If you have been tasked with cleaning out your recently deceased grandparent's estate, then you should make sure you don't throw out or donate any hidden gems. Of course you won't throw out actually gemstones and jewelry, but there are other things of value that you should set aside and bring to an appraiser. To the untrained eye, many things might not have value, which is why it's important to consult an expert. Here are three things to be on the lookout for.
Obviously, if you find a stash of gold coins, you know that you have something of value. But what about a container with what looks like random quarters and pennies. If it is truly a change jar (a collection of modern coins) sitting on their desk, then you don't have to worry too much about investigating them. But if the coins are in a special book or box, and look like they have been sorted, then you might want to have them checked out. This is especially true if the coins are no longer in circulation (buffalo nickels, Morgan silver dollars, etc.). However, even current coins can be worth money. Perhaps your grandparent collected rare error coins (such as the 1955 double die Lincoln Penny---worth quite a bit of money). So make sure to take notice of any coins set aside.
As with coins, you can forget a stack of current paperbacks, and most things in their bookshelves. If, however, they do have some rare editions, then they probably have them separated from their regular reading material. So do a quick scan of the shelves and look for any old-looking books, or books that are set off by themselves. They might even have some signed first editions that could be worth money.
Artwork is another area that you need to go over. Any paintings, sketches, lithographs, or etchings that you see around the house should be set aside. Stuff like run-of-the mill posters won't be worth much, so you can toss or donate that generic Picasso poster they picked up on a trip to a museum, but any original work of art should be brought to an appraiser. The art market is very dynamic, so you shouldn't try and price this material yourself. You need to consult an expert who has their finger on the pulse of the art market and can do an adequate appraisal.
Contact a company like Wardell Appraisals to learn more.