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Anything But Your Granny’s Old Ring!


Bridget asks: “My boyfriend just told me, with great joy, that he will be giving me his grandmother’s engagement ring. My boyfriend’s mother showed me the ring some time ago — it is absolutely not my style or my taste! I don’t know what I can do that’ll make him happy and still allow me to wear a ring that I like. (After all, I’ll be wearing this ring every day for the rest of my life. That’s a pretty long time to wear a piece of jewelry that I don’t like.) Help!”

Dear Bridget: I understand how you feel and I’m not going to be one of the people who will tell you to “suck it up and be happy with what you get.” Jewelry is a very personal thing and you should wear something you like. On the other hand, it sounds like a flat-out refusal will put you in really bad standing with your future fiancé. Here’s a compromise that may work for both of you: Many jewelry stores have expert bench jewelers who can work miracles by taking a stone from an “old” ring and restyling it by putting it into a new, more modern setting. Depending on how much flexibility you get from your future fiancé, the jeweler can use one — or all — of the stones in the heirloom ring. He can even melt down the metal and use it in fashioning a new band. If some of the stones from his grandmother’s ring don’t work into the new design, you might even be able to have a new pair of earrings fashioned from them.

I suggest you visit your local jeweler and ask to see samples of restyling work that he’s done in the past. You’ll get an idea of his expertise and his taste (plus, it may help you to get a handle on what you’d like to see happen to your ring). Then go back and talk to your fiancé; tell him what you would like to do and, perhaps also, what it will cost. Hopefully you can resolve this issue — without hard feelings on either side. Good luck!

Audrey asks:I really don’t want a diamond engagement ring. Am I really in a small percentage of women who agree with me?

Dear Audrey: You are definitely not alone, but you are in the minority, because 74% of brides get a diamond engagement ring. The choice is a personal one that you and your fiancé should agree on and what others do should not influence your decision. Your jeweler can suggest many gorgeous alternatives to a diamond.

Readers, ever got stuck with a piece of jewelry you weren’t too thrilled about? Let me know in the comments box below; to submit your own question to “The Wedding Guru,” send an e-mail to judy@hvmag.com.

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