Inheriting Heirlooms: How to Add to Your Savings the Smart Way

When you receive an inheritance, there may be many of your loved one’s belongings that you want to hold onto for their sentimental value, but there may also be many possessions that you’re not interested in storing and that don’t have the same emotional connection.

Inheriting valuables gives you an opportunity to add to your savings. However, it may not always be clear how much an heirloom is worth or where the best place to sell it is. Learning more about what you’ve inherited can go a long way toward getting the right price for the item.

Inheriting Gold: How to Sell Gold Bullion

Often parents put together heirlooms that were always meant to be sold when they passed. Some collect gold coins or bullion for the express purpose of preserving wealth that they can pass down to children and grandchildren when they pass. Gold is often used as a hedge against inflation, and it can be relatively straightforward for those who want to leave something that will hold onto its value better than cash.

Gold bullion is also one of the easier heirlooms to sell. Gold coins are investment assets, and unlike jewellery, their value is based on market forces more so than condition or brand. The best place to sell gold coins will make their prices per ounce public, so it’s easy to shop around for the best prices if you already know the weight and purity of the gold you’re bringing. Coins and bars should have this information stamped directly onto them.


While the value of pure gold coins and bars tends to be easy to find, things can be harder to predict when it comes to jewellery, watches, and silverware.

There is a growing market for vintage watches right now, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a Rolex or Omega to be worth something. Lesser-known brands are increasingly popular. There are three things you can do to get an estimate of the watch’s value:

  • Search online marketplaces for similar brands to see what they are selling for.
  • Adjust your expectations given the condition of the watch, i.e. it will have less value if there are scratches or dents.
  • Take it to a professional to be evaluated, particularly someone who is familiar with collectibles.

Silverware and Silver Collectibles

Silverware and other collectibles made from silver can likewise be valuable, but how will depend on factors such as whether it is made of silver, coated with silver, or not actually silver at all. Items made from pure sterling silver will often have a hallmark. It may also be worth more if it’s an antique in good condition.

Just because a set of silverware is older doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an antique or a collectible. However, any silver content should be worth something.


When it comes to jewellery, there are certain gemstones that can easily be dyed or embellished. Sometimes stones such as rubies and sapphires are waxed to conceal fissures, and foil backings are occasionally used to intensify the way they look.

There are also composite stones and synthetics to look out for, heat treatments used to enhance the appearance of stones like rubies, and many other techniques that can make jewellery seem more valuable than it is.

As with many collectibles, a professional evaluation is likely the best way to find out what it is worth.