Pam's jewelry tree prompted me to share this fun story with you.
A few months ago, Mom gave me a box of my paternal grandmother's costume jewelry. She was going to junk it, because she didn't want it and didn't think anyone else would, either. (Grma had a TON of costume jewelry and these were the last few pieces that came Dad's way for some reason).
I thought it would be fun to put them in the Christmas grab bag for the great-granddaughters to draw from, but some of the pieces had notes attached to them telling where they came from and whose they were, including a ring from my great-grandmother. They looked like costume jewelry, but since they were in a separate box, it made me wonder if I should get that verified by someone who knows more about jewelry than what I do.
So this week I took them to a trusted, independent jeweler who verified that the great-grandmother "topaz" ring was costume jewelry and had no value. The "ruby" ring had a 10K gold band with a paste stone, so there was value in the gold band and antique setting. However, the pearl necklace and earring set was 10K gold with real pearls in an exquisite antique setting. The jeweler was appalled that I brought them in all tangled up in a box. He was pretty excited about that set and appraised them at retail (or insurance) value at $450 - 480 for the necklace, and $425 - 450 for the earrings and offered to buy them or find an antique buyer for them should the family ever decide to part with them.
Kind of a fun surprise. I took them back to Mom and told her to NOT junk the pieces of value. It didn't seem right for me to keep them, as when she gave them to me, she thought they were worthless, and I have 3 brothers who have as much right to them as what I do. I tend to get a lot of stuff from Mom, just because I'm the only daughter.
I should have taken a picture of them for you, but I think I must be the world's worst at picture taking. I just don't think about it until it's too late. :)
Have fun & make sure your costume jewelry really IS just costume jewelry...