I have decided to give away something precious...read on (long)

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    Dec 25, 2012 5:38 PM GMT
    Ok, so this is not your typical RJ post but I couldn't think of a better place to ask considering how smart and thoughtful I've found most members to be here. Here goes:

    History:
    My late grandmother was quite wealthy and generously gave away many of her prized pieces of expensive jewelry to my mother and sister. It became a family joke when my grandmother gave me a set of flatware while simultaneously giving each my sister and mom a bunch of heavy gold charms/pendants along with 2-caret diamonds (split from a pair of earrings). I didn't care at the time that the Sears flatware had little monetary or sentimental value of any kind...I was just grateful to have some matching forks and knives to throw in the drawer.

    The joke became that the girls got the gold and jewels and Rick got the stainless steal! I chalked it up to being a single male who would probably not marry and never make use of such things and it was best to be passed on to those who would appreciate and make use of it. I have no use for jewelry of any kind anyway...never had outside of maybe a decent watch.

    My dilemma:
    Unbeknown to my family, shortly before my grandmother's death, she gave me something I always loved and admired. It was a 100+ year old 10 dollar US gold coin that was framed carefully in a decorative gold holder so she could wear it as a necklace. She knew I had been a long-time coin collector but never could afford such a piece for my collection. I accepted it and locked it away.Today's value is only about $2000 but still not chump change. I still love coins but the thing just sits in a safe and brings joy to no one..including me. This week I decided to give it away as a Christmas present....the question is who shall I give it to without causing problems? I am really torn up about it. I am not going to keep it..that is for sure.

    Here's my list of potential recipients and why it's hard for me to decide:


    Mom:

    My grandmother and her had a tumultuous relationship (it was her mother-in-law) and although my grandmother gave her many, many things including money over the years, my mother holds a grudge against my grandmother for writing the family out of the will just months before her death. This is true for all of us to some degree. I have let this go years ago. Pros: I have no gift for my mom this year and I believe she will love receiving the coin and will wear it with pride as she does with all my gifts of jewelry. As a gay man I take pride in buying her nice jewelry for Christmas and milestone birthdays. It brings me a great deal of joy and will if I give it to her...but she simply does not need another necklace.


    Sister:

    Has been there for me my whole life and especially true this year. She would absolutely not expect to receive this gift and I would enjoy seeing the surprise on her face. However, she has a successful husband who buys her just about anything she could ever want. Therefore, the value of this item would not have much impact and she might even be inclined to sell it some day. I don't give gifts with strings attached so I wouldn't feel right about giving it to her with conditions even though I would prefer it stay in the family. Sis also holds the biggest grudge against grandma and I fear this might even bring her bad luck...as superstitious as that might sound.


    Niece #1:

    Daughter of my sister: Probably the smartest and most educated in the family. She just finished grad school and I have yet to give her a graduation gift. I wanted to give her something special other than money...but she's young, struggling with expenses and may not even want this thing other than to sell it. I have no idea or any way of asking other family members without potential for hard feelings. Side note: It may be shallow of me...but I won't get to see her open this present as she's not home for Christmas. I'm leaning on giving it to her as it makes the most sense considering I wanted to reward her for her hard work in grad school...and other reasons....hehe....see below.


    Niece #2:

    Also daughter of my sister: Lives a simple life, quiet, not much of a jewelry person but would be the most surprised to receive this gift. Older sister would get pissed for sure without getting something of equal value. Side note: I selfishly don't want to piss off Niece #1 cause she works for the airlines and I get lucrative travel benefits so I'd like to stay in her good graces.


    Charity:

    I Could give this away to a worthy charity that could sell it and help those in need.


    Pros: no hard feelings in the family, nice tax write-off, help my fellow man, rid my family of an object nobody really needs and the negative feelings associated with my grandmother's lost inheritance.

    Cons: Lose a family heirloom, Charity might not know what they are getting or misuse the funds generated, has the potential piss off all the women in my family as they are well aware of my charitable contributions and am fortunate enough to not have a need to sell anything to continue these endeavors.


    Hold a drawing:

    Put all of my choices above and let my brother-in-law pick the winner from a hat. Not sure if that would be seen as controlling or weird..


    So, I humbly ask the RJ community to give me some input and advice, even if it's something I have not thought of.....and no....I will not gifting it to any of you! LOL.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 25, 2012 5:59 PM GMT
    Shove it up your ass and get barebacked. Then your man can say he "came into money." icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 25, 2012 8:30 PM GMT
    Consider selling the coin and buying other coins that do bring you joy.

    You grandmother gave you that coin because she knew you enjoyed numismatics. Transform the gift into the joy that she wanted you to have.

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    Dec 26, 2012 8:50 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidConsider selling the coin and buying other coins that do bring you joy.

    You grandmother gave you that coin because she knew you enjoyed numismatics. Transform the gift into the joy that she wanted you to have.



