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Questions About Heirlooms - What Would You Do?

minousbijoux

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So I have some rings I inherited from my grandmother and great grandmother. In another thread, I discussed them, particularly my Grandma's ring (pictures to follow). I remember growing up with that ring. She talked with her hands, so I was always looking at it, partly because it was a diamond ring (and few women in my family had them then or have them now) and partly because it was always flying about. When I think of Grandma I think of that ring.

So I have inherited the ring. It is a typical, simple setting of its time, platinum with a center stone which I believe is about 1 carat close to free of inclusions. I have not had it appraised, but people who've casually looked at it seem to think its a nice stone, not something that would break anyone's bank, a starter stone. I have worn it once or twice on my middle finger (she was large), and while I love its sparkle, it does not fit me or my middle finger. So what do I do? What have you done in situations like this? I feel like Grandma is here because I have her ring and a piece of her. On the other hand, I will never wear it. Do I keep it "as is" in her memory, or will her essence, aura, spirt stay here if I take the diamonds out and reset them?

I am sure many of you have been in similar situations. What have you done?

I am posting this here because while it pertains to a diamond, the question could be about any colored stone heirloom...

Grandma - 2a.jpg

Grandma - 3a.jpg

Grandma - 5a.jpg

Grandma - 8a.jpg
 

Arcadian

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I have some lovely pieces that belonged to my grandmother that I have not done anything with. My mom sent me a few things recently that as soon as I opened the box I bawled. I was very close to my grandmother in life, so for me, its going to take some time to pass before I will feel free to do anything with any of these, much less even look at them on a daily basis so will leave them as is for the moment. I have my grandfather's watch, of which I haven't done anything with either though I've had it since '89, but wouldn't feel terrible about changing it to fit my wrist as its pretty cool looking!

I think sometimes, the essence of an heirloom can be lost when you remake a piece but it can make those little used pieces more wearable too. It really is a person to person decision, one that for some, isn't always easy to make.

-A
 

diamondringlover

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I have no advice, but I wanted to say that is a very pretty ring. I wish my Grandmother had left me some jewelry, but she and Grandpa were very poor and she did not have any "good" jewelry, I do miss her.
 

T L

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minousbijoux|1304268698|2909192 said:
So I have some rings I inherited from my grandmother and great grandmother. In another thread, I discussed them, particularly my Grandma's ring (pictures to follow). I remember growing up with that ring. She talked with her hands, so I was always looking at it, partly because it was a diamond ring (and few women in my family had them then or have them now) and partly because it was always flying about. When I think of Grandma I think of that ring.

So I have inherited the ring. It is a typical, simple setting of its time, platinum with a center stone which I believe is about 1 carat close to free of inclusions. I have not had it appraised, but people who've casually looked at it seem to think its a nice stone, not something that would break anyone's bank, a starter stone. I have worn it once or twice on my middle finger (she was large), and while I love its sparkle, it does not fit me or my middle finger. So what do I do? What have you done in situations like this? I feel like Grandma is here because I have her ring and a piece of her. On the other hand, I will never wear it. Do I keep it "as is" in her memory, or will her essence, aura, spirt stay here if I take the diamonds out and reset them?

I am sure many of you have been in similar situations. What have you done?

I am posting this here because while it pertains to a diamond, the question could be about any colored stone heirloom...
Are you not wearing the ring because
1) The style doesn't suit you or do anything for you
2) It doesn't fit
3) Both #1 & #2?

If only #2, I would look into having it resized.

If #1 then,
If you're feeling guilty about taking the stones out and resetting them, why not pass it down in the family, or wait until your children are old enough to take it (if you have children or are planning to have children).

Maybe you could replace the diamond with a nice colored stone that you prefer. I think a sapphire or ruby would look fabulous in there. Even a nice small tsavorite would as well. It's a difficult decision to make as it was your grandmother, so good luck.

BTW, I think it's a lovely deco mount, and I would wear it!! :bigsmile:
 

KaeKae

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I have a ring from one grandmother, neckace from the other as well as my mother's ering.

Actually, while I do have all parts of mom's ring, I did remove the stone and remount it into a bezel necklace about 15 years ago. (That's it in my avatar.) I'm glad I did, as I wear it frequently, and wouldn't do so with the solitare, it was too similiar to my own ering. I still have the setting, which was a very simple wg solitare. I'll eventually set another stone in the ring. I think a colored stone will make it different enough for my tastes. Maybe a pink sapphire solitaire???

My grandmother's pieces are intact, though I did resize the ring. For me, I could never change those settings, which are now about 80 years old. They are a little fragile, and a little ornate, so not everyday pieces, but still, there is too much family history for me to be the one to do that, I'll someday give them to my daughters or niece. For now, I pull them out to wear to church or a special occasion.

eta: I wanted to tell you how beautiful your GM's ring is. Whatever you choose to do, I'm sure you will do it with love and respect for your GM and the piece. I do think it's most important to be able to use the jewelry. What good does it do if it's sitting in a box, in the dark?
 

packrat

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If too big and you like it, then TL had a good suggestion of resizing, and that's what I'd do. I think the ring is really pretty and I'd wear it!
 

