Personal Effects, Sept. 16

Published 6:24 pm Friday, September 15, 2017


Question: Mr. Sampson, My parents wanted me to contact you on this matter. Your opinion is highly regarded. My grandmother passed away last year. As the only granddaughter, she left me her jewelry collection. I’ve sent you another email with a PDF of the complete list and the insurance appraisal that was done in 2015.

This group includes her two and a half carat diamond engagement ring, her wedding band, A long string of pearls with matching earrings and a bracelet, several heavy gold link chains, diamond ear studs, a gold charm bracelet and lots of other things. 

Email newsletter signup

The appraisal value from a jeweler in Atlanta is over $60,000 I just started my freshman year at college. She had it in her will that upon my successfully graduating from college that this jewelry would be my property to with as I pleased. 

My question to you is that I’d like my parents to sell these things, so that I can use the money for college now. I have a great scholarship, but I’d like a newer phone, a new car and I’d like to be able to study in Europe for a semester, and that is expensive. I think that the jewelry is out of date and I’ll never wear it. The engagement ring is too large and isn’t my dream ring. The other things are just out of style. 

Do you think that it would be a good idea if my parents sold these things or should I wait and sell them later. We trust you and will do what you say. Thank you for taking your time in considering this matter.

Answer: First, let me say that I’m sorry for your loss. Second, I think it would be a big mistake, a HUGE mistake for you to take any action now. Here’s why. In reviewing your grandmother’s collection I was shocked at the quality and the thought that was put into this collection. 

Right now, your head is full of books, professors, new friends and experiences, coming formals and parties and just the fact of being independent and out on your own. BUT, you’re still a kid.

There is a reason why you think that these things are out of style. It’s because they are timeless. Jewelry like this never goes out of style and are easily worn and enjoyed for generations. You just think that you’ll never wear it. And are you CRAZY? 

My dear, diamonds are never too large. A diamond of this quality and size can easily be remounted or converted into a pendant. The charm bracelet is amazing and the history that it covers is super. It literally goes from her youth to her golden years. It would be tragic if these things were melted for scrap or sold to a stranger.

As you grow older, you’ll understand better that things like phones and cars go away. You’ll not always have those things, they will break or become out of date. They will be in the bottom of a drawer or in a junk yard. Good jewelry will always be there. Bear in mind this appraisal is based on Replacement Value and not fair market value. So you’ll likely not recieve that grand amount of money when selling in the open market.

Perhaps, one day this jewelry, if you want, it could be part of the down payment on your home or an inheritance for your children. Sorry to disappoint you but the cost of a bank deposit box is small and will keep things safe. Wait for a while, a long while, in my opinion before you make a sad mistake. 

Inregards to your European semester… I’d find a good job on the side and save, save, save for that experience. Thanks for a great question.