The more living I get done, the more I recognize that although some things cost more, the absolute biggest determination of value is sentiment. That means deep down, if you love a piece of jewelry for whatever reason, be it a piece of costume jewelry or a 5 carat diamond, then they have essentially the same intrinsic value. The loss of either would be equivalently painful, simply for the fact that the item embodied a memory or a feeling for you. Thankfully, we can control our brains and thoughts and feelings and eventually it is possible to transfer the same 'aura' to a different item.
Let's take a tour...
I have a customer that I love (Ok, I confess, I pretty much love you all!) that came to us because her mom had passed and she had great piles of broken or needing adjustment odds and ends. Most of it was costume. Much of it was too small. Basically, it's value was 100% sentimental. Her mom had 'Bohemian' taste- which spoke to her. My theory is, the funky mom jewelry whispered mom things to her: like "I love you" "I'm always with you" "You are amazing!" It ultimately took hundreds of dollars to repair everything. Now she gets to run around at her law firm proudly wearing her huge pink and blue wedge earrings. I can see her pleasure in wearing them and not only remembering her mom but hearing her. Money is a thing but love and sentiment is everything.
A customer came in with a Brighton necklace. Do you know the brand? It's content is basically pewter (SUPER SOFT) with a heavy silver plating on top. Brand new, it looks fantastic and feels solid as a rock, so to speak. But once you wear through the plating, the soft underbelly is exposed and it breaks down very quickly. It can be repaired but only with a very light, deft hand (like Jaime Rubini's!) Anyhow, her necklace was not only broken, it literally was worn through to the soft underlying metal at nearly every link. Except the necklace saw her through grad school. It was like an old friend to her. So despite it's lack of monetary value, and in spite of it's myriad of issues, we were bade repair it...because the necklace reminded her that she could do it! That she was strong enough, smart enough to finish her higher education. And although the necklace obviously wasn't whispering in her ear, she enjoys the feeling of empowerment it evokes. Even though that's all mental...it is still assigned to her favorite grad school necklace. Making it priceless and worth the investment to repair.
The most obvious examples of sentimental value versus monetary value are investment in the repair of costume jewelry. But there is of course the added value of a piece of jewelry being made from natural elements from the earth combined with the feeling-experience-emotion-sentiment behind the jewelry. Years ago we made a 14kt gold bracelet with nearly pure karat gold coins. Every coin was the 10 year anniversary of being married. They have now been married...65 years! She has worn the bracelet for nearly 20 years-it's grown long in the tooth and slack in the jaw, so to speak. And although they are no longer baby chicks, they remain in love and in a long enduing partnership...so the wife is 100% attached and sentimental about the bracelet. It took us gold and time and love and care, but we went thru and replaced and/or repaired all tethering links, rendering the same old bracelet like new. Ready for years of wearing to come.
Good vibes= best stuff in the world!