De-Cluttering Home and Bank Box: Jewelry, Silverware, Scrap

chisue

Has anyone sold this stuff? Advice, please.


We aren't 'entertaining' anymore, so who needs two 12-piece place settings of silverware -- or the china, or the crystal. I don't plan on preserving the silver punch bowl with 12 matching cups for our centennials. Is there a market for such excess?


Nobody -- including me -- is enjoying jewelry sitting in the bank safety deposit box. Some is appraised too highly to just keep it at home, waiting for the blue moon when I'd wear it. DH doesn't need extra cuff links. There's scrap from earlier 'conversions'. There's not a *lot*, but it's just useless -- and it's HERE.



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maddielee

There’s more value in sterling then in silverplate.

Search completed auctions on eBay to see what items have actually sold for.

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aok27502

I wish I knew. We are downsizing and I have ended up giving a lot of my mother's silver plate service to the thrift store. I took some of it to an antique store in town and he picked a few pieces to try to sell, but based on his evaluation he suggested donating the rest. Fortunately I don't have any jewelry to dispose of.

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Uptown Gal

If your dinnerware is Sterling Silver, the "melt value" is more than selling the

whole pieces. You can google answers for this...and/or check with your

local Jewelers or Pawn Shops on what they would give you.

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socks

Honestly I would not want to deal with eBay or selling privately. Some jewelers take items on consignment. Also check with antique dealers for your other items on consignment

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Elmer J Fudd

I don't think you'll find much interest or much in the way of resale value from the entertainment/tableware stuff you've described. Jewelry is different. And yes, millennials (not centennials) are not into such stuff.


Dinner parties can be lots of fun, I hope you haven't curtailed having friends over. Over-set tables and other such fanciness are quite passe. Use your everyday dishes and serve something simple. It's the event that matters, not displays of garishness. At least in my area.

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Anglophilia

I'm glad you modified that, Elmer. "Garishness" in your area would be considered a "lovely, gracious table" in many other parts of the country.

Do you have no heirs who are interested in these things? No children? Nieces/nephews? You will get very little selling them - not a lot of demand and even when there was, silver and jewelry always sell to a dealer for very little. I can promise you that Replacements will give you next to nothing and then sell it for a very high price.

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Elmer J Fudd

Don't take this the wrong way, anglo, but the phrase "lovely gracious table" sounds terribly dated. Something Katherine Hepburn might have said in a 50s movie.

Like what you like and do what you do but expect that many old habits and practices that may have been followed at one time aren't as popular as they once were. It's one of many reasons why fancy tableware has no resale market and why so many of the old line tableware manufacturers have shut down. New owners bought product name rights from defunct companies and many lines are now made to a lower standard of quality in third world countries and sold at much lower prices than before. People aren't buying these products anymore because they don't use it and for those who do, the resale market is flooded with the old stuff.

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Michael

My kids want nothing to do with fancy tableware....Corelle is good enough for them. Our old garish stuff went to Goodwill when we moved here. We bought new service for 8, simple and lightweight.


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gigirambles

One of my coworkers just went through all her parents things. She discovered that a local consignment shop wanted all of her mother's china, crystal, etc. - apparently, it really sells around Christmas. Replacements Ltd also comes to mind. You may want to contact them to see if they might be interested, I've attached a link to them below.

https://www.replacements.com/?rplSrc=KX&rplSubEvent=3648259&dvc=c&gclid=CjwKCAjwvJvpBRAtEiwAjLuRPTz5iNtDpuJssYXDLOjmC67FNPuCyzhKra6WM_Pv7f3qfMqotnca6xoCcsIQAvD_BwE


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chisue

So...a pawn shop? I wonder if there is a niche for someone to assist old people in selling all this originally very expensive stuff that nobody wants anymore? When we were considering CCRCs I saw that they offered 'organizers' to help people get out of their homes and into the retirement apartments.

I think my DIL will want my few antiques, but much of this is Wedding Registry stuff from over fifty years ago. (You know, the $20 wine glasses that are SO SPECIAL that they shatter while you *hand wash* them!)

