As I stood in the kitchen at our high granite counter top (to accommodate my tall stature), sorting the last minuscule piles of a lifetime of gold chains, earrings and bracelets (mostly from the 80’s) along with more recent sterling silver, I chuckled to myself.
Who was I kidding to think that all of this was “real” gold and not some cheap imitation I fell sucker to in my more naive days (when were those?). They looked and felt like real gold. Then again, when was I ever willing to spend $100’s if not $1000’s on myself? Only a few times. There always were other priorities and I was never that interested in jewelry.
Somehow, over the years I managed to acquire a few chains, a few pairs of earrings or a bracelet that “looked” like gold. As trends changed from gaudy layers of gold chains around one’s neck (as Tom calls them, Mr. T’s starter sets) and wrists, I fell prey to the appeal of more reasonably priced sterling silver. As prices on sterling silver climbed over the past several years, stainless steel earrings started looking really good to me, categorically arranged on the wall at Target for $5.99 a pair!
Alas, the gold and silver guy, Bill Boyd, referred by our estate sales guy Jim Anderson, appeared at our door at 10 am this past Thursday, bringing along with him, estate jewelry store owner, Ann Eliason of Ann & Jack’s Vintage Jewelry, in Hopkins MN. Oddly, neither of these lovely folks conduct business online. But, what they lack online they gained in person!
The gold and silver business attracts many vultures as purported experts, are more than willing to give a motivated, customer supposed “top dollar” for their gold and silver. Customers walk out of their stores, $80 in hand thrilled they finally unloaded this useless pile of tangled chains (by the way, it is not necessary to untangle the chains).
Some crafty buyers conduct parties in homes, similar to the old Tupperware parties whereby the guests bring their old gold and silver to sell on the spot. With the host offering up appetizers and wine, a lively party ensues. A few wine glasses later, negotiating is out the window along with $1000’s from these unsuspecting party goers. Not for me.
Over the past several years I procrastinated about selling it not only leery of going to one of those stores in a mall or parties, but not motivated enough to start picking through the over-stuffed jewelry boxes of which I had little interest. I guess I’ve been more lazy about it than anything.
For two solid hours, while we clucked like hens thoroughly enjoying the time together, they meticulously picked through my “stuff” with the jeweler’s glass in their eye talking all the while. Their efficiency was evident and I was at ease, expecting to end the day with little more than a few hundred dollars.
After the rude awakening of what was “real” and what wasn’t Bill asked me for a piece paper and a pen. I scrambled around the house, looking for a piece of paper. Ha! I chuckled again.
I had trouble finding paper. I hardly use paper, computer geek that I am. Ah ha! I grabbed some paper out of the printer, rousting up a pen, handing it to Bill while he weighed the little piles of gold and silver on his special “pennyweight” scale. The word “penny” scared me. Goodness. Will I end up with $10.62?
Scribbling on the piece paper, finally silent as a mouse, after having looked up the gold and silver rates (which I had done before they arrived!) and Bill writes this number on the piece of paper: $2,810!
I tried not to look shocked as he explained how he arrived at this number. Negotiate? No, way! Show me the money!!! He did.
Next week, Ann will get back to me with an offer on my wedding ring. We’re not taking any risks and bringing along any fancy jewelry on our multi year journey that may attract thieves. Sell my ring? Yep! Remember, no attachment to “things.”
We will remain attached to people, to Mother Nature, to life changing experiences, a few creature comforts, food for survival, endless learning and of course, each other. That, my friends, is priceless!