Heirloom stones are some of the most meaningful pieces in your jewelry box. There is something so special about handing down a piece from generation to generation. Some people choose to keep the piece in the original setting and some choose to redesign it. Did you inherit an heirloom jewelry piece, but don’t know what to do with it? Here are a few ideas of what to do with your inherited jewelry:
KEEP IT AS IS: Even if the piece of jewelry is dated or out of style, many people choose to keep the piece as is. As with everything, there are pros and cons to this decision. It is a pity to have a beautiful diamond or gemstone that goes unworn and in a jewelry box for generations. However, there is something to be said about keeping the integrity of an original piece. I believe there are two major reasons to keep the piece if it is not your style .1- value, 2- sentiment.
If you have a beautiful Victorian diamond brooch or an old European cut diamond in a handmade Edwardian setting, go get it appraised and please don’t mess with it! Although antique jewelry may not be your style, there can be real value in it.
Also, keep your jewelry as is if the piece holds sentiment. Even if some jewelry pieces don’t fit our style, they make amazing keepsakes that can remind us of our loved ones.
REDESIGN TO FIT YOUR STYLE: What happens when you love the diamond or gemstone, but hate the setting? It is important to tread lightly as to not upset or offend the person who gave you the piece. If the person who gifted you the piece of jewelry is still around, discuss your intentions of resetting or redesigning with them.
For example, what do you do if your future mother-in-law graciously gifts you her diamond engagement ring and you are in love with the stone, but the setting is dated? Make sure you emphasize how honored and appreciative you are for the piece, before you mention that you would like to redesign it to fit your lifestyle better. Emphasize that the diamond is the true centerpiece and will continue to be passed down in the family. If she shows resistance, for the sake of familial relations keep it as is for now and know you have a great diamond that you can one day gift to your children.
RECREATE INTO NEW HEIRLOOM: Now you can take the redesign one step further! Many people decide to not only redesign and pass down a single heirloom piece, but now they are also incorporating new pieces of jewelry to expand the sentiment.
For instance, a man proposed to his wife with his mother’s .50ct diamond engagement ring. They went on to be married for 20 years and have two beautiful daughters. Upon their 20th wedding anniversary, the husband wanted to surprise his wife with a larger upgraded engagement ring. However, he was torn because there was so much sentiment in the original ring that once belonged to his mother. He decided to upgrade his wife’s diamond ring, but also purchase another .50ct diamond to match her original diamond and create a pair of studs for her. The diamond studs would then eventually be separated and turned into pendants and given to each of his daughter’s on their wedding day. How sweet is that!?
Jewelry is not only beautiful and fun to wear, but can also hold a lot of meaning. There is no right or wrong thing to do with your heirloom jewelry. No matter what you do, as long as you preserve the sentiment of the piece and make sure everyone's feelings are taken into account, that is all that matters.