VapidLapid

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ditto on the resize. it would be quite straight forward since you'd be sizing it down. Still get a good jeweler to do it. And it is a very nice ring.
 

minousbijoux

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Arcadian|1304270512|2909207 said:
I think sometimes, the essence of an heirloom can be lost when you remake a piece but it can make those little used pieces more wearable too. It really is a person to person decision, one that for some, isn't always easy to make.

-A
Arc - this is it exactly And I know that feeling of opening it up, looking at it and wanting to cry. I'm sorry for your Grandma's passing; I was close to my Grandma too.
 

Arcadian

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minousbijoux|1304280431|2909346 said:
Arcadian|1304270512|2909207 said:
I think sometimes, the essence of an heirloom can be lost when you remake a piece but it can make those little used pieces more wearable too. It really is a person to person decision, one that for some, isn't always easy to make.

-A
Arc - this is it exactly And I know that feeling of opening it up, looking at it and wanting to cry. I'm sorry for your Grandma's passing; I was close to my Grandma too.

Thank you and I'm sorry for your loss as well. For me its been nearly 14 years, but there are a few times a year where I feel her loss like it was yesterday. I called her mother (never grandmother) as to me, she was really my other mother.

I think its very possible to keep the integrity of the piece and maybe change it up a bit so its more wearable, and it sounds to me that you really want to keep it close to original as possible. Beyond maybe resizing, I don't think you need to do much to it since the ring symbolizes a lot to you. Its certainly a beautiful piece.

My grandmother was to me, a style icon. I'm tearing up as I talk about this, but she and I loved digging through her closet and finding great stuff for me to wear. She had one hell of a closet!! and I was forever in her closet for something! She's the one that got me into wearing hats (I love hats to this day). I couldn't wear her shoes (because she had big feet...lol)

My day will come when I can actually look at that jewelry, just not yet. I kinda wish my mom didn't spring it on me as sudden as she did though.

-A
 

minousbijoux

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Wow, Arc, that is really nice to know about you and your family. When you are ready, I'd LOVE to see pictures and hear more about your "other Mom." My Grandma passed about the same time as yours. Her daughter, my mom, passed (very young) about three years after, so I think that's why the ring is even more meaningful.

Anyway, I love the idea of sprucing up the platinum, sizing down the ring and finding a colored stone to replace the center stone. My Grandma would be proud of that as it would be honoring the ring but allowing for my own individuality. My grandparents used to say I was the only "real grandchild" because I was stubborn just like them :rolleyes: so they would respect my need to make it my own.

Thank you, everyone, for helping me to think this through.
 

vinkalmann

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That's a really interesting ring! I especially like the the inlaid circular diamonds on the sides. I would vote for resize.
 

LD

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If you really won't wear it even after re-sizing then how about having the metal melted down and used in another ring along with the diamonds. That way it'll still be your grandmother's ring except just updated.
 

JewelFreak

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Lovely ring, Minou, and lovely story. Your regard for your GM shows in your hesitation about what to do. I like TL's idea too -- a new center stone; then you can use the diamond in another way. That's symbolic of your relationship -- she gave you thoughts & ideas on your own life which you adapted to fit you, keeping their essential goodness. Same is true of the ring.

--- Laurie
 

AGBF

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minousbijoux|1304299909|2909601 said:
Anyway, I love the idea of sprucing up the platinum, sizing down the ring and finding a colored stone to replace the center stone. My Grandma would be proud of that as it would be honoring the ring but allowing for my own individuality.
...
Thank you, everyone, for helping me to think this through.
minousbijoux-I hope that you keep this thread open. I would like to see what kind of stone you choose to replace the center diamond and how it looks on your hand once the ring has been resized. I would also like to know what you decide to do with your grandmother's 1 carat diamond! I think you have some really nice projects coming up and I hope you share them with us!!!

Hugs,
Deb/AGBF

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend
 

Arkteia

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I plan to use my mom's diamond which is small and yellowish but which she was very proud of (her only diamond!) in a pendant. As a top stone. I do not think you'll get decent $$ for this stone, and your Grandma probably wanted you to keep it, and you'll, really, save $$ by keeping it and using it for another project.
 

chrono

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I am a terribly sentimental person and would choose to leave it alone. The piece as it is shows how old it is via the design and if it doesn't fit, the most I would do is resize it so it can be worn.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Chrono|1305115401|2918358 said:
I am a terribly sentimental person and would choose to leave it alone. The piece as it is shows how old it is via the design and if it doesn't fit, the most I would do is resize it so it can be worn.
Ditto! Gosh, that is a gorgeous ring and a timeless design! I would absolutely resize and clean it up! Never would I take that old center stone out of it's home. There are ugly antique settings that I could not wear, but this is a really beautiful one!
 

erinl

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I vote for a resize only as well. Truthfully, it is a beautiful piece of its time and has a great deal of sentimental value. The monetary value of its components do not hold tremendous monetary value in comparison to that, imo. I would LOVE to see any jewelry that was my great great grandmother's, and that is what your own grandchildren or great nieces or nephews would gain from you leaving it intact. Just my 2 cents though.
 
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