11 May

When and How to Use Inherited Jewelry

It is not uncommon for people to inherit rings and jewelry when it comes time for them to get married. These items come from mothers and grandmothers, fathers and uncles, whoever is older and close to you in your life. While this is a wonderful gesture that should be valued and cherished, not everyone will use these items the same way. Your wedding is your own, and there are at least 4 different ways to politely respond when someone gives you a jewelry heirloom like this.


  • Use it as-is. This is the simplest and most obvious solution. Inherit a ring? Put it on your finger and get married in it. If you love the item that is being passed on to you, accept it graciously and display it proudly. Get it resized by a jeweler, and rock that rock. The person who gave it to you will be thrilled to see how beautiful it makes you, or the one wearing it, look. Maybe one day you, in turn, can pass on this piece to someone else who will love and cherish it as much as you do.
  • Respectfully Decline. This is a tricky one that I would only recommend for specific situations. If the ring or jewelry item is being given to be worn, and you just don’t like it or it doesn’t fit your wedding ensemble, don’t be afraid to admit that. Usually, there is another person in the family who would like the item a lot more than you. So let the person know that you really appreciate the gesture, but you have other ideas about how you want to appear on your wedding day. You think it would go better to so-and-so. The person giving the gift will likely agree.
  • Sell the Item. Sometimes the person giving the gift just wants to contribute in a meaningful way to the financing of your wedding. Discuss this with them first, but if they’re OK with it, just sell the item. You can sell diamond engagement ring for cash a lot of places. Just make sure that the jeweler buying your piece is reputable and giving you fair market value for the item in question. Then use the proceeds to pay for a more wonderful ceremony.
  • Just Keep it. If none of these responses is appropriate, just keep the item as an heirloom. You can decide what to do with it later. If you want to keep it but don’t want to wear it on your wedding day, this is entirely your choice. Don’t feel pressured to wear something you don’t want to wear. You can keep this ring or other item for many years, if you want, and you can decide what to do with it when the time is right.


Accepting a valuable gift like this can be a little complicated. But there is always an appropriate way to respond that accounts for your needs and the giver’s feelings. With a little communication you should be able to find an important place in your life for a gift like this, or a specific purpose for it somewhere else.

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