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maddielee

Yes, there is a place that can help you downsize. I have no idea if there is one in your area.

Search: Caring Transitions

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aok27502

My mother-in-law has realized that the collection of Hummel figurines that she's so carefully collected back in her early marriage years, no one wants. Nobody collects those kinds of things anymore, and all of her kids are at a stage in life where we are starting to downsize, too. I'm sure as her generation continues to clean out, thrift stores and antique stores will be flooded with this stuff.

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aviastar 7A Virginia

Hi! I own a jewelry store. No pawn shops! So there is a hierarchy of how much you can reasonably expect from estate jewelry that has a lot to do with how much effort you are willing to put in yourself. You will get the most, but probably not more than 50% of your appraisal value (caveat: some appraisals are overblown, 50% of a real, current retail replacement value) if you sell it yourself: craigslist, eBay, loupetroop, Facebook marketplace, etc. you will get less, but have to do less if you consign with a jeweler, let them do the work and take a percentage. There are some very reputable ones who work nationwide ( and I consign pieces like that too, full disclosure), you can PM me if you wants some names. Then there is selling it back to ‘the trade’, which will be wholesale or less, because it doesn’t make sense for a trades person to pay more than wholesale. But it’s usually fast and cash. At the bottom of the line is pawn shops, which assume a lot of risk, so they offer 10% or less. Auction houses work much like consigning with a jeweler; your antiques and China should work on the same principles- if you’d like to find a company that will work with all of your items at once look for an auction house or there are companies that will create estate sales for you. Best of luck!

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Just don't do anything that will requires you to meet up with strangers! It's just too dangerous.

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maifleur01

May not be viable but if you do have a jewelry store that does purchase or take on consignment consider asking if they would be interested in any of the gems and not the whole piece. They may take the gems then you can sell the rest as metal.

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Lukki Irish

Chisue, don’t assume it’s not worth anything, I too would take it to a consignment shop. We have one very popular shop in our area that knows how to market it and could sell that stuff in a heartbeat. And even if you don’t get a real big return for those types of things, I’d still enjoy the idea of knowing it was still in use.

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matthias_lang

Chisue, my niece visited for a week some years ago and just happened to choose the occasion to throw away some sterling silver rings. She said they were junk, just little things she'd had since she was teenager. My wife-- who doesn't wear jewelry-- was a little shocked. When my niece left, my wife rescued the rings from the trash.

It was almost Christmas. We gave the rings to a friend who works at a homeless shelter. They give presents to the residents for the holiday. So a few of the women got a sterling silver ring for Christmas-- nothing that could be sold to help pay their first month's rent on an apartment, but --we hope-- something special enough to give a little boost that day.

Maybe that can give you another idea for what to do with some of your nice stuff. Imagine going from being homeless to having two settings of sparkling china and glasses to use in your first apartment after the streets.

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nicole___

I own a little scale & weighed a few pieces of jewelry, including the picture of the scale in the listing also the scale with a quarter on it for comparison....then sold them on Ebay. Two pieces sold within seconds of me listing them, the other one took 30 minutes. lol Yes, I know what I paid and what gold is selling for at the moment. I made a HUGE profit percentage wise.

Chisue...I don't know if you paid retail for your jewelry pieces? 18k = $29.54 a gram Do you have a little scale?

Note: I sold a gold nugget pendant....remember when those were popular!?, a herringbone 20" chain...used to wear those on the outside of a turtleneck, not in style any more....and something else...can't remember...

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Elmer J Fudd

"don't do anything that will requires you to meet up with strangers! "

If she decides to sell it herself using Craigs List or something similar, to follow this advice would limit any potential sales only to people chisue knows. You can't possibly be suggesting that? It would be hard, maybe impossible, to deal with the daily events of life if strangers are to be avoided.

I agree that unknown people should be met in daylight, in a public place, and with someone else along, but anything more than that is probably unnecessary.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

Try Replacements.com chi! It is where I go if I am looking for replacement china, but they also do silver, and ESTATE jewelry.


