We've always loved the idea of a vintage engagement ring, whether it's been passed down from one of the couples relatives, or previously owned and bought from an antique jewelry store.
In today's disposable society, we often forget that there's a strong sentimental value attached to everything from an old couch to a diamond ring.
We are all distracted by the whole 'newer is better' thing (which in some cases is true) and apply that thinking to personal sentiment and matters of the heart.
But, these are the times when older things, especially those that tie us to our ancestors, are often more precious than anything that can be manufactured today.
We were recently at a jewelry trade show and met this wonderful woman, Anne, who reminded us of how the true value of a ring (especially one that symbolizes a union between two people) is about so much more than metal and gemstones.
She told us the most wonderful heartfelt story about her vintage engagement ring. We asked her if she would be kind enough to share it, and her thoughts in general, with our readers. Here's what she had to say...
As a little girl, I often admired my mothers ring, which she had received from her mother. We would sit at the kitchen table, chatting, and sometimes, shed smile and take it off her finger and place it on mine. Wed laugh at how it wiggled around on my tiny finger.
She would wink and say to me teasingly, as if no one else should hear, "One day, this just might be yours." I was thrilled, imagining what it would be like to have a ring like that.
As I got older, I realized that she must have had the same fantasies about the ring when she was growing up, looking at it with her mother (my grandmother). Although I didnt know my grandmother, I have lots of pictures of her, of course. I always look to see if the ring is visible in those shots!
I realize the sentimental connection one has with an inherited ring, or any piece of jewelry for that matter.
Each time I look down, even though I'm in the industry, I don't think "Oh, what a lovely vintage engagement ring", instead I am reminded of the love I have for my husband and our marriage, and also the marriages of my parents and grandparents. I don't see a ring, I only see what it represents.
Even though I only have three sons, if they will accept it, I plan on offering my engagement ring to the first to propose. I figure if the first one doesnt want it or appreciate it, I have two more chances!Whenever I'm in a jewelry store or at a jewelry trade show, I look through all the cases as any woman does. If they have a vintage section, I love to pause and examine the rings.
The settings, the cuts of the diamonds—all conjure up images of times passed, romantic times where frilly details that one saw in Victorian lace are interpreted in silver, platinum and gold, and magically set with multi-faceted stones cut by hand in a small village somewhere.
These rings have a lot of character, not just because of the unique styles, but the stories they could tell!
That's not to say that there is anything wrong with a modern, brand new ring, gleaming with its simplicity. It's just that these, for me, don't have the same cachet or tell a story.
I love that Princess Grace first received a Cartier eternity ring of rubies and diamonds as her engagement ring before the Prince noticed all the Hollywood glamour girls sporting huge rocks and quickly ordered the 10.5 carat emerald-cut diamond with baguettes. Now those are rings with a story. I love that!
I also love a bright new and shiny band of platinum with just a single,
stunningly clear stone that promises the start of a fresh new life together.
However, I have and will always have a soft spot for romance—and a vintage
engagement ring just feels and is so romantic.
When my husband proposed, I was caught completely off guard. I had no idea it was happening that day, and certainly didnt know he had met with my father to ask his permission (told you I like the old-fashioned things!).
When I saw the box in his hand, and he said the words, "Will you marry me?", I had no idea what ring he had chosen, and I was excited on so many levels. I certainly wasnt expecting what I saw when he opened the box.
Yes, it was my mothers ring—freshly cleaned. I think I started crying before I said "Yes", and I can honestly tell you that seeing my mothers and grandmothers ring was a part of that.
I should have been tipped off when I saw the faded blue velvet box I had seen
in my mothers jewelry drawer my entire life but when I began to realize what
was going on I wasn't thinking clearly.
Little tip: Save the box, it comes in handy.
Thanks Anne for sharing your story and reminding us all of the sentiment attached to a vintage engagement ring, especially one that is passed down from one generation to the next.
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