Heirlooms and Income: How to Decide Whether to Sell an Antique

By David Leto

If you’ve inherited antiques from a parent or grandparent, you may have no idea what to do with them. While some items may have sentimental value, others may seem like little more than junk that takes up space in the attic. Here are some strategies to deal with your newly obtained possessions.

Does the Item Have Sentimental Value?

If you received a lamp, stamp book or record player that brings back memories of your parent or grandparent, you should keep that item. These are the things that can bring you joy on a dull day or help you preserve your family history and pass it down to your own children and grandchildren. 

It may also be worthwhile to see if something has sentimental value to another family member who would like to have it.

Does an Object Have Financial Value?

In the event that no one wants an art collection or set of old Pepsi bottles, it couldn’t hurt to see how much the things might be worth on the open market. 

Even if you only get a few hundred dollars, it is often better to sell to a collector who will appreciate them and help others learn about their history.

Would a Museum or Charity Accept Them?

A museum may be willing to take in an old gun, flag or anything else that may be interesting from a historical perspective. Charitable organizations could also take antiques from you and use them to raise money for their missions. 

In addition to knowing that you did something nice for someone, the donation could result in a tax write-off. In some cases, a museum will buy items, but you may not get full market value for them.

Old Coins Could Be Worth Keeping

Coins that are made today are made of materials different from those made before 1960. Therefore, they could be harder to replace after being sold or donated. Furthermore, silver coins have the potential to appreciate in value. 

If you are given an antique coin collection, the sentimental, historical and monetary value it holds should be enough to persuade you to take care of it.


Antique items are often stereotyped as boring and not worth keeping. However, in some cases, they could hold significant sentimental and monetary value. 

Ideally, you will hang onto anything that you or another family member has a strong connection to. Anything else that you receive can be donated or sold to someone who will appreciate it.

The views expressed in content distributed by Newstex and its re-distributors (collectively, “Newstex Authoritative Content”) are solely those of the respective author(s) and not necessarily the views of Newstex et al. It is provided as general information only on an “AS IS” basis, without warranties and conferring no rights, which should not be relied upon as professional advice. Newstex et al. make no claims, promises or guarantees regarding its accuracy or completeness, nor as to the quality of the opinions and commentary contained therein.

Licensed content is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to represent any endorsement, expressed or implied, by USAA or any affiliates.

This article was written by David Leto from 50plusfinance and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Tags - Budget


Trying Too Hard to Save Money Can ...


How to Transform Your Home (Into Your ...


How to Plan Finances to Raise a ...