Deceased mom’s jewelry identification. HELP!
My mom passed away last November leaving several hundred, if not thousand, pieces of jewelry to me that she purchased from HSN between the years of 2005 to 2012. She saved every single receipt, but many of the receipts are difficult to match to the piece of jewelry as the description is vague.
I have tried to enter the item number in the search bar, but because it was so long ago, they no longer have any information, or more importantly, a picture of the item so that I can do a match of each piece.
Does anyone know if there is a database or catalog of old jewelry? Or does anyone have any other suggestions?
Thanks in advance,
Kim, did she order online? If so and you have access to her emails, she may have saved them. You also could try the various designer websites and ebay, or post pictures on here and someone may be able to help you. Also, try googling the item number and you may have luck there.
Also, check her order history on HSN, it may go back several years.
Good idea Spoiler—I will try to search her order history if I can get in.
MaryMary1969-I think she ordered the majority over the phone, but I will still check her email as I think my brother had access to it. All the jewelry is no longer in the box that she bought it in so I’m not sure of the designer of most pieces…and there are literally a couple thousand. As she got older she LOVED shopping and boy were we surprised at how much she bought! It brought her joy though, so it’s kinda funny at this point.
And I have googled many of the item numbers and it was like HSN scoured the internet of any item number history because there was absolutely NOTHING.
I am sorry for the loss of your Mother.
Your post about your Mother’s jewelry collection made me smile. I thought for a moment you were writing about me! The description fit me to a “T”. My loved ones will have similar problems!
Perhaps you could post pictures of some group collections in the Community. Maybe some viewers may recognize some items and post related information. I would certainly be willing to do so.
Too, you can often go to specific designer web sites and find a history of their offerings (if not a complete history, at least a partial listing). Good luck.
Thanks caddygal. If I don’t have any other options, I will definitely start posting pictures of the jewelry. I am currently going through all her QVC reciepts because their website does show pictures of all old items. Once I get all the QVC and HSN jewelry separated the best I can, I will then post pics.
I just wish HSN got with the times and cataloged their old merchandise!
my advice to you is to START SMALL!!!! if the qvc/hsn, etc. receipt mentions a stone, for example “tanzanite”, go to your computer and if you are using “google” as your search engine- look it up!!! there you will see photos of tanzanite with explanations. or, if you do not have access to a computer, i suggest going to your or a fully furbished public library. you will find gem books there with photographs that you can compare against what the computer pulled up.
also, former qvc and evine show host, paul deasy, has written a book or actually several books on gems that come complete not just with the gem’s history but with gorgeous, true photos of them. he is a foremost gem expert and author as he is a fully-trained professional and certified gem expert. his books are on sale right now at evine’s website. if they are not there, i suggest calling evine and getting further information. also, try amazon’s or ebay’s website as well.
after this initial research, i would start to group what you think are all of the “tanzanite”, usually a purplish-blue color, in one pile. make another pile for “peridot”, usually a grass-green color, and so forth. also, if the receipt says the names of designers “heidi daus” or “nicky butler”- these designers are still on hsn so you can put their names in the search box on the hsn homepage and see what comes up. (google these and other designers as well) after a little research, i’m sure that you can tell the flavor of one designer’s design from another. for example, heidi daus is usually high-end costume or fashion jewelry working mostly with the highest quality of swarovski crystals and impeccable glass stones while nicky butler works mostly in sterling silver and gems, usually including stones with pearls, with high-end “india” inspired designs.
THEN, once you try to sort this all out, i would hire a reputable jewelry appraiser in your geographic area that comes complete with stellar references and reviews- especially word of mouth reviews from friends and family. i would start to find one through google and visit their home webpages for additonal information on them such as how many years they have been in the business and their technical training. i would also go to the most reputable jeweler in your area and ask them for a reference.
SOME JEWELERS, IN FACT PROBABLY MOST, MAY EVEN INVITE YOU TO BRING TO THEM, AT THEIR JEWELRY STORE, A SMALL BATCH OF YOUR MOTHER’S JEWELRY COLLECTION AT A TIME FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES. HOWEVER, I WOULD CALL AHEAD AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT!!! THIS WAY YOU KNOW THAT YOU WILL HAVE THE JEWELER/APPRAISER’S FULL ATTENTION AND TIME!! there is nothing worse than being or feeling rushed. especially since this is YOUR MOTHER’S jewelry which means a lot to you.
also, beware of people taking advantage of you- even if they are professionals. THIS IS WHY I SAY TO START SMALL!!! if someone sees a collection that is as big as your mother’s, they may charge you more than usual, they may think that a missing piece or two may not be missed, etc. ALSO, GET YOURSELF A SECOND OPINION. an appraiser may say a piece is set in gold when in fact it is vermeil. someone may say something is a diamond when in fact it is a cubic zirconia. some appraisers/jewelers think that by doing this, it will make you feel better if they “up” the value of your collection. unfortunately, this is fraudulent and will get you into a lot of trouble when and if you choose to sell your collection to a third party. i do not mean to scare you. i just want you to think about these things.
