(Closed) How to handle heirloom engagement ring?

posted 4 years ago in Rings
Post # 2
Member
2355 posts
Buzzing bee

There are no heirloom pieces in my family so I can’t say waht my then bf would have done if I had such a ring.

However, to answer your other question…I wouldn’t get it altered. It was your grandmothers. Why mess with perfection?

Its quite lovely. 

Post # 3
Member
1807 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

It’s a beautiful set. 

I would probably have it re-set into a setting that I love – then you have the symbolism from their rings – but it’s also new to you, and your taste. If you love the set as it is, you might just add something special to you – like your birthstones on the inside of the ring – or add a sapphire on each side of the diamond to change it a little and make it ‘yours’. Your boyfriend can pick up the updated rings from the jeweller and pay for the new settings. Then he has them for the proposal

Post # 4
Member
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Wow, that ring is truly stunning. I’m drooling!

That aside, though, I’ll give you an honest opinion based on purely anecdotal experience. This is what happened to a friend of mine, and obviously their personalities are very different so keep that in mind. 

She inherited her grandmother’s ring and was truly in love with it. Her boyfriend proposed with it – he asked her parents’ permission and got it from them. However, he proposed really quickly and they struggled with his level of commitment the whole duration of their engagement. He never seemed to prioritize her and their relationship, dragged his feet to make plans, dodged the conversations about the future, etc.

She broke things off a year into the engagement. Part of it was because he just wasn’t that motivated a person compared to her (in personal matters and career goals) but she also felt like he only had to put forth the most minimal effort. He never had to ring shop and prioritize saving, nor did he give her a precious family heirloom from his side that was really meaningful to him. We all thought the whole thing was kind of blasé on his end, and the ring was really only special to her because of her relationship with her grandma.

When they called off the engagement, she kept the ring obviously, and he wasn’t out any money or commitment. It wasn’t much different than a regular breakup for him, but it was devastating to her.

I think there is something valuable about a man demonstrating a special effort, committing to save and plan a proposal and pick out a ring with you in mind. However, that’s super old-fashioned thinking and totally subjective because of what my friend went through.

If you want to move forward with the heirloom you have, which is GORGEOUS, you could make it your own by getting a second funky band to make a stacked set?

Post # 5
Member
1807 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

View original reply
VictorianChick :  I know I said above to have it reset into something that you love – but I have to be honest, I inherited two Tiffany style solitaire rings that are about 150 years old, and except for getting new prongs, I didn’t alter them at all. I love the history of the pieces. However – if they were going to be my wedding set for the next 50+ years, I probably would get a setting I love. After all, my grandma got to choose the set she loved. I should get that chance too. 

Post # 6
Member
1602 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Don’t have an heirloom ring that I would use as an engagement ring so just hypothetical:

I would hand him the ring and tell him to use it when the time is right to propose. If I liked the setting and it was the correct size (or close enough to resize), I wouldn’t change it at all. I’d leave it as is and use that. However, Id probably get a new wedding band with my Fiance so that would be new to the two of us. If I didn’t like the setting, I would have the stones reset into something I did like. But I’d wait to do that after the proposal (just in case you don’t actually get engaged). And no, I wouldn’t expect something else like earrings or whatever. But if he wanted to splurge for my birthday and get me matching earrings I probably wouldn’t complain…..

fyi, that’s a beautiful ring! 

Post # 7
Member
2355 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
mishybear :  You can do whatever you like, of course. I mean if you arent feeling it then change it. I just hate seeing antqiue/vintage rings reset and altered.

Post # 8
Member
1250 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

View original reply
fourfrenchfries :  I love the idea of adding another band to make it a stacked set, and something new for the couple! I was really torn bc the set she inherited is so beautiful and has all this history to it, and I feel like re-setting it would take away from that. Now if it were a beautiful diamond in an ugly setting, it would be a different story lol…

Post # 9
Member
1535 posts
Bumble bee

I would totally use your heirloom ring! What a wonderful gift to have your great grandma’s set as your own. And it’s totally gorgeous as is! Add a band or a RHR. 😉

Post # 10
Member
15196 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I think its a nice simple classic style, so I’d use it as is.   I wouldn’t use it as a rhr and a new ering personally, cause i wouldn’t want a rhr to be larger than my ering.  Id talk to him about it, then give it to my mom/dad and have him ask for it when he’s ready.  

