Advice for Family Wedding Rings

Our answers to the most common questions regarding these sentimental heirlooms.

When you receive a family ring with a proposal, it can be such a meaningful moment. This heirloom has been passed down from treasured relatives and now it belongs to you. However, family rings can create their own unique issues. Here are the 5 most common questions relating to family wedding rings.

What if you hate the ring?

He proudly presents you with his grandmother’s wedding ring, and it might just be the most hideous piece of jewelry ever created. What do you do?  Well, this is probably not going to be the easiest discussion you’ve ever had (but frankly, if you can’t talk about a ring, you’ve got bigger fish to fry).  Graciously accept the ring at your proposal and give it a few days.  You don’t want to ruin the moment.  If you are sure that you dislike the ring (who knows–maybe it grew on you), thank him for such a special heirloom and ask if he would mind if you altered the ring to fit your style. Most rings need to be resized anyway, so when you take it in the jeweler could reset it for you.  If he wants to keep the ring intact, talk about storing the ring for future generations and opting for a simple band instead.

What if your mother-in-law is offended when you have the ring altered?

One of the trickiest aspects of any marriage is the relationships that are attached to it.  While your husband might not care that you want a more modern setting, your mother-in-law might feel offended that her mother’s ring wasn’t ‘good enough’ for you.  The best route is a diplomatic, but honest, conversation. Explain how much family traditions and heirlooms mean to you, and how honored you were to have received this ring. However, you want to love it as much as her mother did, and so you are adjusting it to fit your style.

Are you scared to wear it?

You love your ring, but knowing how important it is, you find yourself nervous to wear it.  Totally understandable. Keep in mind that this is actually true for most brides. The majority of women have not usually purchased such a high-value piece of jewelry for themselves.  It takes some adjustment to not only wear something so expensive, but also for it to become commonplace.  If you find that you truly can’t get used to it, talk with your husband about storing it somewhere safe in your day-to-day life and wearing another band instead. You can pull it out for family events and special occasions.

How should you take care of a vintage ring?

Take your ring to a trusted jeweler and get recommendations on cleaning products. Also, you should develop a schedule to have the ring professionally cleaned. Talk to your jeweler about steps you can take to preserve your particular ring for generations to come, such as how to store it when you aren’t wearing it.

Should you purchase ring insurance?

Ring insurance is almost always a good idea.  However, if your vintage ring doesn’t have much financial value, you might want to rethink it.  Family rings sometimes only have sentimental value, and the actual stones are either of a very low grade quality or very small.  Once you have your ring appraised, decide whether ring insurance is the right decision for you. If it turns out that the estimated value of the ring is fairly low, you do need to remember that insurance can’t protect emotional attachments and value, so ring insurance may not be the best fit.  Either way, make sure to take plenty of photos of the ring and store it with the appraisal in a safe place.

Photography   |   Powers Photography Studios