WWYD: Grandma’s Costume Jewelry


Today on “WWYD,” selling grandma’s jewelry:

My paternal grandmother passed away several years ago, and she bequeathed all her fine jewelry to my sisters because apparently I “don’t want to look pretty” (sic). Grandmama had issues. It’s mostly water under the bridge as far as I’m concerned.

So, since I didn’t get any of the nice things, my sisters gave me all her costume jewelry boxes. They’ve been sitting in my storage space for a while and I’ve just recently had a chance to go through them. As far as I know, nobody has thought of them since the day we cleaned out Grandmama’s house.

Approximately half the pieces are nice vintage costume jewelry, and half are of no value. There are a handful of them that looked like the type of thing that could be collectable, so I took them in to be appraised. They all were appraised for a decent amount of value and I’m keeping most of them for myself. However, there is one hideous brooch I don’t see any reason to keep that was also appraised for the highest amount of money (low four figures). I figure I have three courses of action:

1) Sell the brooch, pocket the cash, don’t tell anyone.

2) Sell the brooch, split the cash among my sisters.

3) Don’t sell the brooch, but offer it to my sisters to see if any of
them want to buy it for the appraised value and split the cash with

the others.

WWYD? — K.

I sorta can’t get over that first paragraph, but when it comes to family heirlooms (and I’m going to just go ahead and call grandma’s jewelry family heirlooms), it’s a good idea to give your kin a heads up before you do something like sell it.

“I’m not into this brooch, and would like to sell it unless anyone has an objections to that,” I’d tell my sisters.

The money is a separate issue. If one of your sisters mentioned that she was planning on selling one of grandma’s fine jewelry pieces now in her possession, would you all expect to split the money from that sale? If yes, sell the brooch and split the cash to avoid any family drama. If not, why do you feel you must split the cash from the sale of the brooch? Did your sisters give you the costume jewelry with caveats? If the costume jewelry is now yours, that cash should just be yours.

 

Email me your WWYD experiences to me with “WWYD” in the subject line. See previous installments.

 

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