What is Heirloom Jewelry?

What is Heirloom Jewelry? is a motivational post on everything you need to know about the basics of heirloom jewelry. This blog post explores the definition of heirloom jewelry, why heirloom jewelry is important and in closing, I’ll be showcasing a few heirloom jewelry pieces of my own. If you have a love for heirloom, vintage, and/ or antique jewelry then this one is for you. 


What is Heirloom Jewelry?

Heirloom jewelry is given as a gift and it represents milestones of the people in their lives. Heirloom jewelry often consists of wedding or engagement rings but heirloom jewelry consists of much more than just rings. Heirloom jewelry carries more sentimental value than monetary value. It is the emotional connection that the gift giver and gift receiver has with the piece that makes heirloom jewelry so meaningful. 


Why is Heirloom Jewelry Important?

Heirloom jewelry is important for many reasons, the main reason being that when the person who gifts you with heirloom jewelry is no more these pieces are a reminder of that person and what they meant to you. Heirloom jewelry is important because it has the ability to bring past generations into the present and they’re great conversation starters. 


Shopping for Heirloom Jewelry

When shopping for jewelry that you would like to eventually pass down as heirloom jewelry it is important to consider metals and stones that can stand the test of time. I advise you to shop for jewelry that is durable and can hold its value over the years. Such as platinum, diamond, sapphire, and ruby jewelry. It is interesting to know that although emerald is an 8 on the Mohs scale, natural internal fractures make it prone to chipping and breaking. However, why shop for heirloom jewelry when you can opt to design a custom piece of your own. 

Heirloom jewelry can be unique and can be designed to suit your specific needs, style, and budget. I highly recommend designing a piece of jewelry that best represents you or your loved one so that when it is eventually passed down as heirloom jewelry, it is a true representation of the original owner’s personality.


Heirloom Jewelry


The author's great-grandparents.
Meet my great-grandparents, Millicent and Hector Mac Donald.

Cultured Pearls

Cultured Pearls Case. Cultured Pearls with Yellow Gold Clasp.

These cultured pearls were handed down to me when my great grandmother, Millicent Mac Donald passed away back in 2001. This is one of two heirlooms that I own that belonged to my great-grandmother. I recently had these pearls restrung and I anticipate wearing them in the near future.

Custom Engagement Ring

Gold and diamond engagement ring.

This was my great-grandmother’s custom gold diamond engagement ring. The second heirloom jewelry piece that was handed down to me.

Gold Signet Ring with Onyx

Gold signet ring with onyx brooch.

This gold signet ring with onyx has a story to it. The signet ring was my great-grandfather Hector Mac Donald’s wedding ring. When my great-grandfather passed on, my grandfather redesigned the ring into a brooch with an emerald gemstone accent which he gifted to his wife, my grandmother. This is an example of an heirloom jewelry piece that was repurposed.

Gold Cross Necklace

The author's grandparents.
Meet my grandparents, Franklin and Jean Mac Donald.

Gold cross necklace.

This gold cross necklace was gifted to my grandmother by my grandfather on her 21st birthday. This is the same gold cross necklace that my grandmother is wearing in the photograph above. I was gifted this gold cross necklace on my 21st birthday ironically and I’ve worn it since to this day.

Custom Diamond Engagement Ring

Newspaper cutting of an engagement announcement. Custom diamond engagement ring. Portrait of the author's grandmother.

Lastly, this is my grandmother’s custom diamond engagement ring. This engagement ring was apparently an upgrade from a plain gold band. As you can see these heirloom pieces are unique and hold great sentimental value to me.

In closing, I hope that this post has given you a different perspective on the importance of heirloom jewelry. Whether you have inherited heirloom jewelry or have jewelry that you plan on passing down in the future – show them off (How? Click the comments button below). 

Written by Bianca Mac Donald 

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