Handling Heirlooms: Are they appropriate to wear?

by epi on June 18, 2012

Q: I have recently inherited my paternal Grandmother’s wedding rings. Is it appropriate to wear them, if so, on a regular basis or only occasionally?

A: It is fine to wear the rings, just choose a finger that isn’t the traditional ‘wedding ring’ finger – the third finger of the left hand. Another option is to wear the ring or rings on a chain around your neck or to have the stones reset into another piece of jewelry.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lilli June 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm

If you aren’t already married it may also be nice to save the ring and use it as your own wedding band someday. My friend did that with his grandfather’s wedding ring and he considers it good luck that his marriage will last as long as theirs!

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Carole January 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I am seeking etiquette advice. My mother in law years ago when our daughter was 3 years old indicated to us in a nursing home that she wanted her wedding ring that was made for her by her jeweler brother to go to our family when she passed away, which it did. I knew in the nursing home that my mother in law wanted her wedding ring and band to pass from her, to me, to our daughter, her granddaughter. I have saved the ring and now our daughter is 30. She and her boyfriend live together and have discussed marriage. He has told our daughter and his parents he is proposing to our daughter but has not given any indication of when. We gave our daughter the option of using her grandmother’s wedding ring and band as an engagement ring/and wedding band OR have her boyfriend buy her an engagement ring and wedding band. She opted for the family rings. These rings needs to be sized and appraised. My question is: our daughter said to her boyfriend recently “I don’t see a ring on my finger yet” while in a discussion with him. He said “that’s because you haven’t gotten the ring sized and appraised yet”. The ring is now hers but it is at our house and she wants me to go with her to the appraisal and to the jewelers for sizing rather than take her boyfriend. There is “talk” of a proposal – but this boyfriend has not proposed yet and has used as an excuse that before a proposal is made, the ring should be sized and appraised. I feel uncomfortable getting involved at this juncture. Here’s the etiquette question: in this circumstance – what is PROPER? The appraisal appointment is tomorrow and my daughter is in a huff because I feel that her boyfriend should go to get the ring appraised and sized (since he has volunteered to pay for the appraisal and the sizing) but our daughter says she doesn’t want him to feel “uncomfortable” attending the appraisal or the sizing of the rings because there has not been a proposal yet. Who is responsible for getting this ring appraised and sized at this juncture as this couple’s relationship talks of proposal of marriage stands now? He has seen the ring, has approved the ring, he seemingly has “intentions” of asking her to marry him, has volunteered to pay for the appraisal and the sizing and even has accepted going with our daughter to these appointments and yet she is insisting I should go instead of him because she also says it would be a “fun” mother/daughter thing to do! I am so confused about what is the proper etiquette here. I believe that any mother at this juncture of where this couple’s relationship is now should bow out and the future fiance/husband should get this job done along with his future fiance/wife – I am correct or off base here? This sounds complicated and it is but all my husband and I did was offer our daughter the option of accepted or rejecting this family ring and band. I look forward to an answer to my query!

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Alicia January 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Proposals have nothing to do with rings. If Guy and Daughter want to get engaged the ring is unrelated to that. If he wants to propose then he can just do that. The two of them can be engaged simply by having a conversation and deciding to get married. If after that time daughter wants to wear a ring then grandmas ring is lovely. Honestly they sound immature and not ready to get married if something silly like getting a heirloom ring appraised and sized is causing issues. I would stay out of it. If you want daughter to have ring give it to unrelated to engagement or not. If not keep the ring. If daughter gets ring and wants to wear it in any connotation she should make it fit her own hand. Engagement or no engagement.
So give daughter ring and do not tie it to wedding and let her take it from there.

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Just Laura January 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I am a certified appraiser. Why do you need the ring appraised? Is her insurance requiring this? In this instance, I can’t imagine another reason. If this is truly something required, then I really do believe he should be the one to do it, and I’m glad he offered.

But honestly, don’t get any of this done until he’s proposed. Then he can go with Daughter for the sizing.

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Brockwest January 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Ring appraisal:
I have two different answers for you:
Etiquette: There is nothing in the world that requires an appraisal before a proposal.
Life: RUN from the groom-to-be as fast as you can bride-to-be. He’s getting a free ride on paying for a wedding ring, but chooses to get control-freakish about the timing of a proposal and appraisal? (You see me write this next phrase a lot.) Marriage is WORK.
If you have a difficult time with minor matters in even getting engaged, the marriage is doomed before it starts.

Since the daughter now owns the ring, you’re best bet is to stay completely out of the discussion. You MIGHT want to start a different discussion about their compatibility and his future inflexibility as a husband.

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