Why Buy Estate Engagement Rings?
There are several reasons for watching your newspaper for upcoming estate sales. You might find some really fabulous pieces of jewelry at below appraisal values, discover some really unique designs or high quality gems to reset into a custom designed ring.
In many cases rings have come down through generations becoming heirloom pieces. Estate rings are jewelry pieces that family members have gone through, after the death of a family member, and do not want to keep them so they put them up for sale.
Are Estate Engagement Rings Worth My Time?
Not all items in an estate sale are valuable pieces so you need to pay close attention when visiting these sales. Some pieces are low grade, eroded pieces or inferior workmanship but could potentially have valuable gems that could be used in customizing an engagement ring.
How Will You Know The Value?
Good quality, valuable estate rings should have authenticity by a recent appraisal or its original certificate. Granted this is not always the case due to lost documentation over the years or family members truly do not know the specifics about the various pieces.
Sometimes you will simply need to visually inspect pieces for their settings, gem shapes or detailed workmanship. Many pieces might not have valuable gems, but the workmanship is exquisite and a lost art. The actual ring might be too good to turn down because you can always have the gem replaced with one of your own choosing.
Don’t Judge Too Quickly: Estate Engagement Rings Can Be an Incredible Find
Don’t be too judgmental when first looking at estate sale engagement rings. Some of these pieces are quite old and need a good cleaning. Dirt, soil and grime can hide the beauty of wonderful gems and fine details. In some cases, the gems are loose or smaller accent stones are missing, this could help lower the price of the ring. Investing a small amount for restoration might just give you a rare, beautiful piece that will increase its value.
Folklore and Conjecture
Families are families and stories are passed down from each generation. The family member who is selling his grandmother’s jewelry has probably heard stories, leaving him to believe these pieces are precious, when in reality they are costume pieces. Just because a gem is clear does not a diamond make or a dark, red stone and ruby.
In most cases family members are not intentionally trying to scam anyone. They honestly believe grandma Millie’s collection of gems are authentic!
What If I Don’t Know a Diamond from Glass?
Always ask for a recent appraisal of a particular ring. If one is not available, request that an appraisal is done before or after purchase with the stipulation that if it is not authentic, you can renege on the sale. In many cases, estate sales have an estate manager who will agree to an appraisal before any purchase is made. Keep in mind, if the appraisal is high quality, the price of the ring might just go up.
Many estate sales are not a one day deal but go on for more then a few days. You might have to get an appraisal done rather quickly because once the estate sale ends, most will not give you back your purchase price.
Before committing yourself to any sale, check out the estate’s policy on returns, if there is one. Should you return a ring, you should be courteous enough to give them the appraisal so they will know in the future what the ring is really worth.
A great number of people are avid estate sale visitors. There are many wonderful finds hidden under dust and dirt. Buyers have walked off with a great deals and some great steals! Keep in mind, many antique dealers travel through estate sales, so if you find something you are interested in, you might have to make a decision rather quickly. Watch antique dealers and observe what pieces they look more than once. If there are a few they keep going back to, there might be something in those pieces.