewelry dresser and we set out to laden down her little body with as much jewelry as we can.




To be honest, much of my jewelry collection is comprised of costume jewelry, but I do have a number of pieces of fine jewelry that I hope to be able to pass down to my sons’ wives and my granddaughters one day. You likely find yourself in a familiar position. You may be the one building the jewelry collection or you may be the new owner of an existing collection. There are several common ways people find themselves with an assortment of jewelry and, being jewelers, we have seen them all. And we have helped people make decisions on what to do with their collections.


We know how overwhelming a collection can be. So today, we will cover the most common ways people come to own jewelry collections and then we’ll offer a couple of options in dealing with those items.




The most common way is inheritance. People like me, who love jewelry, often leave their collections to their children or grandchildren. These inherited assemblages can range in style, value, and modernity. By the time they pass, many women have accumulated respectable collections that have probably seen better days, both in wear and maintenance and in style and taste. The thought of wearing these pieces can be overpowering and downright unbearable to the new owner.


For some people, their newly acquired baubles are not the stuff of great love stories, but rather relics of romantic tragedies. This is the next most common way people come into jewelry. When a married couple (or any couple who has been together for a while and has had time to curate a collection of gifts and celebratory trinkets) divorces, the jewelry left behind is a constant reminder of happier days gone by. Some people would rather not have those nagging specters haunting their life as they try to move on.




There are other ways, of course, to become the new owner of a collection of jewelry, but when it’s sudden as in the case of an inheritance or when it’s a reflection of a failed relationship, you may want to part with the items. Fortunately, we help people in this situation every single day. As one of the premier gold buyers in southeast Michigan, we coach people through their options.


Things are simpler for the divorcee. Usually, those items are not desired to be kept. In those cases, we can buy your gold (and potentially quality diamonds). What you do with the money is up to you. I have always been of the opinion that simply receiving cash in exchange is not as satisfying as using those bad jeweled memories to create a phoenix from the ashes. I suggest using the money to commission a custom piece that has everything to do with you and celebrating your new life, and nothing to do with your past. However, some people like to reuse stones. That is perfectly understandable, and that is something we can do to help people realize their custom jewelry dream.




The inherited collection is a little trickier, but only because we are often dealing with positive feelings and memories. I know that sounds a little backwards, but stay with me for a minute. I will give you an example: when I was a little girl, my grandmother had this necklace of coral beads. I was enamored of it. If I inherited that necklace, I would be over the moon. This is often the case. Many people can look at a loved one’s piece of jewelry and immediately be flooded with memories and sights, sounds, and smells that they associate with them.




Because of these strong emotional attachments, if you suddenly find yourself the owner of an inherited jewelry collection, we recommend going through each piece and separating them. Set aside the things that give you a warm fuzzy feeling when you look at them. Keep them as a memento or wear them to keep the memory alive. As for the things that don’t set your heart afire, bring them in and we can help you decide what to do with them, whether that is selling them outright, using some of your heirloom stones in new custom pieces, or just applying the sale money towards something that will make your heart flutter. Some may take issue with using your inherited collection to have something custom made, but actually, we find that the customers who go this route have a profound connection to their new piece of jewelry. Every time they look at their custom piece, they are reminded of their rich family history and it brings to mind all the best memories of all the people whose old jewelry made it possible.


No matter how you came to own an unwanted jewelry collection, Andre’s Fine Jewelers can help you make sense of what you have and what you can do with it. To set up an appointment with our experts, call our downtown Brighton showroom at 810-225-1414.

Until next time,


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