One Chip Can Do A Lot of Damage

In my world of personal property, one little chip or ding, fracture or re-glue, can mean the difference between going into the trash or selling it for far less than if it was in perfect condition.   As an appraiser, I know that original condition is just one very important characteristic when assigning value.

My entire career has centered around selling items that are in good, original condition — not stripped of its original finish, not repainted, not repaired or refurbished — just plain original condition.  That original condition attracts the collector toward the mellowness of color that only the passage of time can create on a beautiful wood piece, imperfections and all.  Those imperfections “prove” to the collector’s discriminating eye its true age, and the history and personality of the piece.  Worn leather, distress marks, scars from accidents, etc. are all part of the life of our antique possessions before they came to us.

The collector knows some of these marks are positive attributes, but the average person is in search of perfection — perfection of body, perfection of mind, perfection for each facet of their lives.

The truth suddenly occurred to me!  We should look at ourselves and each other in the very same manner as that special collector.  We are aging; we have earned our stripes.  We have gained insight and wisdom through the passage of years.  Yet we too have many imperfections: a chip here and there, a few fracture lines, a scar or blemish.  We should strive to do our best to live with our original condition for as long as possible.

While one chip can greatly diminish the value of an antique platter, our own self-worth only grows deeper with our well-earned battle scars from a life well lived and loved.

©2015 The Estate Lady®

Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising.  She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation.

No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent.  Email her at

6 thoughts on “One Chip Can Do A Lot of Damage

  1. So true. That is the biggest reason I do not color my hair–I earned those grays over the last 30 years!

  2. I often felt we get the face we deserve as we age. When we are young with unlined faces, our personalities do not show on our faces. But when we age, the lines are either laugh lines or scowl furroughs.

  3. I’m reading David Platt’s excellent,provocative book Radical. Then I’m reviewing some of your archives. The reason for that mix…helps me remember my life is short, I’m here for God’s purpose not for acquiring /holding onto stuff,and question myself ” am I using the possessions God has blessed me for His kingdom?”

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