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How much are those diamonds and gemstones passed on from generations truly worth? They are a storehouse of emotional value, but it is always good to learn its true worth too. Image Credit: Pixabay

An heirloom is a direct connection to your ancestors. To some, it is a piece of family history. Whatever the case, if you possess one, no doubt you cherish it.

The act of passing valuables from one generation to another will always have a special meaning—it serves as a reminder of loved ones no longer with us, which is why they are priceless and make us want to care and preserve them as long as we can.

Beyond the sentimental value, do you sometimes catch yourself wondering how much your great grandmother’s 100-year-old earnings are worth? Of course, just because a piece is old doesn't necessarily mean it's precious in a financial sense.

More bauble than precious

One particular incident that stands out in this context is from 2019, when a lady came in to evaluate a string of 36 solitaire diamonds at one of our centres. After a thorough assessment by experts at International Gemological Institute (IGI), we had to communicate to the client that 11 out of 36 solitaires were fracture filled. The 11 identified diamonds were low quality, but appeared to look better with a special resin inside the diamonds. (This is an old-time jeweller’s trick to pass off faulty pieces.)

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Many such fraudulent tales taint the world of jewellery. In a most paradoxical way, old gemstones, diamonds, and even precious metals may be more valuable than you think. So, when in doubt—get your heirlooms authenticated.

Quite the bargain

We had a customer from Egypt that had picked up ruby earrings from a flea market in London. She paid close to 30 pounds, but always felt that they were worth much more. Assessing the piece, we estimated that the earnings were an authentic vintage estate Jewellery and a tiny marking on the back showed that they were created in the early 1900s by a major luxury brand. Indeed, a great find that if weren't assessed properly would have been dismissed off for being invaluable.

Quite often, customers don't know how to go about getting their jewels assessed. The process involves more than heading to the nearest jewellery store since merely working in the industry doesn’t qualify an individual as a qualified gemmologist and/or appraiser. What’s more, most jewellery retailers may not have the instruments nor skills required to examine a jewel and properly determine it.

Only reputed independent certification authorities have a deep understanding of qualification criteria and value to correctly assess gems and jewellery . For example, we offer authentication not just for diamonds but for a range of coloured stones as well.

Peoples’ interest in heirlooms is often sentimental, and as a piece that is loved and cherished, the only authentication that one may need is that they belonged to someone special. However authenticating jewellery is useful, particularly for valuable pieces, knowing the age and value of a piece can offer immense peace of mind and can make owning a particular piece even more special.

Whether you plan to pass it on to the next generation or even if you decide to sell it, it gives the owner the opportunity to add his or her authentication anecdote to the heirlooms’ colourful history.