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Attire and Accessories

Modernizing an Heirloom Ring?

When my grandmother passed away, she left her gorgeous Old European Cut diamond engagement ring to me, so, with my father's blessing, we decided to honor her memory and use her ring as my engagement ring.

It's a stunning ring, don't get me wrong.  I love it, and I am not unhappy with it at all, but I feel like the setting is a little clunky for my tiny finger (size 3.5, and it's still a little loose).  It's a round stone, but the decorative prongs make the diamond look square.  We have already had a jeweler file the decorative prongs back to bring out the natural round shape of the diamond, but it still feels like an awkward setting.

My dad says that it's my ring and I can do anything I like with it, so there's no issue of making anyone angry if I had it reset.  But my real hangup here is whether it's something I should do.  Grandma wore it for close to 50 years, and I feel like it would be an insult to her memory to have the diamond reset into something a little more modern that would really bring out the diamond's beauty.

Has anyone had an heirloom stone reset?  Do you have any regrets?


"And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
--Philip Pullman

Re: Modernizing an Heirloom Ring?

  • I have an heirloom stone.  My ring was given to my fiance to give to me from my grandmother and it was originally her mothers, so my ring is over 100 years old and has never been reset.  I luckily love the setting and everything about it, very large center round stone with a halo around it and emerald cut baguette diamonds on each side, it is extremely vintage looking and very much my style.  But it also means so much to me.  Several people have made comments and given their opinions and asked if i will reset it or change it to make it more modern, or raise the diamond to make the ring look bigger (not sure how big and gaudy they expect me to go, its 3 ct already).  At times I have considered the option or maybe swayed in that direction, but then I decide against it, i have a great story with my ring and I love it.
    However, if you do not love yours I am sure there are ways to modernize it and still be able to keep the feel of your grandmothers style.  I am sure she would want you to be happy!!!  
  • I might be biased because I have a heirloom ring (although it's not an e-ring, I wear it on my right hand), but part of what I love about it is the history...that my relatives, even some dead before I was born, wore this exact ring (it was an ering given to someone in 1896..so many generations have worn it). Sometimes when it spins and I correct it, I can't help but wonder if it did the same on their fingers too. Cheesy, I know, but I'm sentimental like that.

    So I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with changing the setting, but I love heirlooms for the reason that they're the same I guess. Would you consider just getting a wedding band and wearing that? The e-ring can still be worn on occasion of course, but this way you have something on your finger you love. If you have differing sentiments about heirlooms, then changing it to something you prefer is totally okay too. There's no real right or wrong I don't think.
    kimmiinthemittenJCocco219bleve0821
  • bleve0821bleve0821 The Shire member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I guess if I do want to change it, I can't tell myself I love it.  To be honest, I have been going back and forth, off and on, about this for almost a year.  I'm just mostly afraid I'd regret changing it if I did, which is why I haven't done more than have those decorative prongs filed back.  And even then, there was doubt right up until the moment I got it back.  There is that sentiment of sameness and originality that romanticizes the ring for me.  I love the fact that it was her ring, she picked out the diamond and the jewelers did all the work while they watched, and I did find the perfect wedding band to go with it (took me AGES to find one that complimented the emerald baguettes on her ring).  But at the same time, it's not 100% my style.  Too much metal around the diamond.

    Originally, my FI and I wanted to use an older, smaller diamond that came from a pair of earrings, also belonging to my grandmother.  One diamond went into my mom's e-ring, and I thought it would be so cool to have the mate, but when it came back from the jeweler, I was told I would have to put it in a gold band because the diamond was slightly yellow, and as much as I abuse my hands, gold wasn't an option.  We had already picked out the setting for that diamond (ArtCarved Rory), so there's obviously still a part of me that wants that setting.  

    It can't hurt to at least talk to a trusted jeweler and see if we can redesign the setting for the center stone to make it less bulky but still preserve the original Cathedral style.  It's just a big decision that can't be undone if I commit.

