New Year’s Resolutions, Revisited

What new year would be complete without a list of New Year’s Resolutions — even though you know (in your heart of hearts) that the chances of keeping them are likely to be slim to none? According to advanced hypothetical calculations, you’re probably still in the process of sorting out your list, so I would propose that a few more items should be added — just so you have the option of making a few resolutions that you’ll actually keep. Of course, this column is mainly concerned with  jewelry, so it will come as no surprise that the focus of my recommendations will reflect this. In no particular order, my resolution suggestions are as follows:

Review current insurance coverage of all your jewelry. (*1)

Take better care of your jewelry, with regular inspections and cleaning. (*2)

Understand store policies and capabilities before buying any new jewelry. (*3)

Think carefully about security issues regarding your jewelry, both in-home, and while traveling. (*4)

If selling any unwanted jewelry is on your agenda, consider multiple options, then make an informed choice. (*5)
Joe Brandt

Establish and share any details concerning your wishes in regard to what happens to your jewelry after you’re gone. (*6)

I will admit that this is quite a list. While most readers will fall somewhat short in their efforts to adopt (much less keep) any of these worthwhile resolutions, perhaps a bit of brief clarification is in order. I’m sure that the asterisked numbers have escaped no one’s attention, so please allow me to elaborate.

*1: This requires that you have at least a basic understanding of how your insurance policy works — and may require a discussion with your insurance agent. You also need to decide which items you wish to have covered on your policy, and be sure that any required documents are up to date.

*2: You should be checking your jewelry (especially catches and locking mechanisms) yourself regularly, and at least twice a year have your jeweler inspect items that you wear routinely. Be sure that you are not exposing your jewelry to harsh chemicals, or taking the risk of wearing rings, bracelets, or long neck-chains while doing rough work.

*3: Before buying any fine jewelry, you need to know store policies regarding guarantees and returns, and understand what the store will and will not do in the event that something breaks, a stone falls out, or you’re just not happy with your purchase.

*4:  You need to think about where and how you store your fine jewelry (Don’t use a jewelry box on your dresser for this!), and be sure that nothing is left exposed routinely. If you have a clever hiding place, let at least one person (whom you trust implicitly) know where that place is. When traveling, do so with the least amount of jewelry possible, and don’t ever leave jewelry unattended in your luggage — during transportation or in a hotel room.

*5: If this is on your agenda, you need to do so intelligently, so that you may be assured of the greatest return for your investment, weighing the various options. If you just want to sell something to a jewelry store (which is often the easiest solution), be sure to get at least several different offers. If you wish to sell jewelry privately, do not take risks. Never have a stranger to your home, and do not publish a phone number (that may be traced to your home address) in the newspaper or online.

*6: Make your wishes known to your family, either verbally or in writing. Be sure to give your heirs permission to alter jewelry, or to have the form changed entirely — and while you’re at it, you may wish to document the provenance of things that will be passed to the next generation, otherwise after you’re gone, all of that information will probably go with you.

These are plenty of things to consider for now, but to start off the year, I will suggest one more thing to think about, and that is what jewelry-related topic you may want to see me cover in a future column — and remember that I do answer specific questions privately. Best wishes to everyone for a safe and healthy new year!


Joe Brandt is a local resident, and president of J.L. Brandt Company, offering speaking engagements and diversified fine jewelry advisory services to the general public since 1928. Readers are invited to submit questions or comments to Names or contact information will not be used for publication, and all inquiries will be answered promptly.

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