Passed down to generation after generation, family heirlooms are precious – either because they’re sentimental and special to the family, or because they’re worth a fortune. Sometimes it’s even both. But what happens when you think your heirloom is just sentimental but is actually worth a fortune? Would you be able to tell?
From wooden items to luxury designers, let’s take a look at some of the most common heirlooms which could also be worth a pretty penny.
This one can be to determine if it’s worth a fortune. Watches are like cars, they depreciate as soon as you take it for a spin. But despite this, there are some watch manufacturers which can hold their value. Watch manufacturer Patek Philippe’s whole marketing is centred around the family heirloom, with the slogan, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe, you merely look after it for the next generation” – it has been said that the watch isn’t for telling the time, but to be an heirloom passed down the line.
Other watches also make great heirlooms. If you have one and it’s Swiss-made, you’re in luck. Rolex Submariner, one of the world’s most famous diving watches is a superb heirloom (and investment). Rolex’s are great at holding and increasing in value – even after use. So if you find yourself in possession of such a watch and want to sell it, don’t make the mistake of selling it to any old site or shop. Instead, choose an accredited specialist watch site, such as Watchmaster, to ensure you get what the watch is worth.
Jewellery is one of the most common heirlooms, usually in the form of an engagement ring or necklace. Prince William, for example, proposed to the Duchess of Cambridge with a family heirloom – using Princess Diana’s iconic sapphire ring to pop the question. If the jewellery piece has been looked after well, is by a famous designer or houses precious jewels – it could be worth a lot of money. So if you happen to have a gold ring branded with Cartier that’s been handed down through your family – look after it.
It can be hard to determine how valuable furniture is. Antique real wood is what you want and it needs to be of a period, have its original finish and be in good condition to be of value – that’s the recommendation anyway. If you have a true Chippendale table in your living room, for example, be sure to pop a coaster on that; it could be worth thousands. From chairs and cabinets to an antique commode – antique furniture has been sold for millions.
Of course, value isn’t always in pound signs. Something might have no monetary value and yet still be worth a fortune in memories. Heirlooms are precious, and whether you decide to keep them for the next generation or sell them and invest the money elsewhere, the most important thing is how you look after them. Regardless of whether it’s a watch or chair, treat those items with care and they could serve you and the next generations well.