Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Advice on Inherited Jewels

Marilyn_monroe_diamonds_are_a_girls_best_friend Many people who inherit jewelry do not know where to find advice on what to do with the pieces they inherited. One option is to visit an auction house (the auction house may come to you if the inheritance is valuable enough). The auction house will value and sale your pieces. The advantages of using an auction house are that most estimates are free, appraisers will suggest the appropriate time to sell your jewelry, and your pieces will be exposed to a wide market, including collectors and dealers. The drawback to using an auction house is that premiums for both sellers and buyers have risen. This means that both the buyer and seller will inevitably “lose” on the price. Additionally, a client can pay up to 10% to the company brokering the sale.

Another option is to sell directly to a dealer. Getting advice from a jewelry specialist can help ensure that a dealer does not give you a poor deal. Some of these advisors will advise clients on available offers, opine as to whether the pieces should be sold at auction or privately, and will sometime even educate clients on the art of jewelry.

See Maria Doulton, Maximising assets: Top tips on what to do with inherited jewels, Financial Times, Jun. 10, 2011.

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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