Heirloom Etiquette Guide for Engagement & Wedding Rings

Image source: pixabay.com

The only thing more romantic than getting engaged is using an heirloom ring for the occasion. From their one-of-a-kind style to their rich and sentimental history, engagement and wedding rings that have been passed down are incredibly special. Because of this, you’ll want to take extra steps before proposing with an heirloom. When it comes to selecting a symbol of your love, you want to get it right, and you definitely don’t want to step on any feelings in the process. Use our heirloom etiquette guide for engagement and wedding rings so you shine as bright as any gem.

Before You Ask, Ask

First things first. It’s essential to talk to the family before making any assumptions about your share of the heirlooms. You should be ready and willing to explain your reasons for why you would like a particular piece. Let’s say Grandmother left a pearl engagement ring. Pearl is the radiant June birthstone, and if your beloved’s birthday falls in June, it should be easy enough to explain why you’d like it. But it’s still a major decision, and you and your relatives must be clear on expectations.

Image source: pixabay.com

While you’re talking, be sure to enquire about the ring’s history. It would also be wise to record the stories. This is the type of family lore you’ll want to hand down to the next generation.

If you get the go-ahead on the ring, now is also the time to discuss the nitty-gritty. What if you or your partner wants to make modifications? It’s extremely important to be clear on what is acceptable and what isn’t so feeling don’t get hurt.

Gauge Your Partner

Another thing that you should consider is, does your future fiancé(e) even want a vintage piece? You probably wouldn’t propose to someone if you weren’t sure of their love. Same goes for the style of the ring. It’s always a smart idea to get a sense of how your partner feels about heirlooms before offering one. If you have a picture of grandma wearing her pearl ring, show it to your beloved to gauge her thoughts on the subject.

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That’s a lot of prep, but there’s still more to do before popping the question: get the ring cleaned, appraised and insured. Have a professional look it over, secure loose stones, and size it for proper fit. Next, take the ring to be assessed for the current market value and then insure accordingly.

The Right Way to Reset an Heirloom Ring

If you opt to update the ring, there are several ways to go about it. Many rings can be modernised, such as by creating a stack to show off the heirloom piece while giving it a contemporary look. If the decision is made to reset the stone(s), start by looking for designs that resonate with your future spouse’s taste. A good designer can work from an existing style or from scratch, using your ideas to create a one-of-a-kind ring that will complement the vintage gems.

Image source: pixabay.com

A word of caution about stone removal: The original setting will usually have to be scrapped, so be sure everyone understands this before attempting to extract the gems. If the original setting has value, it is best not to attempt to remove the gemstones.

When it comes to heirloom engagement and wedding rings, the most important thing is that it should be something your future wife or husband will be happy to wear every day. So if you love vintage style but the family ring won’t work after all, or if you don’t have an heirloom in the first place, you should still be able to find a beautiful replica that fits the bill.

Carla Jonas

Carla Jonas is a content writer and editor at top high-quality pearl retailer The Pearl Source. Passionate about everything jewellery, decor and fashion-related, Carla is ready to bring you the latest on what to wear, hot trends, style tips and more.

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