Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jewelry Tools, What will happen to them later in life?

It suddenly occurred to me the other day that no one in the family would know what to do with all my tools, supplies and equipment, if tomorrow I died.  I also wondered if those who follow this blog have any plans for such an occurrence.  Your heirs, if they have no knowledge of what you have invested in either your business or hobby, could easily lose a considerable amount of money that should rightfully be theirs.

What should one do?  This is what I've come up with:

Make a inventory of everything related to your jewelry making.  How much you paid for each item and its source.  If you have kept all your invoices, that will help if you don't know.  I have a handful of old and somewhat scarce tools which, if an heir did not know that, may let them go for a song instead of what they are worth.  As an example, and I'm not bragging, I have two parallel action round nose pliers made by Schollhorn.  How often do you find those floating around?  To the right person they are worth more than the couple of dollars an heir might realize at a yard or garage sale.  

With the inventory, indicate the general location of the items on the list.  For example:  MY rolling mills are in the garage, covered up and maintained so they are in excellent condition. So their location is listed on the inventory as: garage, on end of bench.  I have a photograph of them to help an heir identify them.

Leave suggestions for heirs on possible ways for them to dispose of your tools, etc.  Sell them on Ebay or Etsy.  A local bead shop may allow putting up an advertisement.  Maybe you have friends that would bid on your things.  I don't know, I'm just sort of braainstorming here.

Anyway, it is something to think about, and I am certainly open to suggestions, as I've only scratched the surface on this subject.


  1. Great post, John! Some people may find it morbid, but my daughter was nagging me to do the same thing. She says, "Mom how are we gonna know what this stuff is?" So, I did something similar, except for my cab collection. I have an extensive, valuable collection. All the information was in my head. So, I got some write on bags and labelled with name, size, cost/value and location where material is found (if known). I told my kids the best thing to do is check the values when I'm gone and list them on eBay. Some of them are worth a pretty penny and I'd hate to see them go too cheap.

  2. Thanks Tela. I'm glad that you are doing something similar. I hope my heirs will not be conned into selling off all my stuff too cheaply just to get rid of it.

  3. This thought has occurred to me, too, but I've concluded that what happens after I'm dead doesn't matter to me.

  4. If you want to keep things simple, use a video, going through everything would be a relatively painless, but still helpful way to sort through what is what. I did this both for posterity and also for insurance purposes.

    Great idea for a post, John.

  5. Thanks John, That's a good tip, one which I will employ.