Jewelry Keepsakes

February 8, 2012 by  

What Do You Do with Jewelry Keepsakes?

Are your divorce diamonds considered jewelry keepsakes?  What To Do With Them? I’m going to go over two different situations, much with the same results.

Here is my current engagement ring – Let me tell you the story behind it.

diamond engagement ring

I was divorced in 2001 after close to twenty years of marriage.  I had accumulated not only my engagement ring, but several other diamond and gemstone rings. I didn’t know what to do with them.

From my ex husband starting out in jewelry early in our relationship, I was shocked to see how little people actually got back for their rings if they tried to sell them back. Ebay or Craigs list was always an option.

I considered giving them to my son’s, but it just seemed like “divorce diamonds” weren’t a real great gift to give your boys to give to their future wives.

Dave and I discussed an option when we were dating, knowing we were getting close to being engaged. He knew I had a pretty good idea of a ring I wanted to have, and I knew he was a pretty frugal guy. We didn’t have a lot of extra money to put into an engagement ring.

Dave did want to surprise me (which he did…. another story) when he asked me to marry him. He did go ring shopping and picked out an engagement ring, but also told the clerk there was a really good chance he would be returning it.

What we did, was to go to a jeweler that I knew and trusted and we designed my ring.  I took in the several rings that I had, including my engagement ring and we did an exchange.  Dave would not agree to let me use the main diamond from the old engagement ring (we picked one out together) but we did use all the little diamonds from the different rings in my new ring.  To get the perfect sizes etc the jeweler actually exchanged them out evenly so none of the exact same diamonds are now in this ring.  He also used the gold from those ring for the gold in my new ring.  So we only had the cost of the main diamond and the jewelers time.  The rings also helped pay for some of the other costs.

engagement ring

I got the ring I wanted and ended up saving Dave over $2,000 from the ring he originally had picked out for me.

The ring has both yellow gold and white gold in it (which I wanted). I kept my wedding band super simple since my engagement ring was fairly ornate. It is cut to fit snug to the engagement ring, but isn’t in these pictures.

There is scroll work on the sies of it (that is hard to see in these pictures) and the jeweler was so pleased with it, he made it one of his “signature” rings. He won’t repeat the same ring, but he said he has only chosen about 50 pieces in his long career that he has made his signature pieces. It has his initials in one of the small gold circles on the sides.

engagement ring

My Mom and Grandmother’s Engagement Rings

My Mom passed away in 1999.  Her engagement ring was slated to go to my older sister.  Mom had her ring, and she also had a one diamond out of the double diamond ring of her mother’s (my Grandmother).

My sister doesn’t wear rings much at all, and she was going to take Mom’s diamond and make a necklace out of it.  I was going to get Grandmother’s loose diamond and make a ring out of it.  So she decided the best thing to do was to give me Mom’s ring and she would take Grandmother’s diamond.


We found Grandmother’s engagement ring in Mom’s jewelry box, with the two empty shanks where her diamonds had been. (one diamond had gone to Mom, the other to her sister). Kathy was fine with me having Grandmother’s empty ring also.

I decided that I wanted one ring – with both Mom and Grandmothers engagement rings attached.  I took my idea and the rings to several jewelers. One wanted to do some fancy ring that didn’t look anything like their rings with the materials I had. I told him that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted the ring to look just like their rings. It was in their memory.

I had another jeweler tell me that would look dumb. I left.

Then I went to Michael of Jewelry by Michael. He was nice, he worked through what I wanted and he made me a ring that I cherish and wear everyday on my right ring finger.

memory ringMom’s ring is the single diamond and Grandmothers is the double ring.  The rings are both white gold, but I wear both yellow and white gold so I had him put yellow gold inbetween them to attach them.  There isn’t a time that I look at this ring and  don’t think of Mom and Grandmother.

These rings could have sat in my jewelry box, gather dust… but instead I wear them everyday in memory of my Mom and Grandmother.

See if there is a solution for special keepsakes to actually enjoy them and use them.   As for the divorce diamonds, you could also give the rings to a child (if you can’t use them) and have them exchange the materials for a ring for someone else (if you are comfortable with that).

Just be sure to find a jeweler that you can trust and that you know will do right by you.

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9 Responses to “Jewelry Keepsakes”
  1. Janeen says:

    I have a cocktail ring of my grandmother’s and it’s very ornate with a good 13 diamonds. Since the ring is so small (my grandmother had tiny fingers), it doesn’t fit anywhere but my pinky. Have always thought about getting something done with it but have also been told by a friend not to do anything with it other than get it resized. There’s no way though I would wear it as it is so it has been sitting. But then, considering I don’t even wear my wedding band, it’s hard to say if I would wear it even if I got anything done with it. I’ve gotten more sensitive to jewelry and rings tend to irritate my fingers now especially since I have a hard time keeping my rings sized big enough for my fingers.

  2. Sandy says:

    Is it something you could have made into a necklace? First of all, do you like the way it looks and would you want to wear it? If so, I would take it to a jeweler and ask for suggestions. I’m sure prongs would have to be checked to make sure they are secure. I know on my mom’s diamond the prongs were very worn and needed to be remade.
    If it isn’t something you care for, consider having something made up you would wear using the diamonds and gold and wear it. You would know it was from your Grandmother. Just be sure to take pictures of the original, so you have that memory preserved too.

  3. Kelli says:

    I ended up selling my engagement rings (solitare and wrap) and wedding band and I got no where near what I (yes I said I since I ended up paying off the balances) paid for them but it was extra money that I needed and I got rid of the rings which were sitting in a box and I was having to pay for the extra insurance retainer on them! The one set that my ex-husband purchased for me was a ring, earring and necklace set that I took to my jeweler and he consigned them for me. As far as I was concerned, it’s all extra money since I didn’t pay for it! He got me far more than I thought I would get!

  4. Sandy says:

    yes.. it’s hard to decide what to do with them isn’t it?

  5. This is a GREAT idea! I’m hoping my daughter doesn’t have to deal with “divorce diamonds” but the keepsake theme is priceless. We featured your idea in today’s V-Day roundup — keep up the great work!

  6. Sandy says:

    Thanks Linsey for the comment and also including me in your post. I appreciate it!

  7. Petula says:

    I still have my band and diamond solitaire. I would wear the diamond on my right hand, but it doesn’t fit that hand. Interesting what you did with your rings… lovely mementos.

  8. Sandy says:

    Thanks Petula

  9. Sarah says:

    Very interesting ideas! I sold mine after I was divorced, and got maybe 1/4 of what we paid for it in the first place. It was frustrating, but I really just wanted to get rid of it. I do wonder though what I can do in the future with jewelry that’s been passed to me, and what I could do for my children.

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