Smile Politely

Get ready for Jewelry Jackpot

The Jewelry Jackpot sale has been around almost as long as The Idea Store as been open, beginning in the early days at the original Springfield Avenue location.

“We set it up in the classroom, and it was dinky. I think we earned $300,” says Carol Jo Morgan, sale organizer and co-founder of The Idea Store. The most recent sale, which is now a major fundraiser for the store, brought in nearly $16,000. I got a behind-the-scenes look at the sale space — just across from the store itself — while Morgan and her team of volunteers have been working tirelessly to display the eclectic array of items.

People donate jewelry and jewelry pieces to store throughout the year, and Morgan and her team of volunteers have become very skilled at sorting through it all and displaying it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. You are not going to go to this sale and dig through boxes.


Photo by Julie McClure.

You’ll find earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pins  all the typical jewelry items you’d expect.


Photo by Julie McClure.

But there will also be single earrings and other pieces from jewelry sets, as well as some miscellaneous items that someone will definitely have the creativity to pick up and repurpose. There are hair clips and fascinators, as well beads and other jewelry-making supplies.


Photo by Julie McClure.

All of these items are hand tagged and priced by volunteers, and those prices are pretty unbeatable. You won’t find much above $5. There is a major exception to this however, and that’s the fine jewelry display. For security reasons, these items go out at the last minute, and there is always a volunteer monitoring the cases and assisting customers with these more precious items. 


Photo by Julie McClure.

Though Morgan has a lot of experience with jewelry and jewelry making, she relies on the expert eyes of a local jeweler who volunteers their time assisting with fine jewelry spotting and pricing, and they’ve ended up with some amazing pieces.

“The most extraordinary piece was something that came in with a lot of costume jewelry. The family who donated it must have just thought it was junk jewelry. It’s worth thousands of dollars. It’s solid gold, it’s Victorian-Edwardian, and it’s in a safety deposit box. We will take a picture and post it, because we really want it to find a home. It shouldn’t be living in a safety deposit box.”

Idea Store Assistant Manager Sarah Meadows described the event as a passion project for Morgan, and that is definitely the case. This is not just about setting up an event. She takes the time to make it a worthwhile experience  from looking into the history of items that are donated, to arranging the sale in a similar sort of fashion year to year, so that repeat customers know exactly where to go to find what they need.

Says Morgan, “We do our due diligence, and I think that’s why people bring us such wonderful things. They know we’re not going to put it out for a nickel, if it’s gold.”


Photo by Julie McClure.

Photo by Julie McClure.

Photo by Julie McClure

Photo by Julie McClure.

Photo by Julie McClure.

The Jewelry Jackpot sale will take place over several days, November 2-6 and November 9-13. Due to space, they have limited the sale to eight customers at a time. You can grab a ticket for 45 minute time slots through November 6th. After that date you won’t need a ticket, but there will still be just eight customers allowed in at a time. Tickets are $5, then that will be applied to your purchase. 

Top photo by Julie McClure.

Managing Editor

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