Do. Not. Throw. Anything. Out.

About a year or so ago I looked at my overflowing jewelry box. I’ve always preferred costume jewelry to the “real thing,” probably so I would be free to do what I did with it when I tired of it.

I threw it out.

Fast forward to 2013 when I opened my Etsy shop. Now I was forced to look up all sorts of items in order to find out what they were and what would be a fair price.

Do. Not. Throw. Anything. Out.

I’ve tossed (or given away) a Jadeite bangle bracelet that may have been worth almost $800.

Grade A Jadeite, $770 Courtesy of Ultimate Jadeite

Grade A Jadeite, $770 Courtesy of Ultimate Jadeite

I tossed necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings – it was COSTUME JEWELRY, for crying out loud! I threw away old key chains. Matchbooks. Knick-knacks, you name it. When I went into a cleaning frenzy it went into the wastebasket and out the door. And I almost sold an old drawing for next to nothing.

So today, as I was rooting through the attic to find a Toleware tray, I came upon an old leather jewelry box. Inside was a necklace I’d gotten decades ago from some forgotten friend. “Meh,” I said to myself. “Not my thing. I don’t even know if it’s real gold.”

It isn’t real gold. That isn’t the point.


A year ago it would have traveled to the Gloucester County landfill. Today, I’m freaking out, just thinking of all of the treasures I’ve trashed over the years.

A friend told me that her mother is about to go into a nursing home, and she was going to clean out her mother’s house.

I did offer condolences. I really did. I am a sensitive person, after all.

But what I screamed at her next was: “Do! Not! Throw! Anything! Out!”

“Oh,” she said, “I’ve already tossed a transistor radio.

“NOOOOOOOOO,” I yelled. “Stop it right now!”

“Do! Not! Throw! Anything! Out!”

Until you know what it is and whether it’s worth anything. Look it up, even if it takes hours. Ask someone. Consult a book, a jeweler, an antiques dealer.

Because once I run out of boxes of Janvier Road antiques, I’m coming for your yard sale. And I’m going to know what I’m looking at.

So do. Not. Throw. Anything. Out.

You’ve been warned. Well, at least the people who subscribe to this blog have been warned. The rest of you? You’re on your own.

About sarathurston

I'm a marketing communications writer who also loves antiques and collectibles. You can find my shop on Etsy at
This entry was posted in Vintage Jewelry, Why Are Antiques Important? and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Do. Not. Throw. Anything. Out.

  1. AngLeeRick says:

    I Love old costume jewlery!

  2. Pingback: What’s a fair price for a vintage or antique item? | Janvier Road: Where old becomes exciting and new

  3. sarathurston says:

    BTW, I suspect that a lot of people threw out old costume jewelry. The necklace shown here? Except for one Etsy dealer who has a complete set (demi parure), it doesn’t appear to exist. I wonder if the Etsy dealer and I have the only ones!

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