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Heirlooms can be a valuable link to our past. They're treasured keepsakes from our parents, grandparents, and even their parents before them. Whether the heirloom in question is your mothers "good china" that has set the table for countless family gatherings, your grandfathers gold pocket watch, or a cocktail ring that was your great aunts pride and joy, all heirlooms have their associated memories, fond thoughts, unique beauty - but sometimes there comes a point where they no longer have purpose. Perhaps you don't have a traditional dining room table to set, or your own traditions include an annual trip to your in-laws for the holidays? Maybe in spite of having kept perfect time all these years, you don't give the time of day to that old pocket watch anymore – and suppose you don't follow in your great aunts footsteps when it comes to her gaudy jewellery?

Do You Really Need to Keep an Heirloom?

Although it can be difficult to part with things that hold sentiment, it can be hard to hold onto all of them too. The fact remains, that we live different lifestyles than our forefathers. We don't formally entertain like we used to; we use our phones to tell us the time, and we have our own collections, our own statement pieces, and our own style. We have filled our homes with the things we like, to make our own memories with, and we no longer have a need for the same life staples as the generations who preceded us. However heartless it may sound, these are in the end, just things and mementos that are special to someone else—not necessarily us.

Do You Wonder What an Heirloom is Worth?

If you've ever considered parting with an heirloom, you're probably wondered what it may be worth. You may have been told for years that the set of china dinnerware you stood to inherit was worth thousands, or that old painting you will never hang is "priceless". In spite of what you may have been told about value, the "worth" of an item which you wish to sell really depends upon what someone else is willing to pay for it. Heirlooms can be worth their weight in gold; or their value can be nothing more than the sentiment they hold.

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether it's time to part ways with an heirloom:

1. Does the heirloom really mean something to you?

In some cases, heirlooms are passed down to us without having any idea of the story behind it. This method of passing down family heirlooms loses the true meaning of the legacy and history we are inheriting. Furthermore, just because it was special to someone else doesn't mean it has a special place in your heart, and if it doesn't, perhaps it's not necessary to give it a special place in your home.

2. Is it out of guilt that you're keeping it?

We often feel obligated to keep an heirloom. Take a look at that heirloom. Does it inspire positive feelings, or are you just storing it because you feel obliged to? If guilt is the only reason why you still have it, then maybe it's time to let it go.

3. Do you have a place to store it?

Larger collections are indeed a headache. Having proper storage for our things is certainly a challenge most people can relate to. While some things, like Christmas décor, need to be stored, most things that we tuck away only resurface next time we have to move them. If your collections are collecting dust under a staircase, or worse - in a warehouse that charges a monthly storage fee – perhaps some downsizing is in order?

4. Is it appreciating or depreciating in value?

People start collections for all kinds of reasons. Hopefully they collected because they were buying things that made them happy, but sometimes people buy collectibles as an investment. Whether you dabble in the stock markets or the only market you're interested in is the local farmers market on the weekend, its fairly common knowledge that with any investment, there is a right and wrong time to buy and a right and wrong time to sell. Although it can be difficult to predict what will go up and down in value, there are certainly some trends to suggest whether or not something has the potential for increased value, or is likely to continue to depreciate.

5. Does it serve any purpose?

While an heirloom may have once been special to a family member, or even to you – maybe it has seen better days. Even if it has monetary value, something once loved may not retain its value to its owner. If you have redecorated and the Victorian era urn doesn't complement your new modern contemporary décor, what will you do with it? Maybe the sterling silver flatware set you inherited is monogrammed with the letter "G" but your name starts with an "M" and ends with a "T"? What if you've replaced the old set of sherry glasses set your grandmother left you with a set of sparkly new martini glasses – for a beverage you might actually serve, and you yourself enjoy. If you're asking who drinks Sherry anyways, I think you have your answer.

So where does the Heirlooms' next adventure begin?

The next step is to find a trustworthy appraiser who can assign a value besides sentiment. Here at TJ Traders, we can appraise your Great Aunt's jewellery and your grandfathers pocket watches, match your monogrammed silverware with a Geraldine or Genevieve, and find the last person on earth who still drinks sherry. Not only are our appraisers certified professionals, but they are discreet and offer in-home evaluations for your security and convenience. We will come to you and give you top dollar for what your heirlooms are really worth. Call today to discuss your needs and find out how we can help you get the most from your collections.

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If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

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