Buying The Right Jewelry

Handling an Illiquid Estate? What Are Your Options?

Posted by on January 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Handling an Illiquid Estate? What Are Your Options?

If you’ve been named the executor of a parent’s estate, you may find it challenging to keep the estate’s bills paid while you’re still sorting out the available assets and debts. This can be even more difficult if your family member’s estate is illiquid—consisting of real estate, jewelry, or other items that aren’t always easy to turn into cash. What are your options to help pay for your parent’s final expenses (or keep the electricity and water service connected in his or her home) if there is little available cash? Read on to learn more about some ways to leverage your parent’s assets. What are your abilities as executor? As appointed executor of an estate, you’ll be able to take legal title to the estate’s assets in order to distribute them and keep all necessary bills up to date while the estate is being probated. You’ll need to file a form with the IRS to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) for the estate so that it can be classified as its own separate legal entity for tax purposes. Once you’ve fully accounted for all assets and debts (often including publishing a notice in the local newspaper to help alert any creditors who may want to come forward), you’ll be able to use the estate’s assets to pay off its debts and distribute any remaining assets to the surviving heirs. If your parent or relative has fewer assets than debts, you’ll use these assets to pay debts in order of priority—and once the funds have been exhausted, the remaining creditors are out of luck. Being an executor is an important position of fiduciary trust. In some cases, you may even be personally sued by the other heirs if you’re considered to have squandered estate assets or your negligence has resulted in significant depreciation. For example, if you fail to pay utility bills on your deceased relative’s home and power is cut during the winter, frozen pipes or other plumbing issues could lead to expensive repairs. Failing to pay property taxes or mortgage payments on this home could result in foreclosure. Because you shouldn’t commingle your own assets with those of the estate, it can be important for you to use the estate assets to gain some quick cash for routine expenses that must be paid before the estate is fully liquidated.  What should you do if the estate has immediate cash needs?  If the estate has some assets, just not liquid ones, you may want to investigate short-term loans—like pawn loans or personal loans—using these assets as collateral. By providing a pawn shop owner with a piece of valuable jewelry, tools, or musical instruments, you’ll be able to get some quick cash to use for bills or other necessary expenses. After the loan term has ended, you’ll either repay the funds borrowed (plus interest) or forfeit your collateral to the pawn shop. Because not all pawn loans are available for a term of more than a few weeks, you’ll need to develop a plan to pay these funds back before they come due and you lose your collateral. However, this can be a good option for situations in which you need instant cash and don’t mind paying some interest. Depending upon the value of the items you’re intending to pawn...

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Winter Is Here: Check Out These Seasonal Jewelry-Stocking Tips For Your Boutique

Posted by on November 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Winter Is Here: Check Out These Seasonal Jewelry-Stocking Tips For Your Boutique

