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What To Do With Grandma’s Favorite Brooch- The Jewelry Left Behind

What To Do With Grandma’s Favorite Brooch- The Jewelry Left Behind

When loved ones pass away, they often leave behind a lifetime of personal goods that must be sorted through, divided up, and often discarded. Sometimes they are large items like homes or furniture, perhaps a collection of artwork or figurines, or some passed-down serving utensils from a foreign land. One group of items that is often the hardest to decide what to keep versus let go of it is jewelry.

Several months ago we got approached by a young woman who was trying to figure out what to do with all the jewelry that had been left behind by her Grandmother when she passed away. There were many small boxes filled with rings, necklaces, brooches, and all other assorted types of jewelry. She felt overwhelmed with the thought of letting any of the items go, but also knew in her small living space it wasn’t practical to keep it all. Experts in both organization and estate sales have some great insight into ways to tackle those lovely pearls and more that have been passed down by someone you love. Here are some keys to think about:

What Has Sentimental Value:

Did your Grandma wear that favorite emerald brooch for every holiday? When you think of her, is it decorating her sweater as she stirs that big pot of soup? Was it her favorite because of who gave it to her, or some other sentimental reason? If the answer to any of these is yes, keep it. That small item brings back loving memories, and there might be a Christmas you want to wear  in memory of her. If there is a deep sentimental connection to an item, hold onto it.

Will You Wear It:

Spread out all the other jewelry items that have been left to you. Start by taking out everything that fits your style. Does that pearl necklace go great with your work blouses? Does that funky pair of copper bird earrings look great with your hair up? And those cool ceramic bead bracelets- if they fit your style add them to your collection. 

What Has Monetary Value:

For all the items that are left, find a trusted jeweler in your area. Many will offer appraisals as a free service. Schedule a time to sit down and have them look through everything questionable that is left. The jeweler will be able to identify the maker, test the metals, examine any stones, and give you a reasonable appraisal for each item. At that point, you can decide what items you would like to sell, keep, or donate.

By taking a little time to think about the memories behind items, what fits your unique style, and the financial value of items, deciding what jewelry to keep can be relatively stress-free. You can have peace donating those random purple hoop earrings, keep that ruby ring of your great-grandma, and occasionally pin on the emerald brooch of Grandma’s as you celebrate the holidays with those you love.


Nov 26, 2023 • Posted by Debby Swanson

What is the difference from the Lite and the original? What is NOT included in Lite? Thanks!

Sep 20, 2023 • Posted by Anita Vetter

I photographed my Mom’s keepsakes and they have their own album on my computer. I can look them when I want to remember here, and one of these days :-) I’d like to make a collage from all the photos.

Sep 03, 2023 • Posted by Carolyn Soltas

My mom had a few jewelry boxes full, nothing expensive but she loved to accessorize.
One of my nieces took my mom’s jewelry and made a plaque for the daughters & granddaughters. They are in the shape of a Christmas tree in a 8×10 frame on black velvet. My daughter & I put ours out at Christmas. It definitely brings back memories. When my son married a few years later, my niece gave him and his wife one also. I don’t have a photo .

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