Post # 1
I have an etiquette question regarding heirloom rings. Is it tacky to ask a family member for an heirloom ring?
I ask because I’ve always loved my mom’s e-ring and wedding band set. There’s nothing super fancy about it – the stone isn’t super large (less than 1 ct.) and the setting is kind of trendy 1970’s, but I’ve always admired it since I was a kid.
Unfortunately, my parents separated and then my father passed away. My mother actually stopped wearing the set a few years before they had marital issues because she wore an anniversary band instead. I don’t think of it as being cursed for this reason. (Plus, Kate wears Princess Diana’s ring from her failed marriage.) Mom still has the set but it is tucked away at the back of a drawer. She has considered selling it but hasn’t bothered.
It seems really silly, but I’d like for my SO to propose to me with my mom’s e-ring because the ring has sentimentality for me. It’s not a money issue – it reminds me of happy times and is a way that I can “wear” my parents.
My brother actually wears my father’s anniversary band as his wedding ring. When he asked my mom for it (for sentimentality reasons), she was hesistant to give it to him, but he reminded her that it wasn’t cursed if he didn’t wear it on a regular basis (Dad’s original band had to be cut off at the hospital, and so with his job and potential for work accidents he was afraid to wear a ring again). Same thing, not a money issue, just a reminder of dad.
Anyway, so I was wondering – is there a polite way to bring up the ring set? I understand if she says no, that it might hurt her to see her ring set on me, but is there harm in asking? If so, should I be the one to bring it up? Or, should SO talk to her about it when he asks her for permission to marry me? I don’t want to put him in an awkward spot, but if it seems more polite, I can mention/hint to him that I like her rings but understand if she says no and he picks out something else for me instead.
I’m leaning towards me having a gentle conversation with mom, unless you all think overwise? How do you think I should best approach the situation?
Post # 3
@Wrenny: I think you’re right in the idea of having a gentle conversation with your mom. It may be she’d never thought of it. She may or may not be receptive, but I think it’s reasonable to ask.
Post # 4
Since your mom is YOUR blood relative, I don’t think it is tacky at all. I also wear an heirloom diamond from my FI’s grandma’s failed marriage, and I never think twice about it. I’m not superstitious.
Post # 5
It’s totally reasonable to ask! Especially because your brother already wears your father’s ring. Not weird at all, IMO. If your mom is already considering selling them, it won’t hurt to ask!
Post # 6
I don’t think it’s tacky, but if you’re really worried about it…I would have your SO bring it up to her, subtly mention that you’ve always had a lot of sentimental feelings towards the set. I hope you get what you want!
Post # 7
When I saw the title of this post, I was fully prepared to say that that there is absolutely no polite way in which someone could request to have an heirloom ring that is in the possession of someone else.
However, after reading your post, I think that it would be acceptable for you to have a very no-pressure discussion with your mother regarding her thoughts about this potential idea. I would be very careful to say that you’re not asking to have the ring, only expressing the fact that, for sentimental reasons, you have some interest in it and you just wanted to see how she feels about that idea. You could quickly follow that statement with another that indicates your SO is prepared to purchase a new ring for you but that, before he does that, you just wanted to explore this as a potential option because of the extreme sentimental value that the rings hold for you.
Obviously, if your mother shows any hesitation at all, I would quickly drop the subject and plan on taking another direction.
Post # 8
First question: I assume you have no sisters? Because if you do, any conversation needs to include them.
Since she doesn’t wear them, I think it’s ok to bring up gently. (If she still wore them it would be most inappropriate to ask!) However you should think of your sibling(s) here. And if it’s just your brother, there might need to be an understanding that he gets some other heriloom, because generally a woman’s set is way more valuable than a man’s wedding ring. But yeah, passing them on (now) is better than them gathering dust.
I don’t think SO should have the conversation. It’s not his mom.
Post # 9
Normally, I don’t think someone should ask another person for an engagement ring (it’d be like telling them what to get you for Christmas). As your mum doesn’t wear this ring herself, and is actually considering getting rid of it, I think there’s nothing wrong with asking her whether she would feel comfortable with you wearing it.
Post # 10
I could see why it’d be considred tacky in some senario’s (like from a dying grandmother, if you aren’t close to her and it’s a huge rock or something), but in this instance, particularly because your mom has even thought of selling the set, I think you;d be completely within reason to ask her.
I don’t think it’d be tacky for either you are your SO to ask, but it might be better coming from you so that she knows where your opinion is coming from, and doesn’t take it as your SO trying to save money or something crazy like that.
Post # 11
@Wrenny: I don’t see how etiquette has any thing to do with it. she’s your MOTHER…. she has no use for them… just ask her i say!
Post # 12
Do it! MY FI proposed to me with the engagement ring that my dad proposed to my mom with (they were also divorced). After losing my mom it means a lot to have it as mine 🙂
Post # 13
I say ask her. I saved my engagement and wedding band from my first marriage for my daughter. It’s super plain, a small (.31 carat) solitaire and a plain yellow gold band so I’m just going to give it to her and she can decide if she wants to wear them or use them towards another set when the time comes. Good luck!
Post # 14
@Brielle: and @paula1248: +1
I think its ok for you to aks your mom about the ring. If she seems upset about the idea I would drop the topic. I would also try to minimize pressure by saying your SO is prepared to purchase another ring if she isn’t comfortable giving you her set. If you have any sisters (I would also include unmarried brothers) I would consider them as well since there probably isn’t a comparable heirloom your mom could give them.
Post # 15
Not tacky it all – its your mom, just don’t approach it acting like she “should” say yes – because you never know if she has some strong feelings about it. Just bring it up at an appropriate time and have a conversation about it.
Post # 16
Since it is your mother and not a distant relative, I think it is fine to ask your mom. I’d probably drop hints at wanting it to gauge her reaction, then tell her you’d love it. Then when SO asks permission, have him ask her officially if he can use it. I think it is a sweet and sentimental gesture.