If you’ve still got the same fashion jewelry you had this summer sitting on your boutique shelves, it’s time to switch things up. Winter is here, and with the change in seasons comes a change in what type of jewelry your customers want to wear. Make this holiday season a profitable one by spicing up your customers’ options with the below winter weather jewelry inventory tips. Make It Festive Upon thinking about winter, most people conjure images of snowstorms, snowmen, icicles, Christmas trees, and Santa Clause. It is a time when holiday spirit is strong, and your customers want to reflect that in their accessories.  If your jewelry selection is brimming with the colors you’d see in a field of flowers, you’re not going to get many sales this winter. If your jewelry selection is popping with the colors you’d see on a Christmas tree (rich red, dark green, glistening gold), or if it hints at the colors of a cold, snowy day (white and icy blue), then you can expect your festive customers to be much more willing to make a purchase at your boutique. Swap Out Snag-Happy Earrings  Large hoop and dangly earrings work well in the summer months because clothing is kept to a minimum when the weather is warm, so there’s not much for the jewelry to get snagged on. In winter weather, though, layers are a must. Nobody wants to be injured when one of their long earrings catches on their sweater, scarf, or hat, so customers who are shopping for jewelry in the wintertime are more interested in smaller, daintier earrings that don’t pose such a threat to their earlobes. Your winter earring selection should be composed primarily of studs and small hoop earrings that hug the earlobe, as opposed to hang down from it. Ear cuffs are another great option to have on hand; they don’t require pierced ears to wear, so if they do get snagged, they’ll just pull off instead of tearing the skin on the earlobe.  Opt For Big And Bulky Necklaces And Bracelets Another jewelry-wearing problem that your customers encounter in the winter months is having their necklaces and bracelets obscured from view beneath their heavy jackets and sweaters. Unlike earrings which should be toned down in size during winter, necklaces and bracelets should be bigger, bolder, and bulkier so that they can be worn atop cold weather clothing. Forget about dainty chains and humble gems; they won’t be noticed beneath their wearer’s attire and nobody is going to buy a piece of jewelry that will never be seen. Instead, stock your necklace supply with long cord necklaces that have large, attention-grabbing charms or pendants attached.  As for bracelets, opt to carry wide, plastic or metal cuff-style pieces. Large wooden bangles work well in the winter months, too. Just be sure to order them in sizes large enough to allow your customers to slip them over heavy-weight tops. Embrace Scarf Charms Scarves have come to be known as power accessories for women. In the winter when layered clothing is necessary, it can be difficult to find printed or patterned garments that look good together. It’s far easier, however, to stick with solid-colored clothing and then soften the look with a simple printed or contrasting-colored scarf. The versatility of scarves has...

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Little Known Tips, Tricks, And Facts For Every Newbie Coin Collector

Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Little Known Tips, Tricks, And Facts For Every Newbie Coin Collector

Coin collecting is a fun and beneficial hobby for age groups both young and old. If you have recently decided to take up coin collecting, you are in for a treat. Not only does this hobby teach you about history and politics, it can also open the door for some great social opportunities. Of course, there are at least a few things you should know before you dive into the coin collection scene. Learn to Grade First and foremost, you need to learn how to grade coins before you begin collecting them. Grading coins is an important process that allows you to determine the value of the coin. The 70-point Sheldon Grading Scale was first developed in 1948 by Dr. William Sheldon. The grading scale is as follows: P-1: Coin is hardly recognizable, but at least offers both a mint mark and date. FR-2: Coin has been worn smooth, but does not have the damage consistent with poor coins. G-4: Coin inscriptions show heavy signs of wear, but the coin is otherwise undamaged. VG-8: Coin is very worn, but design elements of the coin are recognizable, yet faint. F-12: Coin is very worn, but the design elements are both clear and bold. VF-20: Coin is only moderately warn and some finer details are visible. AU-50: Coin has minimal traces of wear and contact marks. AU-58: Coin has light traces of wear, minimal contact marks, and nearly full luster. MS-60: Coin is uncirculated, yet still visibly unappealing with no luster. MS-63: Coin is uncirculated but with slight luster problems and contact marks. MS-65: Coin is uncirculated and has a stronger luster with minimal contact marks. MS-68: Coin is uncirculated and has perfect luster with no marks visible to the naked eye. MS-69: Coin is uncirculated, visually appealing and perfect up to 8x magnification. MS-70: Uncirculated coin that offers original color and luster with no visible defects and no defects detected under magnification – in other words, perfect. *Fun Fact: The first emperor Rome ever had, Caesar Augustus, is rumored to have been the first coin collector. His rule lasted from 27 BC to 14 AD. However, one of the most famous coin collectors is Petrarch, a 14th century Italian scholar and poet. Hire a Professional If you are new to coin collecting, you are an easy target for scams and other such problems. For example, a random seller may claim that a coin is in mint condition when in reality, it may have been buffed or whizzed. Buffing a coin entails polishing it to make it look like it has good luster, whereas whizzing a coin entails brushing or burnishing it, typically using a wheel, in order to improve the coin’s luster. Unfortunately, both methods can damage the original surface of the coin, therefore lowering the value. Make sure you work with a professional coin dealer to ensure that the coins you purchase are in the condition stated by the seller. A professional has the tools necessary to check the authenticity, quality, and value of the coin to ensure you are paying the correct amount. *Fun Fact: The proper term for a coin collector is a numismatist. Simply put, a numismatist is someone who both collects and studies various forms of money, including coins, paper bills, medals, tokens, and even...

