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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...

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Comment by Roxann on December 15, 2014 at 4:19am

Cool story PQ! Very thoughtful of you to share with your brothers. I'm one of those that would love to be a "picker", my husband always keeps me busy on days we hear of barn auctions, for fear we would have to build a barn for all the things I would bring home! lol


Comment by B J Elder/WA on December 13, 2014 at 11:15am

I wish some of my grandmother's had been "real" - oh well, they are still pretty.

Comment by Barbara Graham on December 13, 2014 at 10:30am

Good thing you had it checked. I've got some really ugly stuff from my grandmother. There's no way it has any value but maybe my granddaughter will enjoy it in a few years.

Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on December 12, 2014 at 3:18pm

I have given away old costume jewelry to friends' children -- I have no daughters, or granddaughters -- and I knew my mother's jewelry was costume except for a string of beautiful pearls, and I kept those.  She was a orphan and inherited nothing.  When in doubt, check it out!

Comment by Ally Bryant on December 12, 2014 at 5:07am
This is the kinda of story you hear on Antique Road show, where someone have bought it at a yard sale.
Sounds fun for the Gt. Granddaughters to play with.
Comment by Donna Sykes on December 11, 2014 at 7:22pm

Glad you had the valuable pieces appraised. Your idea for the grab bag is a good one - great way to give the great granddaughters something to remember their great grandmother by.

Comment by Barb/WI on December 11, 2014 at 6:58pm

Oh, my!  Sounds like a story for Antiques Road Show.  The great-granddaughters will love the costume jewelry, and love thinking it is true treasures.

Comment by Janet/MO on December 11, 2014 at 4:19pm

What a neat story PQ!  I have often wondered how many valuable items end up being either sold in garage sales for next to nothing or even worse, trashed completely because family members don't know they are valuable.  

Comment by Pam/NY on December 11, 2014 at 12:27pm

Good thing you had someone look at the stash! I'm sure many valued pieces go to the dump or in the play box!!! We used to love to play dressup with old bobbles!!! The granddaughters will love them!

Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on December 11, 2014 at 11:21am

PS:  I still have enough of the costume jewelry to put on the Christmas grab bag for the great-granddaughters.  I think they'll love them.

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