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Dad was a Mason? What now? Fraternal jewelry and all that jazz.

bo0t0auxWhat should you do with the fraternal jewelry you come across in the estate you’ve inherited? By “fraternal jewelry” I mean Masonic rings, sorority and fraternity pins, military academy rings, lapel pins, and other logo items that have special meaning to a particular organization. Fraternal groups ask that all such jewelry be returned to the organization, since these items shouldn’t be worn by anyone except their members.

Drop the piece in a padded envelope and mail to the local chapter or national headquarters or service academy. You’ll get nothing for it (except thanks and a good feeling), so if there is a precious stone in the ring, for heaven’s sake, have it removed by a jeweler. If the item is gold or silver, you may prefer to sell it for meltdown. 

Fraternal organizations are also grateful when you return other logo items such as caps, fez, books, and papers. I think of this as a way to honor the deceased, who no doubt valued these items very much.