A: The solution may not be as difficult as it seems. Unless there is already a high degree of animosity between your daughters, there is no need to go through the formality of a will. A simple written document should suffice, without the need to pay an attorney or other administrator. I recommend that the first thing you do, is ask about “who wants what,” and make your decisions with this in mind. Family jewelry is often valued at least as much for emotional reasons as monetary ones, so irregardless of value, you should try to learn whether any particular items are especially important to one child or another.
Q: I recently had some work done on an old diamond ring that had belonged to my mother, but when I got it back, I noticed a chip on the largest diamond, right under a prong. When I asked the jeweler about it, he said it was that way when I brought it in, but I’m not sure that’s correct. Is there anything I can do about it?
A: The first thing that I will ask is whether you are absolutely certain that there was no damage to the diamond to begin with. It is often the case (especially with an older piece that perhaps had not been well-maintained) that only after a professional cleaning will certain types of damage become obvious. If there is a degree of uncertainty on your part, the short answer is no, probably not. Even if you have some sort of documentation that makes no mention of damage, who’s to say that the diamond did not sustain the damage between the time of the documentation, and the time you brought the ring in for repair?
Technically, the jeweler should have inspected the ring carefully before taking it in for whatever work you had done, and noted any damage (provided it was evident under close inspection) on the receipt. (Although careful inspection and notation on intake paperwork doesn’t always happen, if “push” were to come to “shove,” this could be a deciding factor.)
Assuming that you are sure there was no damage to the diamond beforehand, the practicality of pursuing the issue may also boil down to a matter of degree, as well as amount of energy you are willing to invest. A small, unobtrusive chip on a diamond (any way you look at it) is sometimes not really a big deal, and these can often be repaired, unless the diamond is too small to make the procedure practical.
The last resort would be to wind up in court, which can become awfully expensive in short order. Even Small Claims Court can require an extensive amount of time and effort.