(Thanks! My suggestion for you caused me to realize I could get more of the china my grandmother had. I just bought four cups and saucers. We love to use the Regency (England) pattern for hot chocolate in winter. Son and I used this set watching William and Kate's wedding. Good times, good times)

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Raye Smith

Having been around antiques & such all my life their popularity is cyclical. What's in now (and costs a fortune) will be out in a decade. Maybe the next generation will enjoy a beautiful table setting.

Anglo - l just love how you put it a "lovely, gracious table".

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Sammy

Note: I sold a gold nugget pendant....remember when those were popular!?

Unfortunately, yes. Did you put diamonds in yours? According to my dad, who bought one for my mom circa 1984, that was “the thing to do.” God that thing is ugly.

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nicole___

Sammy....no. lol Remember those HUGE nugget mens watch bands? Gaudy!

I purchased it/the pendant, with a 14k chain for $17(2nd hand, not new).....sold just the pendant for $80. I did stupid things like take a 64ct yellow topaz ring, HUGE thing, stone the size of a quarter...and had it made into a pendant. Then hung it on a huge gold rope chain. I've actually worn it on a leather necklace...and it toned it down a bit. lol More BOHO/hippie looking when that was in style. I used to dress up for work.....not now! lol

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Sammy

I did stupid things like take a 64ct yellow topaz ring, HUGE thing, stone the size of a quarter...and had it made into a pendant.

That doesn’t sound stupid! Now, if you’d had the gold nugget pendant made into a ring...

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murraysmom Zone 6a OH

This is why I buy things because I like them and not as an investment. I don't expect to get anything for my stuff. I'm always pleasantly surprised when someone wants something of mine. :)

Around here our goodwill type stores are filled with china sets. It's true they aren't so popular anymore but if there was a set I fell in love with, I would probably buy it. I don't have dinner parties but I love having nice plates to have my own dinner.

Jewelry is so personal it is hard to sell pieces and I know that Nicole knows the ins and outs of Ebay and knows how to get the most of anything she buys or sells. I love that.

Knick knacks are another thing that aren't in favor now. Doesn't mean they won't make a comeback someday. I hope they do. The things I have bring me great pleasure, especially the things that belonged to family members. To me there is a great value in a beautiful piece of china, porcelain or glass. Those are my favorite things I look for when combing the consignment stores which I consider my entertainment.

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nicole___

Here's a pic of the ring Before: Big rings are back in style. It's 18k. Made in Portugal.

(I thought I had a pic on file, on this computer. :0))

Under high magnification, the stone has a big fissure in it. The gold value is all it's worth.

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bpath reads banned books too

Chisue, check your messages, I sent you one.

I’m starting to think it’s more profitable to sell the everyday stuff and just use the good stuff, and when the wine glasses all break, head to an estate sale! We use our silverplate (well, Grandmother’s) a bit more often, partly because it has great soup spoons and always the right serving utensil!

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Elmer J Fudd

That's one approach, bpath, but a lot of "good stuff" isn't very dishwasher hardy and tableware designs with metal aren't microwave safe.

We have moderately pricey European porcelain for everyday use that we like a lot and it's very sturdy. We buy the cheapest glasses (drinking and wine) we can find. Glasses break with some regularity but when you've only paid a few bucks for each, you don't care when that happens. Going this route also allows us to make guests feel better about the inevitable accidents that happen.

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chisue

Now all I have to do is find a little scale and... Seriously, why not try Nicole's method, and it that fails to move the merchandise...consignments.

First, I have to find an idea of value for the Rosenthal 'Variation-Decorated' china and the Rosenthal crystal (same pattern), plus International 'Vision' flatware; Royal Copenhagen 947 luncheon plates; and my mother's not-so-special quality -- but *extensive* -- flatware. (Corn cob holders, anyone?) Alas, I find that I have no finger bowls!

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rob333 (zone 7a)

chi, the link I have above will likely give you values

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maifleur01

The value of "stuff" is what you can receive for it. Put a value on it and let it go. Sometimes you will under value sometimes your value will be too large which is what most people do. You can always lower the valuation but if the idea is to get rid of it put a low valuation on it.

