“You should sell your nan’s jewellery!” says auction house

Remember that heirloom your dear old nan left you right before she passed away? The one that’s been in your family for generations? The one that Kate Winslet dropped into the sea after Leonardo Di Caprio let go of the raft that one time in a film? Well, the Daily Mail wants to have a word with you about it:

Ransack the attic! Britons have £50 MILLION in unwanted jewellery gathering dust in their homes

A glittering stash of £50 million worth of unwanted jewellery is gathering dust in Britain’s homes, according to new research.

Changing tastes in jewellery mean millions of pounds worth of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other pricey pieces are simply forgotten, hidden on top of wardrobes or in bedside drawers.

Auction house Bonhams used data from the past five years of sales to create a jewellery hot-spot map, showing some of its most lucrative sales.

Source: Daily Mail, 28 May 2014

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While a heat map of where the most lucrative jewellery sales in the UK is useful for pointing out where the most expensive single items of jewellery were sold, it is of course of little use in figuring out quite what your great Aunt Shelley’s ugly brooch might fetch at auction.

Speaking of auctions, it’s worth highlighting the source of this particular piece of published PR:

Jean Ghika, head of jewellery in the UK and Europe at Bonhams, said: ‘We estimate there is at least £50 million worth of unwanted jewellery that owners have forgotten or never worn just waiting for a new home. We’re urging everyone to have a look in their drawers and jewellery boxes, dusting off any items they haven’t worn for several years or may have been bequeathed and not know much about.

‘Over the years we’ve had some astonishing finds, often brought to us in carrier bags or wrapped in tea towels.

Which just go to show that something you long ago decided was ugly, outdated and worthless can prove to have some use – for example, an auction house might publish a story in it.