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Giving an heirloom engagement ring - cheesy, cool, other?

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downward88

Rough_Rock
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May 28, 2003
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New to the board but need some opinions. Have a simple heirloom engagement ring that has been in my family since around 1910. It is a simple silver ring with solitaire diamond. I have not had it recently appraised. Just wondering what the norm is these days for giving heirloom rings for an engagement. My girlfriend wears almost no jewelry, prefers silver or platinum (no gold) and nothing flashy. Guess Im just wondering if this kind of thing is done or if a new ring is pretty much necessary.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 22, 2002
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7,828
How does your family feel about you giving the ring to her? Is it a real diamond?

Regardless, I think "family rings" are something special & perfectly appropriate for an engagement. It is somewhat a tradition in the South.
 

downward88

Rough_Rock
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May 28, 2003
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I actually "inherited" the ring in the line of succession, getting it as a gift from my mom. It is a real diamond, very plain and simple. I know nothing of the early part of this century but it is what I imagine a ring of that time would be.
 

Rank Amateur

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
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1,553
I vote for "cheesy".

Don't get me wrong, it makes a great gift, but don't give it as an engagement ring.

This from a Rank Amateur who really is a sentimental fool.
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
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I don't think it is cheesy. I do think though that it depends on the girl, some would love this, especially someone interested in antiques and history, another person would not and may not feel they could say anything about it. If you cannot show her the ring and get her HONEST opinion, I would ask someone close to her like her mother or sister. Maybe the best bet is as Rank said to get her a new ring. Later give her the other ring and tell her she may wear it anyway she wants, either as a dress ring or as a makeshift engagement ring. Depending on the value of it, maybe she could keep it for a holiday ring for travelling, I see some have that type of ring although usually in cubic zirconia. If her mother sees the ring and knows it is exactly what her daughter's heart would desire then I would give her the inherited ring as engagement ring. I would also let her know though that she may get another if she feels it is not what she wants.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 22, 2002
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----------------
On 5/28/2003 11:22:18 PM Rank Amateur wrote:

I vote for "cheesy".

Don't get me wrong, it makes a great gift, but don't give it as an engagement ring.

This from a Rank Amateur who really is a sentimental fool.
----------------

I could not disagree with you more. Family "engagement rings" are *prized* and treasured in the South. Many of my friends received them. ...and they were usually fairly large. I received the family ring 10 years into our marriage. I would have been thrilled w/ hubby's Grandmother's ring (OEC G/SI1 1.25c). Sadly, my MIL chose to tell an untruth to the much beloved Hubby's Grandmother.

That ring is in the safety deposit box set aside for a nephew. The tradition will continue.

Not only is the "family ring" a tradition. It is a sign of status & wealth - far from "cheezy".
 

Adrienne

Shiny_Rock
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Feb 15, 2003
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120
I would love a heirloom engagement ring - it would be so special!

It sounds like it might be perfect for your girlfriend - she wears silver, the ring is silver. She prefers simple jewelry, this is a simple ring.

You could always propose with the heirloom engagement ring - and if she would like to change to a different ring at the wedding then she could, wearing the sentimental one on her right hand on special occasion. Or else supplementing the heirloom ring with an additional band.

Either way - I think you should propose with it!
 

deejay

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 29, 2003
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3
Hi Downward88.....looks like you have an easy way to go here. Your girlfriend wears virtually no jewelry and prefers silver/platinum, how lucky you are! I would say that giving a treasured family heirloom is the finest gift of loving commitment you can offer.And since it is simple and sounds as if it fits her personality she will undoubtably be very pleased and honored.....Good luck!....deejay
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
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4,607
Lets not make assumptions here. Maybe she wears no jewellery because she has been waiting for that ideal big perfect rock. Who knows? I assume downward88, that you are the closest person to know this or maybe as I said before a female relative or friend if they can keep the secret.

In a way you are stuck because even if you give the ring and say she can have another if she wants then this ring is not the original ring. However, I was thinking if she is the type of person who goes for the original ring then she may be the same type to go for an heirloom ring with sentimental value. No absolutes though. What about asking her mother?
 

Lanee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
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534
Okay here's my take. The ring is probably platinum, not silver because I thought they don't set and never have set diamonds in silver. A jeweler told me this years ago. However, give us some details. Depending on the size of the stone and the size of her hands it might be too big or too small for her. That aside, I don't think giving an heirloom ring is a bad thing. I do, however, feel like if you got the ring at no cost that you could buy her some other jewelry like diamond stud earrings. This will let her know that though the ring was in the family you would have gone out and bought her a ring like a traditional situation. This is a hard sentiment to translate into writing but I hope you get it.

When you can, tell us more about the ring.

OOOOHHH. I just had a thought. Propose to her with the ring and explain to her it's a family heirloom and let her know she doesn't have to keep that ring if she would rather have something you both pick together that is okay. After all, she does have to wear the ring. My mother gave me a .25 carat ring (her engagement ring) and when I got engaged and he put that 1 carat on my finger I thought, "I used to love my mother's ring but wow, this one is all mine" not to mention much bigger.

My grammatic skills suck!
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
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4,357
I would have liked nothing more than to have an heirloom ring--if that had been an option. However, it *is* important to get her take on it. She may love the ring, or she may love heirloom rings but not like that particular ring, or she may want a ring of her own. Does she like antiques? Because not only will the ring be vintage, but odds are the diamond won't look anything like a modern round diamond. She has to like the charm of the older cuts as well as the history behind the ring.

One a more practical note: I know this is not something you want to think about, and I apologize if I've crossed a line, but if it's a treasured heirloom, you want to make sure there's some legal provisions to getting the ring back in case of divorce. She may be of the type to give it back, but...

It always hurts me to hear of some heirloom lost from a family because an ex-wife takes it.
 

Lanee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
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534
I agree with Hest, make sure if something goes wrong, this ring will be returned to your family. We never want to go into a marriage thinking you won't live happily ever after but, the reality is it does happen. Sometimes despite your efforts, thing get way beyond repair, I'm speaking from experience.
 

Bayou

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
10
I know two people who have done family rings. (they are very popular in the deep South) My cousin gave his girlfriend my grandmother's ring. They later divorced and the ring is lost to us. Bad!!

On the other hand, a friend used the diamonds in his family ring and re-set it. That way you get the best of both worlds- it is a family keepsake yet it is set to be her very own.

I would not, though, give her the ring and tell her she can have another. If you don't have confidence in the ring, why should she?

Hope this helps
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
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On 6/3/2003 11:42:57 AM Furthermore wrote:

I`ve got some very good friends over there in Southern USA - more I get to know abut the place, more similar the cultures seem to be. Best regards
Furthermore
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Furthermore, the South was primarily settled by the English. In fact, the South was not whole heartedly for the "Revolution". After all, the powers that be casted a "Brit" for Scarlett O'hara in "Gone With the Wind". English gardens, afternoon teas are abundant in the South. That's interesting that you feel a kinship w/ Southerner's

As far as the ring being "lost", unfortunately that possibility exists. We are in a quandary right now to decide if it's prudent to pass the ring to the traditional "boy" or to make sure to keep it in the family & pass to the "girl". I guess we will make that call when we need to.
 

Iceman

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 25, 2000
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1,374
White gold was invented in 1912 to imitate platinum, is it white gold or sterling sliver , platinum?
 
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