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nicole___

Chisue....Example Here's an example of photos to take. I use a rolled up white washcloth instead of a ring mandrel, to put the ring on, IF selling a ring. Then list the size...as you know it to be and say it's sizable...as long as it's solid gold.

I also charge $15 & up, for signature delivery. Insure the piece for what a jeweler would charge.


Link to buy a little scale

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Raye Smith

I'm with Sophie, I enjoy having pretty things to use everyday. Porcelain and bone china are extremely strong and don't chip like pottery does. I can only think of three crystal glasses that have ever been broken in decades of daily use.

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maddielee

Rob....the replacements site will give her the amount they are selling things for. Replacements buys items for a lot less. She will need to photograph and send info to replacements to get an offer. It depends on their inventory of her pattern already in stock as to what the offer will be.

One needs to search for what people actually paid for an item, not asking price.


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bpath reads banned books too

Nicole, that’s all the little scales cost? And they are accurate? Hot dog!

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chisue

THANK you ALL! We aren't moving soon, but I'd like to get a handle on this. I've already moved the 'elegance' from apartment to townhouse to house...to this house in 2001 -- where it has mostly sat in its padded storage sleeves.

E-Bay shows sales of my Rosenthal china at $3K for 12 settings. Are there places that pack china for you? It also looks like people get more by selling piecemeal. My silver is evidently still popular, too. It's 'mid-century modern' -- who knew? (I know it is heavy.)

I have insurance appraisals on the bits of jewelry, but think I'll bite on that teeny scale. Do you think I'll get my $5 back in sales? lol

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nicole___

chisue....another option is Dover Jewelry Click on link. They will sell your jewelry on consignment, on Ebay, for you. They are a reputable company. Have a large following. Just another idea. I've been shopping, as a buyer, with them for .....uuuhhhmmmm.....20 years.

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maifleur01

Do not go by that insurance appraisal when selling as that is what it would cost to replace the item at the time the jewelry was appraised not currently.

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nicole___


Lighted jewelers loupe I also carry a loupe. If someone looks at your piece and says it has a fracture running through the stone....yes...you looked at it and already know it's there. Emeralds are famous for looking "cracked", yet they are stable. Know what your selling...

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bpath reads banned books too

I had a pack-and-ship pack and ship a whole flock of these

In different shapes and sizes, and they arrived fine! 2 dozen, 2 or 3 boxes. So try your favorite local pack-and-ship, maybe they'll just pack it for you.

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chisue

Oh, I know that insurance appraisals are skewed. I meant that I have descriptions of size, weight, composition, etc. There are only a few things -- don't imagine an overflowing treasure chest!

DH and I had been married a few months when I lost my diamond ring. We were about to take a trip, and I hoped to get a replacement before we left. An insurance adjuster came to our apartment with the statement that, "Diamonds depreciate, you know." (In one year? Depreciate?) We never found out how MUCH mine had 'depreciated' because our Westie coughed up the ring a few days before we were to kennel him. (It had come off when I washed him in our apartment building's communal washtub. He'd *saved* it for me!)

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maifleur01

Jewelry is seldom of the value that you pay at a store so yes it had lost value but he used the wrong term. Think of it like a car. It is still there but you have driven/worn it out of the show room.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

The value of a piece of jewelry depends on whether you are buying, or selling. Only name brand jewelry holds any value. It's shocking to see how much marketing is worth

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Anglophilia

Elmer, I know no one of my age who does not still use their lovely things (good linens, silver, china, crystal) for holiday meals and the occasional dinner party, unless dining outside. The same is true for my DD and her friends (all late 40's). And this is not just in my somewhat "southern" city - true for friends in the Northeast/NYC area as well. We grew up with them, both our mothers and grandmothers had such and used it, and our children do the same. I have no idea about the grandchildren except that my eldest has already said "dibs" to my best china and silver (I have multiple sets).