LASTLY, I WOULD NUMBER EACH PIECE OR SET OF JEWELRY. AND, I WOULD BUY SOME TYPE OF ASSORTED SIZE CELLOPHANE BAGS (sold on amazon, a jewelry store and/or look for a stationary (paper) type store in your area) IN WHICH TO PLACE EACH RING, SET OF EARRINGS, BRACELET, NECKLACE- all according to the size of the piece. THEN, ONCE EACH PIECE IS IDENTIFIED, I WOULD WRITE IN PERMANENT THIN MARKER ON THE BACK OF EACH PIECE’S CELLOPHANE BAG- AS WELL AS ON A WRITTEN MASTER LIST- THE NAME OF THE IDENTIFIED STONE/PIECE.
i hope that all of this helps!!! always love your mother as she will now always be there for you in spirit. remember, a mother’s love never dies. a child’s should not either. stay blessed, my friend. xoxo
Hello Kim! First, let me say how sorry I am for your loss. If you are trying to just catalog her jewelry to keep for yourself our share with others, I highly recommend that you sort by color. Put all blue gems together, red, white/clear, green, purple, orange, yellow, pink and so on.
Then take your time and search gem specific websites generically, like “blue gemstones in google.” This will send you to a couple of very informative sites that can name all of the blue gemstones and you can try to compare them this way. Read about the specific gem to see if what you may have in your posession matches the description. For instance, Tanzanite is a bluish/purplish stone and only the finest Tanzanites will appear bluish. I’ve seen lesser quality Tanzanites that could pass for brazilian amethyst. Some Blue stones you may come across:
Swiss Blue Topaz
Sky Blue Topaz
London Blue Topaz
Tanzanite (more expensive than topazes of any color)
Sapphire (may or may not be more expensive than topazes)
Aquamarine (Depends on the quality of the stone) ??
Keep in mind here, that color and carat weight will count in terms of colors to these gems (any gem for that matter) in terms of least expensive to most expensive. You want to know this in the event you are planning on selling or keeping. The better the color, the more expensive the stone.
There will be significant overlap in color from gem to gem, so this is why I think you should group by color. Then search your colors. All gemstones of the same variety/type are not created equally.
As someone else suggested a good gem book can help too, but getting your photos and info on line can be more helpful because of the wide array of gemstones used in jewelry.
Feel free to come back so that the community can help you if you need it!
Kim see if hsn and the Q will allow you access to her accounts (passwords)
you might need a copy of the death certificate and proof of relation?
you might have better luck typing in the item # from inside the acct – might have the photo in the archive of the order number
also any solid gold pieces will be stamped- if they are plated silver they usually are stamped silver even if covered in gold
if they are plated non precious metals they will not have a stamp on the metal
also there are some hard core jewerly mavens here, me included- so I’m sure you can get lots of help
@Mooncat, good advice for Kim. ?? I think she may or may not get lucky with the stamped jewelry. I have pieces that are very old and some newer that are in fact gold or silver but have no stamps. This is hit or miss. I know in the US it’s supposed to be stamped, but sometimes its not.
For your sake, Kim I hope the pieces have identifiable metal indicators. Don’t fret if it does not. If beautiful gemstones are in them, they are likely precious metals (silver, rhodium plated silver, gold plated silver, vermeil or karat gold. I think Deb Guyot offers some pieces in gold fill (which actually will never come off). If you’ve got any combination you have precious metal. Thing is solid gold is extremely costly now, so leave the metal identification for last.
I have vermeil (gold over silver) that Susan Somers sold years ago on HSN with CZ’s and if I didn’t tell you it was vermeil, you’d swear it was solid gold. That’s how good it is and I wear these pieces enough over the years with no problems. Of course, that was years ago.
Oh my gosh, I am overwhelmed by all the warm responses. THANK YOU!
1) I will see if I can access my mom’s account to view her history. Unfortunately according the website, it only shows what you have purchased in the last year so that might be a dead end.
2) All the jewelry is mostly if not all sorted by color already. I will start researching good gemstone books and websites to help me further my identification. It seems like a lot of the metals are marked so hopefully that it should be ok. I had to buy a magnifying glass though bc some are marked with tiny print!
3) I have already purchased three different sized small jewelry ziploc bags so that when I identify the pieces I can clearly mark and catalog them. I love organizing so I will make an Excel spreadsheet as well.
4) I will start researching good jewelers around here in case I need more help in appraising pieces
5) I will take pictures of all pieces and post here for more help. That will probably be done over the next couple of months because I have two small children so I’m only getting about an hour or two a day to work on this.
Thank you again for everyone’s advice. What a great community you all are!
Kim “NEW FRIEND” welcome to the Forum’s. So sorry for your loss. You are very lucky to get your Mother’s jewelry. And how lovely of you to put so much time and heartful love into the jewelry and the history. She would appreciate what your doing so much. Maybe her knowing her daughter…”You Kim”….and knowing how you like to organize, she may have done this to keep you busy and your mind at ease. You know what they say, “MOM’S KNOW BEST, AND MOM’S KNOW EVERYTHING!” May you have enter peace “MY FRIEND!” You know she is smiling down at you on your journey to organize her jewelry.
So sorry for your loss.
One ‘weird’ way I find things is either by typing the item ‘name’ as it is on the reciept into the google bar, then click on images. You may have to scroll for a while, but if you see the jewelry piece, click on the pic. I have even found videos from 2007 (HSN & QVC) for items I saw on Ebay and tried to identify.
Another idea, on Ebay, do the same thing, or just put in HSN jewelry and scroll through the listing.
Good luck and God Bless you and your family. :womanhappy:
Posted in Jewelry
04.13.16 6:39 AM