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Need Quick Cash At The Last Minute?

Posted by on October 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Need Quick Cash At The Last Minute?

Whether you need to pay a bill to avoid interruption in service or need money for emergency auto repairs, you may find yourself between a rock and a hard place if you’re between paychecks and don’t have access to a credit card. How can you get the cash you need within a day or two without paying excessively high interest rates? Read on for several avenues to same-day cash that won’t disqualify you due to poor credit or other risk factors. Paycheck advance Recent federal regulations governing the minimum loan terms and maximum rates for paycheck advance loans have helped make these loans more affordable for many Americans. And in the Internet age, you’re no longer limited to a storefront payday loan — you can now get a payday loan online from any number of lenders across the country, allowing you to shop for the interest rate and terms that best fit your specific financial needs. If you qualify for an online payday loan, funds will generally be deposited into your bank account immediately upon approval or by the next business day. In some cases, you may even be able to take out a paycheck advance without paying any interest at all. One app allows you to “borrow” only money you’ve already earned during your current pay cycle, and charges no fee — just asking users to leave a tip they believe is fair.  Title loan If you have a paid-off vehicle, you may be able to cash in on its value without going through the potentially lengthy refinance process by taking out a title loan. This loan turns over title to the lender in exchange for a portion of your vehicle’s value. Title loans can often offer you cash for your vehicle’s title on the same day your loan is approved (or an electronic transfer to your bank account by the next business day). The term on these loans is generally fairly short, and you’ll be required to either repay or renew the loan to keep it active. If you fail to repay a title loan in time, the lender will repossess your vehicle and gain full legal ownership of it. Scrap metal recycling In some cases, you may not need to borrow any money at all — but can instead earn the money you need by recycling scrap metal around your home and garage. Copper tubing and wire can be particularly valuable, although large items like air conditioner units or clothes dryers can also fetch a high price at the scrapyard. You’ll usually be able to receive cash on the spot in exchange for your scrap metal, and many scrapyards even offer pickup services for large items. Tool or jewelry pawning If you’d like the flexibility of deciding whether to lend or sell an item, you may want to visit a pawn shop. If you have an item that holds some value — like jewelry, tools, knives, or collectibles — you’ll be able to take out a loan on the value of this item by turning the item over to the pawnshop. If you fail to repay the loan (plus interest) by the deadline to which you and the pawnshop owner agreed, you’ll forfeit title to your item and won’t be required to repay the loan. In other...

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What You Need To Know About Getting Your Jewelry Appraised

Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Getting Your Jewelry Appraised

