Etiquettes for Altering an Heirloom Engagement Ring

An heirloom engagement ring is perhaps the most meaningful piece to have in your marriage as it links you to the giddy brides who preceded you. But what if you like the stone and not the setting? Perhaps because it’s impractical for your lifestyle, doesn’t reflect your character, or is just plain hideous. However, before you reset, consider the following to keep the look—and the sentimental meaning—of the ring intact for the next generations.


From Which Side Should the Ring Come From?

If only one side of your family offers an heirloom engagement ring, perhaps there would be no problem. However, if both families offer, it can be overwhelming to choose which side to take a ring from. Here are some important points to help you decide.

• Family History. If the ring has been transferred through five generations of your family, then that might seem a reasonable choice over one given by an aunt.

• Deceased Family Member. If the hand-me-down jewellery belonged to a dearly departed family member and holds a great sentimental value that reminds you of the person, that ring could be the most special one to take as a proposal ring.

• The Bride’s Choice. Since it is the bride who will wear the ring, it would be best to take her opinion a deep thought. If you think the ring is something she would not like or has no sentimental value for her, it might be best to just buy a new one.

Before Altering the Ring

Before you start planning on making changes on the ring, make sure the giver of the heirloom piece from Singapore’s agrees with the changes that will be made. Here are some tips on how to start this discussion.

• Bride’s Lifestyle. Mention that the ring in its current setting may not be practical for your fiancé. If her work requires frequent use of hands—say she’s a teacher who handles kindergarten—getting a safer location would sound like an acceptable idea.

• The Bride’s Hand. If you think the ring is just too small or too big for the bride’s hand, try bringing that point up. Rings look different on different hands, and that could be a helpful way to justify that some changes may be necessary.


• Personal Touches. You may also want to discuss the individuality of the ring. You can even include gemstones from another family member’s ring, or have the ring in a style that your fiancé will surely love.

Options for Resetting an Heirloom Gemstone

Once you get the approval, there are a couple of ways to re-set an heirloom gemstone. These are the following:

• A New Band. In many cases, the metal from the antique ring can be re-created into a new one. This is especially acceptable if the ring is damaged and is no longer safe to wear.

• Re-cut the Stone.
Diamonds—and other gemstones—can be cut and reshaped to fit a new style or setting. Reshaping may also be necessary to ensure that the stone has shining clarity and luster.

• Old Stone, New Band. The most common choice by Singapore couples is to take an old gemstone and place it in a new band. This option allows for more personal touches, like adding more stones, ring engravings, and using a material that matches the wedding ring. This oftentimes is the best way to honor your family history since it’s easier to incorporate multiple heirloom pieces.

Whether you just want to reshape the stone or alter the ring entirely, it’s a courteous move to ask permission and acknowledge the giver of the heirloom engagement ring before doing anything drastic to the precious jewellery. Not only have you preserved the sentimental meaning of the precious jewellery, but also gained the trust of the important people of your lives.


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