What to Do with Inherited Jewelry

Maybe your mother or grandmother has passed away and she’s entrusted you with her precious pieces of fine jewelry. It’s no wonder these rings, necklaces, pins, and earrings come with a lot of emotional attachment.  It may be years before you can even think about opening the box they came in, or you may be ready to honor her memory and wear it today.  Either way, you have lots of options when it comes to what to do with inherited jewelry.

Wear It As Is

One of the best ways to remember your loved ones is to wear their jewelry.  It provides a visual cue every time you clasp on their necklaces or slip on their ring.  These timeless pieces are also conversation starters.  It’s always fun to remember when …

If you do decide to keep the jewelry, it’s a good idea to get it professionally cleaned and repaired.   Prongs, bezels, and clips are easily damaged over the years, and if it’s been sitting in a drawer for a while, it’s a good idea to put some brilliance back in the piece with a professional cleaning and polishing.

Redesign the Setting

You love the idea of keeping your loved one close, but you don’t love the setting.  No worries, you can use the stones and maybe even the metal in a setting you’ll cherish.

Maybe you have an idea already or Diamond Castle Jewelry designers can help.  The important thing is to think out of the box.  Stones that came in a ring don’t have to stay in a ring.  Gems from a necklace don’t have to stay in a necklace.  Assess what you have to work with and think about how it would work with what you want.  You may have to add a stone or two, or split the stones into several pieces.  If there are enough stones or metal pieces, you may want to redesign them into several rings, bracelets, or necklaces so that your siblings or other loved ones can each have a memory piece of their own.

If you feel badly about changing the design of the inherited jewelry, consider that your loved one would probably be happier that you’re wearing it and loving it like they did.  You may want to engrave their name and yours on it so that it still has a connection to them.

Refining the Existing Setting

Maybe you and your loved one have the same great taste and you love the jewelry you inherited with the exception of one or two little things.  Talk to a Diamond Castle jeweler.  Stones can be easily swapped out, and minor alternations can be made without changing the whole piece. And when it comes to earrings, clip-on earrings can be easily transformed into post or dangly ones.

Warehousing Instead of Wearing Inherited Jewelry

If you decide you want to keep your aunt’s ring and pass it down to your daughter as is, you may decide to set it aside for a while.  In that case, you’ll want to keep your fine jewelry in a clean and dry place, like a lined jewelry box or wrapped in a pouch or tissue paper.

It’s best to keep things organized in their own compartments or boxes.  Gold is a softer metal and can be easily scratched by other stones.  Silver is quick to tarnish and should be stored in a tarnish-proof cloth away from air.  Also, never let your silver touch rubber.  The sulfur in the rubber causes the silver to tarnish.  And although diamonds are beautiful, they’re one of the hardest substances out there and can easily nick or scratch other gems and metals.


If the time is right for you to pass the piece along, it’s time to make a deal.  Appraisals cost money, so you may want to go right to the offer stage.  Diamond Castle Jewelers can help you determine the value of your jewelry and purchase your pieces.

Whether you decide to keep, redesign, or sell your inherited jewelry, make the most of it.  Your loved one would want you to be happy, and their memory will live on whatever option you choose.

Call Diamond Castle Jewelers or visit our jewelry store on Grand River Avenue in Novi, Michigan.


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