What Is Heirloom Jewelry and What Can You Do With It?


You may remember the brooch that your grandmother used to wear or the gold ring on your uncle’s hand. Some of these pieces of jewelry may have been passed down to your family through the generations. These precious heirlooms carry sentimental value and often come with memories and stories. Unfortunately, they may not be compatible with modern styles. If you have recently received heirloom jewelry and are unsure what to do with it, here are some ideas.

Is Heirloom Jewelry Valuable?

Heirloom jewelry has sentimental value for the people that have worn it over the years. If you have a close connection with the person who passed the jewelry down to you, then the piece will have great sentimental value. However, if the jewelry came from a distant relative that you never even heard of, then it will hold just as little sentimental value as a store-bought item.

In terms of monetary value, the value of the heirloom piece will depend on its material and craftsmanship. For example, a diamond and ruby necklace will be worth much more than a simple gold chain due to the rare and valuable materials used in the design. On the other hand, a silver pendant may sell for as little as $10 to $15 at a flea market depending on the condition of the item.

When deciding what your heirloom jewelry is worth, you should consider both its monetary and sentimental value to make a wise decision. It is generally a good idea to get an appraisal from an expert jeweler to get an idea of what the piece is worth, especially if you think you may want to sell it later. The jeweler may also alert you to certain points such as craftsmanship that could add a significant amount of value.

What You Can Do with Heirloom Jewelry

Regardless of its value, there are several options for what to do with your newly-acquired heirloom jewelry.

Update the piece – You may decide to update the jewelry to make it more relevant to your style or more fitting to the current trends. With the help of a capable jeweler, you can redesign your heirloom piece or have its stones repurposed into other settings. Before you have a ring reset, it is best to consult with a trusted jeweler to ensure that the stones are preserved perfectly during the process.

Wear it as is – Some heirloom jewelry is meant to be worn. Items such as brooches and pins can easily complement other clothing and accessories. You can wear these pieces only on special occasions or every day if they suit your style. The jewelry may need to be cleaned before you can wear it, so make sure that you take it to a professional jeweler to have it safely restored.

Wear it creatively – If the heirloom is not your style but you do not want to change it, another option is to wear the heirloom in a different fashion. For example, you can wrap a necklace around your wrist to create a bracelet or wear a brooch on a necklace as a pendant. These are some of many ways to incorporate the heirloom into your current wardrobe without having to make any permanent changes to it.

Store it – Many people prefer to store heirlooms in a safe location until they are ready to be passed on to the next generation. Some pieces of jewelry can be very old and fragile. They should be stored in individual felt sachels or soft jewelry boxes to ensure that they are not scratched or damaged during transport or storage. These can be kept in a safe in your home or a safety deposit box at the bank.

Pass it on – Sometimes, the most meaningful thing to do with a piece of heirloom jewelry is to pass it on! Of course, you must make sure that the rest of your family (and the giver) is happy with your decision. For instance, your daughter may expect to receive her grandmother’s engagement ring and feel upset and overlooked if you decide to pass it on to your daughter-in-law instead.

Sell it – Finally, if none of the above options appeal to you, you have one last option—sell the heirloom. Rather than having the item languishing in the recesses of a drawer, you can sell it to someone who will appreciate it. This is what often happens when you do not have a close relationship with the giver. The money that you get from the sale can then be used to purchase a new jewelry item of your choice.

The intrinsic value of a piece of jewelry often extends far beyond its materials. Heirlooms do not have to be hundreds of years old or set with expensive stones to be valuable. They are symbols of a loving relationship and a reminder of special moments spent together. If you wish to update or repurpose a piece of heirloom jewelry, be sure to have it properly appraised and handled by a trusted and reputable jeweler.

Not everyone is lucky enough to receive heirloom jewelry. Take time to appreciate the value of what you have been given. With proper care, your heirlooms will serve as a reminder of precious family memories for generations to come.


11 Special Ways to Recognize Your Child’s Graduation


Graduation is an important and special time. Family and friends want to congratulate the graduate with gifts, nostalgic memorabilia, and items for their future. Beyond the ceremony and a graduation party, consider these ideas for making this time special and unique and show your graduate that you are proud of them and will support them in their next ventures, whatever they may be.


Flowers are always a good graduation gift from family and friends near and far. It’s easy to send flowers to people who live far away, making it popular with long-distance family members. For a creative idea, consider a flower lei. More people are starting to give flower leis for graduation, a long-standing Hawaiian tradition.

Scrapbook or Photo Book

A scrapbook or photo book, whether homemade or purchased, is a nostalgic gift that many graduates treasure for life. Filled with pictures and mementos from the graduate’s childhood, this book is special both for the creator and the recipient. Make sure to start this project far enough ahead so you will have time to finish it.

A Letter Book

A letter book compiles special letters of congratulations, shared memories, and advice from family and friends far and wide. If you want to make one of these for your graduate, start far in advance and ask family and friends to send a letter and picture for the gift. Then you can mount all the items in a scrapbook for your lucky graduate.

Personalized Photo Items

Items such as mugs, water bottles, blankets, and even shirts and bikinis can be personalized with photos. Special gift items that have been customized with photos of family and friends are perfect gifts for graduates who are leaving town to go to college or some other far-off pursuit such as taking a gap year to travel or starting a job in a different town. 

Make a Video Montage

Video montages are one of the best ways to commemorate a graduate’s life, childhood, and accomplishments. Many people make these montages to be played at graduation parties but they can also be shared online over social media and other platforms and can help make the day special for family members who can’t attend a party in person. 

A Special Experience

A special experience is a great way to make a memory and congratulate your student for all their hard work. Many students have special experiences they want to do, such as going skydiving, climbing a mountain, or learning to snorkel. These experiences are a great way to celebrate the graduate’s introduction to adulthood and get them ready to launch into a new life with one last special memory of their childhood to take with them.

Graduation Trip

Many families celebrate each child’s graduation with a family trip or vacation. This is especially meaningful if your family hasn’t been able to take a lot of vacations. A special trip such as the first visit to a foreign country, an amusement park, or a tropical cruise can be a wonderful memory and reward for your new graduate.

A Year of Books

This gift is perfect for book lovers. For this present, the giver compiles twelve must-read books for the graduate and wraps them up separately. Most people label the books with the month they are intended for. Others let the recipient choose when to read each book and instead label them with cryptic clues as to the plot, setting, and character.

Nonfiction books are also a good choice, especially if they are on topics that the giver considers important life books for the student to read at the beginning of their journey into adulthood.

Mother/Child Jewelry

Matching mother/child jewelry items are a sweet gift for a graduate who is leaving to go to college or head out on some other adventure. These gifts are available in many styles and jewelry types from necklaces that fit together to matching bracelets to many more. This special gift will help your departing graduate feel close to you as they learn to live on their own far from home.

Personalized Planner or Journal

A special personalized planner or journal is a great gift that can help the graduate get started on their next venture, whether college is in the picture or not. Planners and journals are special, and this is a special time of life to begin using them. Engraved leather-bound journal covers, custom planners, or personalized sketchbooks are a unique way to support your graduate.

Going-Away Adventure

Consider planning a final going-away adventure for your graduate and their close friends before they go their separate ways. Friendship is one of the special parts of the teen years and your graduate’s friends will always hold a special place in his or her heart. Give them one last memory together by organizing an outing like a day at an amusement park, an escape room, or some other fun adventure.