Estate Jewelry Ownership: A Hot Issue

About five years ago, Cathy Calhoun, owner of Zenker Jewelers in Royersford, Pa., received a telephone call from a police officer. On a hunch, the officer was calling to ask if Calhoun had encountered a certain emerald and diamond bracelet. The bracelet had been stolen, and the police were trying to hunt down the jewelry and the thief. "As he was describing it to me, I had it in my hand," Calhoun recalls. The young woman who had sold her the bracelet had stolen it and some other items from her mother-in-law. As an experienced estate jewelry dealer, Calhoun had developed a knack for recognizing suspicious situations, but nothing had seemed amiss about the woman's stated reasons for selling the jewelry. "She told me she was going through a divorce, and it made perfect sense," the jeweler says. "The girl was so nice, too." Calhoun was lucky: She was reimbursed for the money she had pa

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