Estate engagement rings, as with all estate jewellery, is the name given to a ring that has been left in the estate of someone who has died.
Estate engagement rings are usually associated with one of the following periods in history: Early Victorian, Mid-Victorian, Late Victorian, Arts and Crafts era, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco and Retro.
In terms of engagement rings, estate jewellery is usually passed on from close relatives, e.g. a mother or grandmother to a son or grandson. This is done in the hope that the young man will use this ring when he proposes to his partner.
Estate engagement rings mean a lot to people
There are obvious benefits of using estate engagement rings if you are in a position to do so. Not only will you be (hopefully) making your deceased relatives proud by carrying on their legacy, you will also be bringing your partner closer into the family. Partners can often feel distanced and sometimes even alienated by their in-laws. The token of receiving an estate engagement ring will make them feel more involved in the family. They are now the owner of something the whole family holds sentimental value for, which can help in breaking down barriers and creating a single large family.
Estate engagement rings are usually well made and worth a lot of money too. The very fact the ring has survived one (or more) lifetimes and can now be part of your life shows how well made it is. Antique jewellery such as estate engagement rings will increase in value over time too. You will hopefully be looking to pass the ring to your own children or grandchildren at some point so the monetary value may be irrelevant. The increase in value only really affects you if you ever decide to sell the ring, but this is unlikely.
The flip side of using a ring with so much sentimental value is this can have the opposite effect. Sometimes estate jewellery can cause riffs in families, especially when it comes to estate engagement rings which hold a special significance. Families can become bitter or resentful of the fact you are giving this ring away to someone they may not approve of.Perhaps they think they have a right to own the ring themselves? I hope this isn’t the case with you, I hope your family is supportive in what you choose to do. However, it is an important thing to think about if you are going to propose with an estate engagement ring.
I assume before you are planning a proposal you plan to spend the rest of your lives together, but to face facts not all marriages last. If the worst does happen, what happens to the ring? Your family heirloom?
You also have to consider the style of the ring. Not all women like or appreciate antique jewellery. If your partner has more modern tastes perhaps an estate engagement ring is not the right choice. That is your decision to make.