    Thanks Gamrican...I've read your other posts...and your heart is good. Was hoping for thoughtful responses like yours. I still have 2 more days to decide, I like the way you think!
  • BIG_N_TALL

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    Dec 26, 2012 8:55 AM GMT
    FloridaCarFan said
    GAMRican saidConsider selling the coin and buying other coins that do bring you joy.

    You grandmother gave you that coin because she knew you enjoyed numismatics. Transform the gift into the joy that she wanted you to have.



    Thanks Gamrican...I've read your other posts...and your heart is good. Was hoping for thoughtful responses like yours. I still have 2 more days to decide, I like the way you think!


    I would go with this suggestion if you are absolutely certain you don't want to keep it.
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    Dec 26, 2012 12:51 PM GMT
    BIG_N_TALL said
    FloridaCarFan said
    GAMRican saidConsider selling the coin and buying other coins that do bring you joy.

    You grandmother gave you that coin because she knew you enjoyed numismatics. Transform the gift into the joy that she wanted you to have.




    I would go with this suggestion if you are absolutely certain you don't want to keep it.


    Thanks for the feedback BigN-Tall. I'm not 100% hell bent on getting on getting rid of it right away after talking with my brother-in-law. It might cause more trouble than it's worth and the family I had been leaning towards giving it too may be too young to appreciate it right now. Sometimes an idea need may be born out of good intentions...but you know what they say about those...lol.
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    Dec 26, 2012 1:02 PM GMT
    Don't ya love families... like having to bail on Christmas day so certain people don't catch up with others....

    What you have has some monetary value, but a greater value as a family heirloom, and as an Heirloom it should stay in the family - so there ARE strings attached.. My feeling is one of your Nieces.

    Do you HAVE to give it away NOW ?? Maybe sit on it for an opportune time (e.g. as a wedding present to the first Niece that marries).

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    Dec 26, 2012 1:07 PM GMT
    You seem to have a good perspective on this, OP and hanging onto it seems to be the direction you are leaning. Given the pros and cons you've weighed, that sounds like a solid plan.

    Who knows, maybe you'll have a different perspective on the coin down the line and want to keep it for yourself. Or as bodycontact mentioned, perhaps someone else will emerge that will be appropriate.
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    Dec 26, 2012 1:24 PM GMT
    FloridaCarFan: If it were me I'd keep it. Even if it was only a penny of no value at all, I'd keep something given to me by my Grandmother as a remembrance. And she choose YOU to have it, because you collect coins, not any other family member.

    If you won't keep it then I like the idea of charity. Giving it to family may cause further tension by your choice of recipient. But you might do the selling yourself to be satisfied its value was recognized, and give the charity cash. And perhaps not inform your family if they don't know you have this thing.

    The only time I declined an inheritance in favor of another family member was when my Great Aunt died, my Mother's Aunt. Childless and born in the 1800s, her old-fashioned value system required that her nearest male relative (me) be her will's sole beneficiary. And so when she died in the 1970s I was shocked to learn I got her house and most of the rest of her estate. Even my sister only received keepsakes and a little cash.

    I couldn't allow my Mother, who'd been her Aunt's closest relative for as long as I could remember, to be passed over. So I gave it all to her with no strings. She decided to sell the house & contents (technically I believe *I* sold the house through the family lawyers, to avoid more taxes, with a little creative transfer of funds), and she set aside the money equally for my sister & me, though she could have spent it all herself, I considered it her inheritance, not mine.

    Ironically she kept that money fenced for another 20 years, intending it for my sister & me in her own will. But she predeceased our Father and left a surprisingly weak & vague will, and he promptly spent it all on his girlfriends & Vegas. It taught me to keep my own hands on any money I have, and make the distribution decisions myself. Once I understood my Mother's intention with that inheritance, I should have taken my half immediately, and given the other half to my sister.
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    Dec 26, 2012 1:50 PM GMT
    Bodycontactu,Tenebrism:
    Thanks for the well-grounded feedback....yes, I think taking time to reflect on this more might be best. I won't be with family until early next year to exchange gifts. Like the saying goes....giving does feel better then getting. but when it causes this much indecision....maybe it's time to step back and re-think.
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    Dec 26, 2012 3:30 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidFloridaCarFan: If it were me I'd keep it. Even if it was only a penny of no value at all, I'd keep something given to me by my Grandmother as a remembrance. And she choose YOU to have it, because you collect coins, not any other family member.

    If you won't keep it then I like the idea of charity. Giving it to family may cause further tension by your choice of recipient. But you might do the selling yourself to be satisfied its value was recognized, and give the charity cash. And perhaps not inform your family if they don't know you have this thing.

    The only time I declined an inheritance in favor of another family member was when my Great Aunt died, my Mother's Aunt. Childless and born in the 1800s, her old-fashioned value system required that her nearest male relative (me) be her will's sole beneficiary. And so when she died in the 1970s I was shocked to learn I got her house and most of the rest of her estate. Even my sister only received keepsakes and a little cash.

