Are Heirloom Rings Still As Popular In Real Life As They Are on The Bee?

posted 2 years ago in Rings
Post # 16
Member
978 posts
Busy bee

My original ring was an heirloom. I do not know anyone else that has one in my circle of people though!

Post # 17
Member
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

greybee :  Since I work at a jewelers I see countless heirloom rings. Some repair the rings, others take the stones and reset them in rings, pendants and such. I’d say in a ratio far more people buy/design their wedding sets than inherit them. I’m actually inheriting my great grandmother’s engagement ring far sooner than expected I thought I’d be in my 30s or older so I think the age of who you’re around influences how often you see heirloom items

Post # 18
Member
3450 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

My mother’s diamond was passed down from my dad’s grandmother. They inherited it when I was a child and she had it reset. Someday I will inherit it, and I will probably reset it to use as a second e-ring or RHR. But I don’t know anyone who has an original heirloom that was passed down to propose with.

Post # 19
Member
4675 posts
Honey bee

Here’s the thing – you’re in a microcosm of women on a board with a common interest of weddings discussing things that would be considered gauche to discuss in real life.  I don’t know where or how or how much or what the specs are of any of my friend’s rings.  Some of them very well may be heirloom pieces, but that’s just not a thing we discuss between the initial “oh, that’s pretty” when they first get engaged.  So it may be common outside of this board as well. If there is a ring to be had within the family in the first place, it’s a pretty attractive option when you have a mountain of student loan debt and are just starting your career.

Post # 20
Member
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I have an unaltered (other than repairing some prongs and resizing) heirloom ring. I’m the only person I know that uses one for their e-ring. I do have a few friends who shopped for vintage pieces only to be deterred by the cost and process of looking for what you want. My ring belonged to my great-great grandmother on my mom’s side. At least we think. Both my great grandparents and my grandfather were only children and my mom was the only daughter so my mother inherited a lot of jewelry. She’s not 100% sure which great-great it’s from either but we’ve guessed based on the sizing as compared to the other rings and the era (late 20’s, early 30’s). She was married 3 times and this would have been her last husband. Personally I love that it’s a little bit of a story. Makes me proud of all the awesome strong women in my family who defied the norms of their era. 

I wanted to use it because I’ve been skeptical of the jewelry industry since college and I like the fact that using this piece of family history doesn’t have the social and environmental impact that purchasing a new ring would. It was also far, far more cost effective and I’d rather Fiance spend his money paying off his student loans. I also love vintage-look rings so why not use the real thing that was actually hand made for the diamonds set in it? Fiance and I also love retro and vintage and spent a lot of time thrifting and at flea markets so that gave the idea of using an heirloom ring additional meaning.

Post # 21
Member
54 posts
Worker bee

My engagement ring is my FIs nana’s engagement ring, and it’s classic and beautiful!!! Very elegant and i love it!

My wedding band will be my mother’s wedding ring. It feels special to me to have something from both of our families. I am planning to move the engagement ring to my right hand when we are married and just have my wedding ring on the left – although they are both stunning, i think it does them more justice to be apart 🙂

Post # 22
Member
530 posts
Busy bee

I honestly don’t like the idea of heirloom engagement rings (unless of course the woman herself wants it).

It just creates an unnecessary pressure to accept a piece of jewelry that she might not want. I like the two rings my husband gave me. But if I ever have a son, I don’t want any future daughter-in-law unwillingly accepting those rings just because she doesn’t want to upset anyone despite her tastes being completely different.

There’s a thread that keeps popping up these days about a woman who has to accept her potential FI’s heirloom costume jewelry that no woman in that family even wants. I felt so bad for that bee.

Maybe ONE possible reason some rings are passed down isn’t that the ancestor wanted the “beautiful” jewelry to be shared, but rather that the ancestor herself didn’t care much for it and wanted descendants to remember her whenever they look at the hideous thing instead of simply throwing it away. Not everything old and given away necessary held any sentiment to the *giver*.

