Jewelry that is passed from person to person takes on a life of its own. Wearing a family heirloom can make you feel more connected to those that came before you, and passing it on connects you to those yet to come.
There are no actual rules for what qualifies as an heirloom; the emotional value of an item cannot always be measured. There is a common thought that there has to be a specific monetary value associated with a piece to be worthy of passing on. Pieces that are meaningful to you and the giver or recipient are more likely to remain in the rotation, as it were.
Any piece of jewelry can be passed on, but I would venture to say that the most common heirloom jewelry is associated with important milestones, especially weddings. If you are looking for something that will be a meaningful legacy, there are many avenues to travel.
Passing along jewelry that marked a loving marriage is a beautiful sentiment. Some families pass on a beloved engagement ring the next generation uses for their nuptials. Many couples want their own ring for their marriage, but an older ring is still worn in some capacity. As an example, I inherited my grandmother’s wedding band. I received it many years after I married, but her tiny hands made a perfect pinky ring for my right hand. I love it and feel like my grandmother and the aunt who wore it most recently are both with me. It makes me feel good, connected, and grounded with my foundation. It is not an expensive ring, it is a simple broad band of gold, but the feelings it evokes are priceless.
TOKENS OF FAITH
Tokens of shared faith are a wonderful heirloom to pass along. Though many less devout people still love to have a token of faith from a beloved relative. Something significant and meaningful to a person you love is a gift that carries connection.
ITEMS OF HIGH FINANCIAL VALUE
If someone has expensive pieces, they often choose to pass some or all of those on. If they have another jewelry collector, that is a great fit. However, a piece of costly jewelry is also a security token. Many generations have been in situations where they sold heirlooms off, ending the family chain. It may be an unpopular opinion, but a piece sold to keep a family safe is a beautiful gift. It’s like the hands of the generations before reaching out to shelter those here now. Wearing and keeping the jewelry is, for me, the preferable path, but I also appreciate the stories that come with each piece.
Family jewelry’s most magical elements are the tales they tell. The times and history that they were with your loved ones through. I know that my grandmother wore this ring when she married the love of her life, when she had her children and grandchildren, and ultimately when she took her last breath. Her last words were, “I have such a beautiful family;” this ring was there as that story unfolded, and I feel its gravitas with me now.
I hope you have people you love, jewelry that you love, and that the lines cross however is best for your life.
FOREVER PIECE INSPO
Here are some pieces that are timelessly beautiful and would be amazing to share with family.
We hope that your love is felt through generations.