Post # 11
Member
1697 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

What a beautiful heirloom set!! Also that center stone is exquisite!

I was in a similar situation when I was dating my now-husband. The only thing I requested from him after we had our first talk about marriage was that he use the diamond from my grandmother’s heirloom ring. What we did is we put it in a safe which we both had access to, so that when he was ready he could retrieve it and have it reset if he was going to propose. I would suggest something similar if you want to use your grandmother’s ring in a forever ring. Perhaps you could also select or design a setting for your grandmother’s diamonds as your forever ring together? 

Personally my DH did not end up using my grandmother’s stone, but I felt it was the right thing to give him the option when I was sure I wanted to marry him. Maybe you can give your SO the option and see what he thinks about it? Also I’m wondering if your bf has any strong opinions about the ring and proposal? I think that when an heirloom ring is involved in such an emotional and exciting time, it’s good to be extra on the same page about both of your hopes for the proposal/final ring. Please come back and show us photos of your beautiful e-ring when the time comes! 🙂

Post # 12
Member
3324 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I actually wish I had an heirloom! I love my ring, but an heirloom just seems so romantic.

If I had one like yours, I’d probably keep it as is. If I didn’t like the set (ie more 80s style) I would absolutely reset. If you do end up keeping it as is, make sure to visit an estate jeweller to have it checked out. After so long the prongs might need adjusting, or parts might need to be built up again.

I would probably ask that he take the money he was going to spend, use this ring (even if a reset, its minimal cost), and put that money away for our future home. I think its a lovely sentiment, shows sound financial knowledge and is also planning for your future. I wouldn’t ask for a different gift, that seems stupid. Get a band or two that you like as your ‘fun stuff’ and enjoy!

Post # 13
Member
1489 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

View original reply
browneyedgirl24 :  It beautiful! We were lucky enough to use my grandmother’s e-ring and we used it “as is.” That being said, I loved the setting and it sounds like you do to (I mean, who wouldn’t- its amazing). I also specifically requested that if we went this route, to not buy an engagement present because we really needed to put any money we had to spare towards a down payment.

As far as your logistics question, here’s how my situation went down: When it looked like me and my now-DH were in it for the long haul, my grandma told my mom that she wanted me to use her e-ring when the time came and to put out some feelers to see if I’d be into that. My mom straight up told me, though, and I was like “of course” and loved the sentiment. My one suggestion is not bringing up the ring before you two have talked about marriage seriously, to make sure that he doesn’t rush into a decision- I was worried about that so I waited and it worked out. After we started talking about it and he asked about rings, I let him know that if he was open to it, my grandmother had one she’d love for us to use when the time is right. He was like, “definitely, if that’s what you want” and I let my mother know. We went to visit my grandmother a few months later for Memorial Day and a cousin’s wedding, and she not so sneakily gave it to my now-DH. I knew what the ring looked like and honestly, that was a non-issue. I didn’t feel like it made the proposal any less special. In fact, I think it made it better because I knew he was doing this with my grandmother’s love.

Post # 14
Member
2677 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I think you should let your bf buy a ring to propose to you with that is your style and a wedding band as well when you get married. Wear whatever he gives you as your everyday rings and keep that set as your dress-up set, or if you ever suffer from what some call “shrinkage” you’ll have it to switch to as an “upgrade set”.

Post # 15
Member
1489 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

View original reply
nykkee :  You don’t worry that he’d feel bad that the ring he chose for her isn’t nice enough for the dress up set? I feel like that is sending a kind of negative message if the one he didn’t propose with is the “upgrade.” Like he might start to feel like his was inadequate? (In another unrelated note: I see your ring all the time and its really pretty!)

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