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Appraising Inherited Rings

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My husband inherited some rings from his mother. She had small fingers so the size doesn't fit me, and there is no other family member left. I would like to sell them but the cost of appraising is $85 per ring at the jewelers in my neighborhood. The antique stores scare me because I don't know if I can trust them. I not even know if the diamonds are real or how old the rings are.

She has about 10 rings, and I can't afford to appraise them all. I don't want to give them away either, maybe they are worth something. She had good taste. Any idea how to figure out the value of the pieces without becoming broke first. I tried books, e-bay and the internet, but don't want to take the risk of making a mistake, because I have no clue what to look for.

Jacqueline from San Mateo, CA

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Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Kathy [1]08/13/2009

Hi. I had some rings stolen, when we tried to claim I did not know there value, my husband bought me a ring in Honk Kong which when we got back it was valued at about $15, 000. I couldn't afford to pay the insurance as I had other jewelry also stolen apart from my engagement ring I had an eternity ring but 'I had also my Aunty engagement ring and a ruby ring in gold and rubies and a 22 karat gold wedding ring I also got my mothers 22 karat gold wedding and her engagement ring which she had specially made, when I tried to claim we were told if we didn't know we had to find out thinking the old rings from my mother and my aunt were not very valuable anyway I was very surprised as they told me this old jewelry was the proper stones like for instance the two ruby rings were real ruby's as they did not have the synthetic rings, we had to get quotes and to my surprise they were a lot more than i thought, but because we didn't have them insured Suncorpe only paid $3000, so be very pleased you don't get stung like we did.

By Patricia Sertic [6]10/15/2008

Does your husband know any of the histories behind the rings. Did she travel. Did she inherit the rings in the first place maybe from her mother or grandmother. They should stay in your husband's posession. Are there any children, grandchildren, neices, or nephews that would appreciate a keepsake
Please don't dismantle the rings just to sell them for a few dollars.

By CC [1]05/06/2008

speaking about
appraisals. I wanted a jade ring Appraised and they said they had to keep it overnight to test it..Why is that? I didn't it made me nervous. I thought they can looked thru that round(sp)
but to answer your question I think you should resize the ones you like.

By Cathy from Townsville, QLD (Guest Post)04/07/2008

Take them along to your local Gem & Mineral Club. Some of the members of the one here in town do written valuations for only $10. It's worth asking about.

By Jacqueline Yelick [1]03/20/2008

Thank you all, it has been very helpful.

Jacqueline

By Colleen (Guest Post)03/20/2008

If you take them into a small, locally owned jewelry store they should be able to look at them and tell you which ones are worth apprasing. A detailed apprasal requires taking exact measurements of the stones. Just explain your situation and ask them to help you out with which ones are even real and which ones they thinks should be apraised. Before you do this, look for stamps on the inside to see if any are stamped as gold, platinum, or silver

By Janice C. [18]03/20/2008

I used to work in a retail jewelry dept. and we could usually size rings up or down 2 sizes. More than that, the stones might fall out or the design ruined. Be sure you check on that.

You might also consider removing the stones and having it all re-made into a bracelet or necklace or pin.

By Jana [7]03/20/2008

Another option is if you have a reputable pawn shop in your area, these folks can usually give you a pretty good idea of what your jewelry is worth, and often won't charge anything, in the hopes that you will bring them return business. If not, they should know where you can get them done.

By Kim Churchman [3]03/19/2008

Lucky you! have them expanded to fit and wear them in style!

By Debbie Dzurilla [24]03/19/2008

I agree with another poster, just resize the rings that you really like. Maybe keeping some or all of them in the family would be nice!

By Noella [9]03/19/2008

You might take them to a jewelry store and ask about what they're worth. Most jewelers will verbally tell you what they think. I believe an appraisal actually consists of paperwork and is therefore much more expensive. I took a ring in once to be cleaned. As I was filling out the paperwork, I was asked how much it was worth and I told them I had no idea. The jeweler did a "best guess" for insurance purposes and it actually turned out to be a bit more than my husband paid for it.

By LuvMyGingerKids [45]03/19/2008

This was the quote I got from my jeweler for resizing my ring to a larger size.

Also, when you bring in the ring(s) for resizing (or when you pick it up after it's resized) the jeweler will at least be able to tell you verbally if the stone is genuine.

Good luck!

By Jacqueline Yelick [1]03/18/2008

Thank you for the info, I will look into this. One more question though, can they resize to a bigger size ring for this amount? Jacqueline

By LuvMyGingerKids [45]03/18/2008

Are they antiques? Native American pieces? Did she purchase them recently? Where did she purchase them from? Online? On tv? From jewelers? These should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to appraise.

Check out online jewelry sites like bidz.com and see if there is anything that looks remotely close to what you have. You can get a "retail value" as well as what the ring sells for ultimately (usually about 10% - 50% of "retail"

Appraise one ring at a time (stick with a qualified jeweler)

Appraisals are important, not only to satiate your curiosity....but if you've got a small fortune in your home, you'll want your insurance company to know too !

If you like any of the rings, a jeweler can easily resize them -- it should only cost about $20 - $25 per ring. Do it one by one and you won't feel the pinch so much.

You could also see if Antiques Roadshow is heading your way soon.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/index.html

Here are other good links:

http://phoenix.about.com/od/shoppingandservices/a/jewelry.htm

http://www.mygrannysatticantiques.com/html/value_your_antiques.html

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