    Thanks for the input!!


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

    JCocco219
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    My e-ring belonged to my husband's grandmother.  Him and his mom both offered to get the diamond reset, if I wanted, but I didn't like the idea of messing with their family heirloom.  I have grown to love the ring, just as it is, though.

    Resetting the ring doesn't necessarily have to be a decision that can't be undone.  If you really want the new setting, why not see if you can remove the diamond(s) and have them reset into the ring you want, but see if they can preserve and keep the original ring.  Then you can have them reset back into the old setting if you decide that you regret the choice (probably have to redo all the prongs).  Only you can decide if you are okay with using a new setting or not. 

    image 

    ILoveBeachMusic
  • my e-ring came from my fiancé's grandmother and the idea of changing the setting never really crossed my mind to be honest-the shape and setting work perfectly with my hands and style. my fiancé was able to go through the jewelry his grandmother had left with his parents and pick which ring to use. I have long dainty fingers and the ring he chose has more detail in the width across my finger then the length along my finger - I think if he had gone with a ring featuring a longer setting it would have been much harder to fit easily into daily life. I think since the thought of changing the ring has crossed your mind you should look into jewelry designers and have mock ups of your top designs made to wear around the house and see what you think from there. 
    If you end up deciding either way to change or not change your ring the foundation still comes from your grandmother and the memories will be there
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • OEC are one of my favourite cuts!! Seriously stunning. If I were you, this is what I would do.
    Reset the diamond into a setting that YOU love.
    Keep the setting and have it set with a coloured stone, maybe for a right hand ring.
    I would think your grandmother wants you to love your ring. This way, you kind of get the best of both worlds. TBH I'd rather do this than try to alter the current style. I'd rather keep the current style in tact so it's more close to the original.
    image
  • These heirloom rings sound gorgeous! Can you ladies post photos?
  • bleve0821bleve0821 The Shire member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    @diygaltoronto your ring looks very, very similar to mine, except mine is platinum and with an 8-prong setting (and it hasn't been cleaned in a while). The metal has separated where it was resized, so probably won't be going back to that jeweler.  My complaint is mostly that decorative prong between the support prongs.  It makes the diamond look princess-cut instead of round.


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

    JCocco219SK40509CaitFins
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Bleve0821 said:
    @diygaltoronto your ring looks very, very similar to mine, except mine is platinum and with an 8-prong setting (and it hasn't been cleaned in a while). The metal has separated where it was resized, so probably won't be going back to that jeweler.  My complaint is mostly that decorative prong between the support prongs.  It makes the diamond look princess-cut instead of round.
    That is a gorgeous ring. Perhaps what you are considering decorative prongs are actually extra support prongs because of the size of the diamond. When I received my e-ring which has a 1ct. diamond the jeweler suggest six instead of four prongs for extra security.
    bleve0821
  • @Bleve0821 Gorgeous ring! What you are seeing is called 'fishtail prongs', very common in older style rings. I think it gives your stone a lovely cushioney shape (def not princess, no hard edges) and looks very nice :) Wear in good health!

    image
    bleve0821
  • I know this post is a bit old, but I wanted to add that I have my grandmother's ring and the setting is not at all to my taste - it's far too big and wide for my finger, and I frankly wouldn't feel comfortable wearing it every day. 

    I ended up getting the center diamond re-set into a ring that's more my style, and I'm putting an inexpensive sapphire into the original ring in its place so I can still wear it for special occasions if I want, but it's not an every day ring. I felt a bit awkward telling my mother my plans, as it was her mother's ring, but it turns out she had done something similar: my grandmother took the diamond out of her own ring and put it into a necklace for my mother when she graduated high school; my mother only put the diamond back into the ring when she gifted it to me. 

    For me, regardless of the setting the diamond is in, I'm just happy to have a bit of my grandmother with me all the time - much happier than I would be lugging around the original ring. 
    bleve0821JCocco219
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