Most any children are thrilled to receive a family heirloom whether it be passed from many generations or something that they remember getting as a gift as a child. It can also be something that they cherished when they were a young child.
The stories they tell have a special meaning in some way or another. It could be a gift from Aunt Julie or Uncle Bill or it may be something that the child has remembered in their parents or grandparents home while growing up. Who hasn’t wished they had that toy, book or special piece as they watch the antique road show on television.
If it is an item that is passed from generation to generation, take the time to get as much information on the piece as you can. Countless stories can be told of an heirloom piece that was handed down from a prior generation but no one can remember who it came from, the approximate date or the value. When this information is preserved with the heirloom piece, it makes the item so much more valuable.
Even if the piece is only 10 to 20 years old and you remember it from your childhood days, the item may still have a sentimental value. Passing to a future generation will eventually add decades to the piece. It may not be an antique piece now, but in 20 years it will be. An example of some beautiful pieces are Tiffany Lamps made by Louis Comfort Tiffany. If one of his lamps is sold at auction, it can easily bring thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
If you think an heirloom piece is valuable and do not know its worth, do not hesitate to get a professional to assist you in appraising the piece. A museum or a library is an excellent place to start. Most all museums have a curator who may appraise pieces or be able to direct you to the right person who can appraise the piece. Many libraries have books available on antiques and heirlooms. Appraisals are important as knowing the value of an item, the age, the time period when it was used. It can also assist you in what you should have the piece insured for. The insurance company will need to know the value and most likely ask you for an appraisal.
Heirlooms are an important part of history. Without history, we would not be who we are today. We have evolved from the simple life to the technological age. With heirlooms, we know where we came from and how we became who we are today.