But if the receiver likes it and it holds special meaning for her, then that’s what’s important. (I just hate the unnecessary pressure to accept something solely because it has become “tradition.”)

Post # 23
Member
260 posts
Helper bee

Two of my close (German) friends have gotten rings from their husband’s family, one from a Japanese mother and one from an American grandmother. Neither of them wear them after the wedding. Then again, engagement rings aren’t really a big thing for German women. I myself only wanted one because we were long distance at the time, so I chose a small (0.15 ct) on a simple white gold ring – used, too! – to wear before we got married. I would love to wear it now, too, but I’ve gained some weight and it doesn’t fit anymore. 🙁

Post # 24
Member
2569 posts
Sugar bee

I hope to use an heirloom ring from my own side of the family. It was my great grandmother’s so it’s sentimental, it’s beautiful, I prefer antique/vintage rings anyway, and it’s way out of my SO’s price range if he were buying a new ring (not that I’d want him to spend that much). Since we’ll combine finacnes once married, I’d rather my SO save the money and put it toward our wedding or a home purchase than buy me a new ring when I already have one I love that also has a meaningful association. 

Post # 25
Member
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

slothbear :  YES. When I first saw my fiance’s mom’s ring that I was supposedly getting, I knew immediately it was not for me. It caused a lot of the same discomfort and inner turmoil we see on a lot of the “my boyfriend wants to give me an heirloom ring I hate” boards, but luckily after discussing things with my now-fiance, we ended up using the stone and customizing something that is both totally my style but sitll has the sentimental value of his mother’s diamond. I feel like I got very lucky!

Post # 26
Member
530 posts
Busy bee

brereuther :  That’s great. I’m glad it worked out well for you guys! That’s the kind of flexibility that I think both helps the relationship and makes the ring actually more meaningful!

Post # 27
Member
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

slothbear :  Yep. I really don’t like situations where the man is unwilling to compromise on this issue – I always feel for those bees.

Post # 28
Member
2902 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I had an emerald cut diamond ring from my grandmother that I had considered using as my engagement ring.  But my grandmother had severe Alzheimer’s before she passed and my aunt couldn’t find any of her other good jewelry.  We think my grandmother may have accidentally thrown her other pieces out.  I gave the ring to my aunt as the set she was supposed to get was missing.  I was suprised she gave the ring to her daughter (my cousin) to use as her engagement ring.  My cousin had the center diamond reset and I was told she still has the original setting sitting in a drawer.

I work with one other woman that has a heirloom ring.  It was her grandmother’s and she wanted it so it worked out in her situation.  But I agree with the PP that they can cause problems if it’s not the receipient’s style and there’s a lot of pressure to accept it.

Post # 29
Member
2169 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery

Two of my friends have heirloom rings. One has her (great?) grandmother’s ring, it’s a gorgeous 2ish carat solitaire. The other friend has her FI’s mother’s ring. It’s a yellow gold solitiare. His mother died very shortly before they got engaged. Unfortunately, though it’s a very nice, classic ring, she wanted something more conventional (yellow diamond or sapphire) so she doesn’t love it.

I’d love to have an heirloom ring from either of our families. We will likely inherit one or more diamonds from DH’s family someday and they have already been reset so we’d likely reset them to make them more something I would want for a RHR. (One was a approx. .5 ct Round Brilliant set in a pinky ring of his grandfathers! haha! It’s currently in a solitiare pendant. Neither is my style, really.).

Post # 30
Member
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

My wedding ring is an heirloom ring. It was my mom’s when she was married to my dad. She gave it to me several years ago, shortly after he passed. My husband and I were happy to have the option to use it for ourselves, and my husband especially appreciated the sentiment attached to it. It’s our second marriage for both of us (I didn’t use the ring in my first marriage – ex had wanted something new), so we were also glad that it saved us a good deal of money. My parents custom-designed it, so it’s truly one of a kind 🙂

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