You know how much you paid for your jewelry, but do you know the worth? Appraisals can tell you the wroth of your item in different situations. Appraisals can be used to insure your jewelry or sell it for the right amount. Check out these five important facts you must consider about getting your jewelry appraised. Appraisals Protect Your Belongings Most commonly, appraisals are used for insurance purposes. If you have a piece of jewelry that is worth a considerable amount of money, you must get it appraised before you can insure the item. The appraisal will detail the insurance value, but it will also describe the item, including stone clarity, size, color, quality and any other pertinent information. A proper insurance appraisal ensures that if the item is lost or stolen, you will be able to replace the piece with something similar. Inflated Appraisals Aren’t Helpful It may seem that an inflated appraisal can benefit you. For example, you purchase a ring for $2,000, but it gets appraised at $4,000. If the ring goes missing, you get $4,000 from the insurance company, right? Maybe not. First, if the ring is protected under your homeowner’s insurance, it’s only covered when it’s in your home. If you lose it while on vacation, you’re probably out of luck. Even if the item is covered, it may not be covered at 100 percent. If you get jewelry insurance, you’re better protected, but some policies only replace the item, not reimburse. Inflated appraisals won’t get you more money, they’ll just increase your insurance premiums. Fair Market Value Appraisals Are Another Option Insurance appraisals can only be used for insurance purposes, but there are other types of appraisals. One common other type is a fair market appraisal. Basically, this type of appraisal details the current price of the item in its current used condition. This way, you know how much someone might be willing to pay for the item. The amount of a fair market appraisal is usually less than the insurance appraisal value. This is because the insurance appraisal determines how much a new and similar item would be worth, but the fair market value determines how much the used item is worth. One Appraisal Isn’t Enough You may think you can just get your item appraised and be done, but that isn’t the case. The price of precious metals and stones changes, so your jewelry may be worth a completely different amount from year to year. This is why it’s important to get your jewelry appraised about once a year. In fact, some insurance carriers insist up on it. Failing to get your jewelry routinely appraised means you may not be able to replace the jewelry with something of equal value if it goes missing. You Need to Find a Professional Appraiser Last, but definitely not least, you need to find a professional appraiser. Just because someone has a certification or works in the jewelry industry, it doesn’t mean they are qualified to appraise an item. Good appraisers have the education to back up their appraisal, which includes gemological and appraisal training. To be safe, it’s always a good idea to use someone from an appraisal association because these associations hold their members to ethical and professional standards. Some types of appraisals...

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5 Tips For Choosing Customized Fashion Jewelry As A Gift

Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Choosing Customized Fashion Jewelry As A Gift

Trendy fashion jewelry might seem like one of the easiest gifts in the world to get right, but the personal tastes of the recipient makes it tricky to find something you can be sure they’ll love. Custom fashion jewelry helps you create a unique present on a budget. Try these five tips to make sure the customized piece you choose makes the day of your friend or loved one. Try a Matching Customized Storage Chest If a bracelet or ring doesn’t feel like a large enough present for a pivotal birthday or other important event, order a customized storage container for the jewelry and use it in place of a disposable box. A wooden chest with your recipient’s name engraved is sure to impress, while even simple ring holders or watch boxes can fit a set of initials. Your loved one will think the jewelry chest is the gift, then experience another pleasant shock when they find the jewelry hidden inside it. Bring in a Personal Touch If your recipient isn’t a fan of initials and monograms, you can still get creative and order jewelry with a custom twist. A few ideas include Laser cut pendants shaped to resemble a child’s drawing or a favorite pet Clear lockets and miniature vials, which artisans can fill with items related to the person receiving the necklace Charms representing the person’s interests, transformed into stacking ring sets instead of just attached to bracelets like usual Gemstone bead strands that you pick and choose, which arrive assembled and ready to wear 3D metal and plastic printing, giving you a chance to create unusual designs with a specific personal meaning. Remember the Classic Monogram Struggling to think of a design your friend would actually wear on a regular basis? Keep it simple with a beautiful necklace or bracelet featuring a small and discreet monogram. This adds a personal touch without making it too showy or splashy for daily wear. Hold back on the over-sized full name pendants cast in gold until you’re sure your recipient would actually feel comfortable wearing it. Work with a Designer Don’t make the mistake of assuming that custom designed jewelry from an experienced independent designer is out of your budget either. If you want something made in the style of a specific crafts person, you may find out the commission rates are quite reasonable. Tips for ordering a completely custom piece include Communicate about any special needs or ideas you have for the jewelry, including allergies to certain metals or aversions to select colors Show them plenty of sample pieces featuring elements you like, but keep in mind they’re going to put their own signature design on the finished piece Prepare to pay at least half of the total cost upfront, and ask if that amount is refundable if you pull out before the jewelry is finished Ask about the delay for material sourcing and construction, especially when the gift giving occasion is coming up in the next few months Negotiate about milestones and photos as the piece is created, allowing you to make changes as necessary while it’s still possible. Consider a Kit Finally, find out how crafty your jewelry loving friend or family member is before ordering your gift. If they express an interest in designing or...

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