If it’s stainless it can go, if it’s chipped dont worry so. So goes a popular refrain in the appraisal world, referring to two tenets that affect an item’s value: materials and condition. These two attributes—rather than mere age—are key considerations when determining an item’s worth, says Elizabeth A. Reynolds, certified Appraisal Generalist and owner of Auchincloss & Reynolds appraisers in Rye, NY.
“However, when passing along heirlooms, perhaps the most challenging aspect is in separating the sentimental value from the resale value,” she says.
Are you sitting on a goldmine passed down through the generations? Read on to find examples of hot sellers—and not-so-hot sellers—in the most common family heirloom categories.
Note: When in doubt about an item’s value, always turn to the Internet or hire an appraiser.