Her thought process is the "Love It or List It" of the jewellery world, and just like that TV show, I cannot resist watching.
Coincidentally, I read "How to repurpose jewellery and bring new life to inherited pieces", in the Telegraph. I'll read anything the astute Anna Harvey writes; however, we do not always agree. The article shows two old-cut diamond Edwardian brooches, and the new necklace created from the stones. (I guess the pearls were sent back to the manor.)
I thought, Oh no no no; Love It! The brooches have so much character and romance.
The necklace is pretty and wearable—but the use of old-cut diamonds in a modern piece creates a dissonance, like sticking a bay window on a 17th century castle. I hope the jeweller doing the reno showed her modern-cut diamonds versus these old cuts, so she can see the difference. If that was done, and she is happy, there you go.
I'd buy a great jacket instead, and wear both brooches together. I might have the diamond brooch adapted to be worn as a pendant.
Harvey and I agree on restyling all or some of the items from a parure, in North America often called a "set", for example, a matching ring, necklace and earrings. But again, if the setting and stones are beautiful, you could gift or sell all but your favourite item.
Just like the TV show, "Love It" means a decision about what goes, what stays, and the total budget for the project. Given the current cost of gold, a reno may cost more than the original item, but look what you end up with!
The example shown is a commissioned piece by London jeweller, Malcolm Morris. That's a sumptuously heavy band, no stinting on the gold, and good for Malcolm and his client!
Many women wanting to convert old jewellery to cash decide, wisely, to get an appraisal. Find a certified appraiser and tell her you are planning to sell; most appraisals are done for insurance purposes. The American Gem Society provides a good checklist here.
Why not benefit from the appraiser's knowledge of the market, as well as of the value of the piece? (Many appraisers have extensive experience buying and selling.) At auctions, jewellers buy some pieces to tear apart. If you consign to an auction house or consignment jeweller, realize that dated designs will not bring as much as a piece that could be worn as is.
The one thing the owners on the TV show don't do is give away homes! But I've done that with craft jewellery such as silver rings set with semi-precious stones. When we did the Mighty Downsize, I donated a shopping bag of that sort of thing to a Toronto church's auction. (The church used a certified appraiser to set starting bid prices.) Sometimes you can get a charitable donation receipt.
Rachel and her sister inherited a pile of jewellery from their mother, Marsha; below are similar pieces. Can you guess what she did with each?
Left: Garnet earrings bezel-set in 14k gold. Rachel wore them for a while, then gave them to her sister.
Middle: Peridot cocktail ring, set in silver. Sold on Kijiji for $60. (The ring had never been worn; Marsha had a ferocious HSN habit.)
Right: Diamond ballerina ring, set with many small, mixed-cut diamonds of very good quality. Rachel considered having a pendant made. When her 27 year old daughter Becky landed her dream job, Rachel and Sam gave her her grandmother's ring, which looks perfect as is on their hip, vintage-clothes-collector daughter. (A vintage piece can read entirely differently on a young woman.)
For fine jewellery, Harvey offers a variant of "List It": "Park It". She says, "An idea to consider if you do not want to...reset a single piece is to put (it) in the bank and put the money saved in insuring it to one side until you have saved enough to go out and buy yourself a piece of jewellery you will wear."
"Park It" works if you save those big jewellery riders (Dowager Dollars?) but if, like Adele, you have a special occasion coming up, look now for jewellers whose work makes you whistle in admiration. Then you'll know where to take it.