My grandmother was married in the late 1870's. She lived in a small town in a poor area. After the Civil War, it was even poorer and anything silver had been stolen by Union soldiers. But even she had a set of "wedding china". It was English bone china, white with an ornate gold ban. My other grandmother, 22 years younger, had china and silver in her small AR town and they were middle class, bordering on "poor" economically (6 children!). All her daughter and granddaughters had china and silver. It was what one did in those days to show one was "refined", even if poor.


After WWII, it became very important socially for a middle class household to have good china and silver. It was considered necessary as it was expected that one had it when one invited the husband's boss and his wife to dinner. And yes, every woman's magazine in the US, had multiple articles on how to do this, what the table should look like and what one should serve. It was to show that if ones husband moved up the corporate ladder, his wife would have the proper "things" with which to entertain important clients etc. It was an "aspirational" purchase.


It was not until the after 2000 that brides in many parts of the country stopped registering for fine china and for silver flatware. Entertain the boss? Ridiculous! No one did that anymore! From there forward, "aspirational" was shown in the kitchen "finishes" in subdivision houses, not on the table


Few people today want grandmother's china or silver as it was often a very unfortunate design purchase. Grandmother bought "trendy", not classic and now it's considered very ugly and "twee". Grandmother's beloved and prized dining room set was not c.18th/19th English antiques, but 1950/70's Drexel in "french provencal style". No one wants it. That was yesterday's middle class and today's wouldn't touch it.


But those who grew up with lovely things have continued to want them. I can promise you that none of my DD's friends, either on the East Coast, TX, Bay Area, or midwest/upper south, have gotten rid of the antiques they inherited from a grandparent, nor of ones they bought. They also still use their good silver/china/crystal and nice linens for holiday meals. They all got married in the late 1990's and are now in their late 40's.


So, it depends on whom one knows and has a friends. I don't doubt your experience at all, Elmer, and I'm sure both you and your friends are far more affluent than I am, but they're different people with different backgrounds and values.


BTW, I still like Katherine Hepburn and of course, she was brought up in a wealthy CT family. I'm sure they had lovely things.

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Elmer J Fudd

"After WWII, it became very important socially for a middle class household to have good china and silver. "

I think the answer is that we've lived our lives in different worlds. Just with this comment as an example, you're describing an era that would include my parents and their siblings but this broad-brush assumption is quite different from what I observed in my own extended family. One of middle class means but not more. The environment I grew up in was far more casual that this would imply.

Enjoy what you do, I'll do the same.

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Raye Smith

Anglo, yes, and girls received a copy of Emily Post for graduation so we would know how to host those parties!

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jane__ny

I have so many pieces of silver place settings. My mothers, some are silver plate, some are solid. I have china and Waterford crystal from years ago.

Until we retired and moved to Florida, we lived in a large house in a NY suburb and always has Christmas parties with sit-down dinners. I always polished my mothers silver and took out the beautiful china to set the table for sit down dinners. I loved to make the holidays look special.

I have so many pieces from family members and friends who gave pieces as gifts over the years. Christmas parties, New Year parties, etc.

My daughter always called me Martha Stewart! I loved setting beautiful tables using pieces

that are just beautiful.

Now, since retired and living in a smaller house, I don't do it anymore, yet I miss it.

Jane

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rob333 (zone 7a)

Anglo, I'm in my early 50s. I just "inherited" (call me keeper of the china, she's still around but we're downsizing her home. It'll go wherever the family meets for the holidays) fine china. And I will use it. I just bought a 12 piece place everyday setting so I could host other types of parties. It's got nothing to do with a person's age. It has everything to do with making a guest feel special. I totally agree it's about a beautiful table. I grew up in California. So it's his enclave, and opinion, nothing more.

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FlamingO in AR

When no one would buy MIL’s complete china set (service for 8) for $300 while I was emptying her house, I started selling it by the piece on EBay. As it turned out, some of the pieces were highly coveted and I sold at least 8 pieces for $300 each. Others “only” fetched $80-100 each. LOL I never even knew toast covers existed or covered bouillon bowls, who knew they were rare?

