Guide to Proposing With an Heirloom Piece

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There's something about heirloom jewelry that makes couples feel extra special. It may be its unique and intricate design or its sentimental value. If anyone in your family is planning to propose with an heirloom piece passed down from different generations, there are some etiquette concerns that must be addressed beforehand. Here are some of them:

Communicate with the family

In some cases, families will offer the ring once they feel like a couple is ready for married life. If not, the would-be groom needs to ask the family whether it is okay for them to offer the ring to their future bride. Communicating the request through face-to-face conversations would be best. If possible, there should be no assumption that the family would readily hand over the heirloom ring.

Know how the partner feels about hand-me-down rings

It's important to understand how your partner feels about having vintage rings. Would they appreciate being part of the family's long history, or do they have qualms about wearing a ring that once belonged to someone's grandmother? One way to gauge their feelings is to show a family member wearing the ring, pointing it out, and gauging their response.

Manage expectations

Once you've received the green light for proposing with an heirloom ring, it's also best to discuss any plans you have about the ring, particularly if you plan to reset or redesign it. For example, if you feel like the radiant cut diamond ring would look best in a new design, let your family know.

Get to know the ring

In most cases, you may only know the ring once belonged to your grandmother or your great-grandmother. Don't stop there. Go the extra mile of learning everything you can about the ring, including how it came to be and why it has become an important piece in your family. You may even want to pass on the ring to your children someday. Besides, your partner would also appreciate it more if they know they've been entrusted with a piece of special jewelry.

Have it cleaned

While it may be precious, it's still best to have the ring cleaned and checked to ensure that all pieces are intact. If there are any loose stones, it is better to have them secured. We also suggest getting the ring appraised and insured.

Resetting an Heirloom Engagement Ring


If you think that your partner will appreciate a different setting for the ring and you've received permission from your family, make sure the design you're going for will match your partner's taste and style. However, it's also best to consider what will go with the stone that you have. Ideally, the ring setting should flatter the stones that your engagement ring has.


Before resetting, it's also important to consider the ring's value in its current form. If its value is more than after the redesign, you might want to think about resetting the engagement ring. Resetting an heirloom piece is an ideal way of extending the history of the jewelry, specifically if it carefully preserves much of the original design.


If the vintage ring you will propose with will fit your partner, you may not have to resize it. However, this is not always the case. Ideally, you can hold off the resizing process after proposing, so it's easier to get the ring size correctly. Take note that some designs may follow a more intricate resizing process.

Now that you have an idea of how you can propose with an heirloom engagement ring,  you can start your proposal preparations now!

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