Heirloom jewellery is a meaningful object that belongs to a family and gets passed on through generations. Why do some pieces of jewellery turn into heirlooms? Their value and beauty are crucial factors, but more importantly, the story behind them is key. Heirloom jewellery is symbolic of love, accomplishment and family.
Why are jewellery heirloom traditions created?
Heirloom jewellery traditions are almost invariably created on special occasions. Therefore, when you receive a memorable gift from a loved one you tend to value that object highly, This is because of the deep emotions attached to it.
That special significance is also what makes us want to give our heirloom items on to others. We hope that the future generations will cherish these symbolic possessions as much as we do.
In this way, heirloom jewellery creates a direct connection to our family history.
What occasions are suitable for passing on an heirloom jewellery piece?
If you own a family heirloom, you undoubtedly cherish it. So when you pass it on, the occasion must rise to the emotional value of the item.
Small and inexpensive jewellery heirlooms make wonderful coming of age gifts for young people. Sweet 16th, 18th and 21st birthdays are such times, as are communions, bar mitzvahs and graduations.
Grander pieces are suitable for adults and for marking big life events. For example, a child’s or grandchild’s engagement or marriage, the birth of a baby, or big round-number birthdays.
Types of jewellery heirlooms
Let’s take a look at some of the jewellery items that most often turn into family heirlooms.
1. Engagement rings
Engagement rings are quintessential heirlooms. They have huge sentimental significance as well as financial value. Engagement rings can also be re-worn, re-sized, melted down and cast again into other pieces of jewellery.
Vintage style diamond engagement ring
2. Diamond earrings
Jewellery and fashion professionals consider diamond earrings to be a ‘jewellery essential’. This is because a classic pair of diamond earrings goes with any outfit and never looks outdated. Diamond solitaire studs have lasting durability and beauty that’s tough and timeless enough to withstand generational wear.
3. Pendant necklaces
Diamond and gemstone necklaces are typical heirlooms. Many people receive cross pendants to commemorate their communion or wedding. Lockets, heart shaped pendants and initial necklaces are charming and personal items of jewellery.
Emerald and diamond necklace in yellow gold
4. Diamond bracelets
A diamond bracelet is a jewellery collection staple. Classic tennis bracelets are effortless to wear and never grow old-fashioned.
Diamond tennis bracelets
5. Eternity and wedding rings
An eternity ring is a beautiful and traditional representation of the circle of life. These special rings are often given as wedding rings, anniversary presents or to commemorate the birth of a first child. Few jewellery items are as representative of family ties and deep affection. When eventually handed down from parent to child, they create a legacy of love.
Diamond eternity rings
Creating your own jewellery heirloom
What if you wish to create your own heirloom? Jewellery is the perfect choice. If you buy a piece wisely, it can be worn and enjoyed forever.
Some classic heirloom jewellery items are diamond rings, platinum jewellery, pearls, and tennis bracelets.
If you want a gemstone, the Big Five Gems – diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and tanzanite – provide most financial value. In terms of durability, sapphires and rubies are the best due to their almost diamond-like hardness.
What to consider when choosing an heirloom?
When you purchase an item that you intend to pass on as a heirloom one day, consider its style and quality. It should be solidly made with first class materials that hold up to wear and tear. Finally, think timeless rather than trendy. Choose a classic style that will never go out of fashion.
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