As part of our tips help you get engaged the right way right now, we’re tackling what to do with the ring grandma wants you to propose with.
If you have a ring at that engagement-ready in your family, or your partner’s relatives have been holding on to one for this very moment, you might feel lucky. After all, you don’t have to shell out a bunch of cash for a new diamond engagement ring and can focus on how to propose in the best way possible—but it isn’t as simple as that. Here, the quick and dirty version of getting the job done (with class, of course).
1. Procure the Actual Ring.
If there’s an heirloom ring in the picture, chances are you know about it. Your partner may have mentioned it to you, or the family member gifting the ring may have offered it to you, or both. If not, you’re going to have to do some field work. Discreetly find out how she feels about the idea of the ring in advance. If the proposal is going to be a complete surprise, a close friend or family member might have some insight that can help you assess whether this is a good idea in the first place. This is particularly important if the stone is mad small by today’s standards, or if the original owner of the ring ended up getting divorced.
If multiple family members are offering you heirloom rings, consider yourself lucky—and unlucky. Because now you need to play favorites. This is a personal decision but you’ll want to weigh tradition, style, and family dynamics in mind. Has the ring been passed down through the generations a certain way? Is one ring in demand while the other could only really go to you? These are the things to consider.
Once you’ve figured this all out, ask the owner or keeper of the ring for permission to propose with it. Do it thoughtfully and not via a text message. Grandmas hate text messages.
2. Take It In for a Tune Up
You’re going to want to have the ring cleaned and the setting checked for loose stones or damages no matter what. You may also want to have the ring resized to fit your partner’s finger. These are all things you can do without permission or supervision. Enjoy the freedom.
If you want to have the ring recut or reset to feel more modern and appropriate for your partner, you may want to involve the person who gifted you the ring. Some won’t mind if you make changes, while others will be sensitive about it. If you suspect the ring could use an update, but you aren’t sure if that’s what your partner would want, consider proposing with the original heirloom and resetting it with your partner’s input during the engagement. Sure, it’s not as romantic, but neither is fighting about how you ruined her grandmother’s ring for the rest of your life.
3. Have a Professional Give It the Once-Over
Because the ring is presumably priceless in the eyes of your partner and her family (or yours), you want to make sure you’ve done everything you can to keep it safe. Have the ring appraised and insured while you’re in the process of having it cleaned and possibly reset. Pick a jeweler who has experience with antique or estate jewelry, and work with that person to conceal and secure any flaws in the stone or setting without or without changing the design of the thing.
4. Repackage It The Right Way
Finally, buy a new box for the ring and come up with your own, personal way of how to propose. Just because you’re giving her someone else’s diamond, doesn’t mean you can be lazy in the act of giving it to her.