How to Handle an Heirloom Engagement Ring
While you can put a price on carats, you can’t put a price on the intrinsic value of a family heirloom. Nothing compares to the timeless aesthetic and glamour of a family ring and reusing the precious resources we already have is the only truly sustainable way to make jewelry. Not only does reviving a vintage piece of family jewelry save money, but it also saves the planet.
Always ask first.
Make sure the giver of the heirloom is welcome to a revival. We want to honor and extend the family tradition -- not offend it! Even if the ring has been promised to you or it is already in your possession, it is important to be respectful of the giver’s wishes. Don’t pressure the giver and don’t assume you’ll be given the ring and can do whatever you wish. Honest and open communication, as always, is key.
Be candid about how the ring does or doesn’t fit your style (or your finger), and what changes you might like to make, especially if you’re thinking of having the gem recut.
Listen to any concerns or ideas your family members may have and remember to express your gratitude -- family heirlooms, especially engagement rings -- hold both real and sentimental value. Passing them on is a grand gesture and maybe an emotional process for the giver.
Ask questions and learn all there is to know about the history of your heirloom. Listen to the stories of your stone -- therein lies its romance and sentimental value -- and maybe someday you will be able to pass on the tradition as well.
Two things you may want to consider first are ring size and setting.
If you want to preserve the original setting and the ring needs to be resized to fit your finger, then you’ll want to measure your finger to determine your ring size. It is important that your ring fits your finger properly because you’ll be wearing it for a long time! A ring that is too loose or too tight could be harmful to both you and your heirloom revival.
One thing to keep in mind is that if your ring needs to be resized up or down more than two sizes, it is usually not possible to preserve the original setting. In this case, you will need to redesign the whole ring, but of course, we can preserve any/all elements of the original style that you like! If you just want to redesign your ring completely, this won’t be an issue.
If the original setting holds sentimental value and you want to reuse the same metal, let us know. Otherwise, metal will be melted down for trade-in value that will be applied to the cost of your revival.
If you want to modernize your engagement set but keep the vintage setting, we can get creative with a custom wedding band design that suits your contemporary style.
Add personal touches like engravings or birthstones of your loved one(s), throw in a splash of color with non-traditional gems like sapphires, rubies, black diamonds, or emeralds. Get the sparkle you deserve with a pavé band, mix metals and set gold with silver or platinum for added depth and contrast, or use diamonds or colored gems from other sentimental pieces you may have collecting dust in your jewelry box -- the possibilities are endless!
Once you send in your heirloom, we will appraise it for you. Older gems may have damage that is not visible at a first glance and may require special care. We pay close attention to the integrity of the stone because some vintage stones require more protection than others. We want to ensure that your setting protects your stone properly so that it won’t be chipped or damaged over the years (or at least until its next revival).
Heirloom jewelry is amazing because it does not incur the ethical or environmental costs of mining. As responsible citizens of the world, it is our duty to reuse and recycle the precious and nonrenewable materials that we already have. And even better, choosing an heirloom revival saves you from the cost of buying a new piece of jewelry. The world’s largest diamond mine is in our homes, so why look anywhere else?