What Makes a Piece of Jewelry an Heirloom?

heirloom jewelry

If you have a piece of jewelry, it’s important to know whether you have an heirloom or not. An heirloom has a special value that no other piece of jewelry has, and it can change the resale price significantly. If you own that type of jewelry, it may change your decision about what you want to do with it or the price that you’d like to receive for it. The following are four characteristics that distinguish a piece of jewelry as an heirloom.



1. Time Spent in Your Family

One of the main characteristics that separate something as an heirloom is the amount of time it has been in your family. Heirloom jewelry is usually identified as jewelry that has been in a family for a few generations. A generation is approximately 20 years. You can say that you definitely have an heirloom if it has been in your family for more than 60 years.


2. Uniqueness and Beauty

Another quality that makes a piece of jewelry an heirloom is its uniqueness and beauty. You could have a piece of jewelry in your hand that is so overwhelmingly gorgeous that it qualifies as an heirloom even if it hasn’t been in your family for several decades. Let’s say you have something that’s only been in your family for 25 years or 15 years. The individuality and uniqueness of it can still qualify it for heirloom status.


3. Your Family’s Feelings

There are also some intangible elements that may make your piece of jewelry an heirloom. One intangible element is the way your family feels about it. If your family feels as though this piece of jewelry is valuable to it, then no one can tell you it isn’t. The longer that piece of jewelry stays within your family, the more of an heirloom it becomes.


4. The Story

Another characteristic that makes a piece of jewelry in an heirloom is the story behind it. Where has that piece of jewelry been? What adventures did the people who wore it have? Every piece of jewelry has a fantastic story to tell. Your jewelry might have a story that makes it a remarkable piece of history. Think about the story that it has to tell, and consider its value.


Now you should have a good idea of whether you own an heirloom or not. However, it’s always wise to bring the piece in and have it appraised by a specialist. Contact us at 703-730-2283. We’ll have someone confirm its status for you. After you find out the status of your jewelry, you can speak with our specialist about getting a fair price for it if you’d like to release it.

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