Inheritance is part of our family’s history. Your parents, grandparents, or godparents have passed down a piece of their history with you, like a diamond. It’s beautiful and meaningful, but what do you do with inherited diamonds? Let’s look at some options we have.
The first thing to do is to determine the value of your diamond.
We often value our things based on the memory they carry and remind us of, the milestones they represent, the rarity of the item, and the luxury they afford us. Jewelry has a wide range of value and diamonds can be worth a lot depending on their 4Cs: color, clarity, cut and carat weight, and in your case its craftsmanship and vintage value.
The basic guide on knowing whether your diamond is worth a lot or not depends on its 4Cs. The 4Cs determine your diamond’s quality based on the GIA website.
- Cut: How well a diamond’s facets interact with light. The quality of its proportions, symmetry and polish to reflect light magnificently. This affects the diamond’s brightness, fire or the scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow, and scintillation or the amount of sparkle it produces.
- Color: The absence of color in your diamond. When a diamond has no hue it has a higher value. GIA’s diamond color grading is D-to-Z and this measures the degree of color present in your diamond.
- Clarity: The absence of inclusions and blemishes. The GIA diamond clarity scale has 11 specific grades and the closer it comes to purity, the better its clarity.
- Carat Weight: The diamond carat weight measures how much a diamond weighs.
Knowing the value of your inherited diamond can help you to decide on whether you want to keep it, pass it on or sell it. You can have your diamond appraised to determine its monetary value, but whether you keep it for its sentimental value, or you absolutely adore the diamond, or whether it’s worth a lot will help you decide on your next step: to keep it or to sell it.
Keeping your inherited diamond
So, you have decided to keep your inherited diamond jewelry. Answer a couple of questions to guide you on how you decide to keep it.
Is it in good condition? Are the bezels and prongs in good condition? Are there any missing stones?
If your heirloom is in good condition, you can get away with just cleaning it a little and using the jewelry for everyday use or to wear for special occasions. You can choose to secure it safely with a trusted bank or with the rest of your jewelry for safekeeping so that you can pass it on to your family as an heirloom for future generations or start your own family tradition of having an heirloom passed on from generation after generation.
If it’s not in good condition, you can have it restored, or have it redesigned in a more modern jewelry design that will fit your style, or have it converted into a more functional piece of accessory for everyday use.
Having it restored will pay homage to its original design and historical value as well as keep it in good condition. Maybe the design isn’t your style and you want a more modern look.
Choosing to redesign it will give you the freedom to express yourself and wear it on many occasions and at the same time keeping its sentimental value, and having it converted into a more functional piece can make it for practical everyday use or be split into a couple more pieces that you can give to your family as their inheritance.
Selling your inherited diamond
If you have decided you want to sell your inherited diamond, the same questions still apply. You will want to have it appraised to help you determine its resale value, but do keep in mind that jewelry values fluctuate regularly.
Manage your expectations as the resale value of diamonds are significantly lower than the price it was originally bought for and there may be some years when it is better to acquire jewelry than to sell jewelry. Try to find a good season for jewelry.
You can also check if your loved ones left the certificates behind to determine its designer and authenticity as this raises the odds of reselling the diamond. The GemGIA certificate is a misnomer. It pertains to diamonds that have undergone GIA’s rigorous grading process and to the reports that they issue with regard to the diamond.
Have it appraised by different shops as they give different values. Some shops that give appraisals will also offer to buy your inherited diamond. This may be easier than selling elsewhere but you might get a lower price than you could if you sold it on a local marketplace or online. Jewelry appraisers are required to meet certain qualifications and you may check if someone is within your area on the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers website.
Where and to whom you are selling your inheritance also affects the price you can get for the diamond piece you have.
Collectors will pay more for items they have been seeking for a long time, selling in auctions will guarantee a price floor and can get you a higher price depending on the company you choose to sell with, local shops will buy at a lower price so they can sell with profit, and selling directly to customers depends on their knowledge of the jewelry and the appraisal you got.
Having your inherited jewelry refurbished or redesigned prior to selling it might give you better value as well as raise the odds of a faster flip.
You can also sell it for parts: the stones separated from the bands. The value will be based on the weight of your parts and the current market value for each of those materials.
At the end of the day when you have inherited a piece of diamond jewelry, the question to ask yourself before deciding on what to do with it is how much you value it. How important was the piece you inherited for your loved one that gave it to you?
Do you want to continue passing it on as a tradition for your family to take on generations after generations? Do you want to redesign it to be able to use it and honor its previous owner or do you want to sell it and make use of your profit for something more meaningful for you that your loved one will appreciate?
Maybe they left it for you to have enough ground to start your own business or your first house? Do what you think is best for your inheritance and enjoy your inherited diamond jewelry.