    I couldn't allow my Mother, who'd been her Aunt's closest relative for as long as I could remember, to be passed over. So I gave it all to her with no strings. She decided to sell the house & contents (technically I believe *I* sold the house through the family lawyers, to avoid more taxes, with a little creative transfer of funds), and she set aside the money equally for my sister & me, though she could have spent it all herself, I considered it her inheritance, not mine.

    Ironically she kept that money fenced for another 20 years, intending it for my sister & me in her own will. But she predeceased our Father and left a surprisingly weak & vague will, and he promptly spent it all on his girlfriends & Vegas. It taught me to keep my own hands on any money I have, and make the distribution decisions myself. Once I understood my Mother's intention with that inheritance, I should have taken my half immediately, and given the other half to my sister.



    Wow...thanks for sharing something so personal. This and the other responses posted today have really, me put this into perspective. One might say your experience with your aunt proves that no good deed goes unpunished. I've always hated that expression even though it rings true sometimes. I think you did the right thing regardless of your father's actions...which BTW, I would have resented if it had happened to me.

    More about my grandmother: She was wealthy because she married well. To say she was eccentric would be putting it lightly. She never earned a dime herself nor did she ever work a day in her life. In fact, She never had to lift a finger with the household chores most people of her generation did freely. She was the exact opposite of my maternal grandmother and never cooked a single meal that I can recall. She did however expose me to many of the finest restaurants New York had to offer. This gave me expensive taste long before it was appropriate. Considering my parent's meager resources, they routinely coached me and sis when they were paying. They didn't want to be embarrassed if we tried to order Lobster tails or Chateaubriand when they could not afford it. They were terrified of my grandmother in some ways and would never dare tell her what not to do when I was in her care.. You can probably can figure out why this was...I won't go there.

    Despite all her faults, I always celebrated her quirkiness and enjoyed being brutally honest with her on just about everything. I learned early that she was the one adult in my life that could keep a secret. Grandma knew I was gay years before anyone else. My mom is still pissed about this. Oh, I guess my grandmother felt empowered by keeping my little secrets from my parents...but I loved her for it. I always thought it'd be nice to get some inheritance but it was more entertaining for me to bluntly declare that she could keep her damn money and give it away to charity. I derived great pleasure in convincing her of this....and she knew it...even if this wasn't entirely true. To do this, I had to accept that I'd get nothing....and taking this position was worth far more than any cash I "might" receive far into the future. Come to think of it, this may have shaped me into who I am today. I admire successful people and always have but it makes me cringe when I see friends and family eww and ahhh when talkling about somebody's wealth or posessions. Even so, my indiffernce towards her money only made grandma try harder to win me over and it became a temptation I fought regularly and sometimes gave into. She was very generous to the entire family and I try to focus on that fact when thinking of what she did in the end. The rest of the story is pretty awful and I'll save it for another day... Damn it felt good to write about that.....the coin doesn't seem to matter much anymore.
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    Dec 26, 2012 3:36 PM GMT
    I agree with the guys, keep it as a memento. Why not rethink the setting, maybe get the coin mounted and set in a shadow box or a frame with a photo of grandmother wearing it.

    Would be a great way to think of her every time you see it.
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    Dec 26, 2012 3:37 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidShove it up your ass and get barebacked. Then your man can say he "came into money." icon_lol.gif


    How I love thee.
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    Dec 26, 2012 3:40 PM GMT
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    Dec 26, 2012 3:41 PM GMT
    Sell it. Take the money. Invest it. Allow it to grow at a compound annual interest. Don't think about it. 20 yrs later, you're rich!
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    Dec 26, 2012 5:41 PM GMT
    You got flatware? My dad doesn't own cuff links or even a watch that's not a Timex yet the women in my family got (and get) left the jewels, the $400-per-place-setting-even-over-30 years-ago Royal Dalton china, the Grand Baroque sterling flatware and the Waterford crystal. The only reason I got my grandmother's incredible and still-as-yet-unidentified antique bedroom set (see http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1217588) is because my other relatives left it behind in her apartment because they didn't want to pay to move it. If I didn't take it it'd be the super's.

    This was a sentimental gift from your grandmother to YOU. A remembrance of HER. She did not intend it to go to anyone else in the family. Choose a relative to will it to and keep it. Or if it brings you no joy, either cash it in for coins that will as suggested, or sell it, invest it, and forget about it as suggested so it can prove more of a comfort to you in your dotage as the gift of giving it to you proved to your grandmother's.
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    Dec 26, 2012 5:44 PM GMT
    Give those who deserve the help.
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    Dec 28, 2012 3:14 PM GMT
    This thread can close now....thanks for all the great feedback. I am going to hold on to it for now like many of you have suggested. Sometimes good ideas don't seem that great when you take time re-think them.