So I recommend doing research before you sell it too cheap.

We did sell some jewelry to an estate jewelry store. It was nice to walk out lighter with a check in hand.

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Elmer J Fudd

"I grew up in California."

You've said your father was in the military. Whether or not you lived on base doesn't matter, the Monterey area in those years was very much a military town. I'm sure you realize that the (let's call it) cultural practices and community vibe of military families and communities are very homogeneous no matter where located. It's what you'd expect, having members moving from place to place every few years. Much more influenced by being "military" than by where located. And whether you knew it or not at the time, the home origins of US service members have long been disproportionately from the South and Midwest and from small towns. I'd suggest that's what your environment was.

Everyone does what they prefer, of course. Please don't suggest I'm unfamiliar with what's common in an area I've lived almost my entire life and where you spent just a few years as a child in an admittedly cloistered setting. I do agree that what I've described is from my own experiences and are my own preferences. Your's are the same, no more and no less.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

So my enclave is different than yours. Doesn't make your piece of the world any more "correct". You can't speak for all of one state or the country just because of your geography. It's still only your piece of the world. You can't purport to know what happens in all households, even in your entire neighborhood.

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Elmer J Fudd

Of course, I never said otherwise. We share experiences and preferences, there's no right or wrong.

However, it's undeniable that the many failures and bankruptcies in the fine tableware and flatware businesses over the last 30 years wouldn't have happened if the demand to purchase such products hadn't plummeted. Most of these companies are no longer in existence in their prior forms. People aren't buying such stuff anymore. You tell me why that is if you think it's something other than a precipitous decline in use.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

They're luxury items and people aren't being paid enough to live off of, even to obtain medical coverage and medications, and other such "financial intrusions" to have enough leftover to spend on them. That is, CEOs are paid enough to have these things, but heaven forbid their middle management and lower workers have enough to own them. But that's too obvious to be true.


Article that came out the next day decrying inequitable paychecks and struggles

Yeah, this type of thing.

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Elmer J Fudd

I agree that the pay levels of some are ridiculous and unjustifiable but this is a very, very small segment of the economy and the population and this practice has little or no impact on the rest of us. The market for what you call luxury goods plummeted because using such stuff fell out of style. This caused the companies producing them to fail decades ago, at a time when astronomical exec compensation had not yet appeared.

There's not a cause and effect relationship with these two things simply because you want there to be one.

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Texas_Gem

Sorry Rob, I disagree. I know many people with the means to purchase such luxury items that don't and wouldn't.

They don't care about that stuff.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

Okie dokie!! No skin off my nose.

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amylou321

My paternal grandmothers china was foisted on me. Its sitting in a closet in a spare bedroom,where it will remain, I hate to say it, until my father passes and I can toss it without guilt. I dont hate it,its boring. But I will never use it. I have relinquished any claim to the china,crystal or silver that my parents have and never use anymore. Our family has grown too large to have a sit down dinner with everyone anyway. My sisters want the china and silver and all that, for sentimental purposes. I only want the tacky ceramic bowl with giant blue daisies on it. But to each their own. I will say that in the past 5 years or so I have had maybe a dozen acquaintances who have gotten married. I think only one registry had china. Only one had silver. The rest just had everyday flatware and plates and drinkware and stuff. And in those cases,I dont think it was a money thing,because also on those registries were other very expensive items. More expensive than the China or silver on the other ones.

I never wanted china or silver of my own. It never even occurred to me. I only want Christmas dishes and flatware. I have the dishes, (not china) and I am searching for the flatware.

Maybe less people are buying such things because they are being handed them down from parents or grandparents. I have some tablecloths and cloth napkins from my maternal grandmother. I will also never use those. My mom brought them to me because they are pink. She knows I will not use them,but thought i would appreciate them, if only for the color. And I do! And not only because my grandma HATED pink and it makes me giggle to think that she bought them because pink was the "feminine" thing to have. She had good taste though, something I will never claim to have. :)

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Whether you’re selling your home or just looking to freshen it up, check out these inexpensive ways to transform it
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