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Woman Called Out For Planning To Use Diamond From Heirloom Necklace In Her Engagement Ring

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When someone thinks of an upcoming wedding, two of their earliest thoughts will center around the bride’s wedding dress and the size and sparkle of her engagement ring.

This may not be true for everyone, but it’s a popular consideration, reasoned one young woman on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor DogsandMedicine also wanted to use the occasion as a way to commemorate a lost loved one.

But when she received pushback for her idea, the Original Poster (OP) thought she might have been insensitive.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for using my dead grandmother’s diamond for an engagement ring against my mom’s wishes?”

The OP had a vision for her future engagement ring. 

“My grandmother passed away about 4 years ago.”

“In her will, she left me a beautiful diamond necklace that my mom (her daughter) really loves.”

“My boyfriend (29  [Male]) and I (28 [Female]) are planning on getting engaged soon.”

“We are tight on money—I’m a medical student living on loans, and he recently started his own business, which is not profitable at this time (still in the re-invest everything to help it grow phase).”

“I think it’s absurd to spend thousands of dollars on an engagement ring when we aren’t financially stable and living in debt.”

The OP’s mother did not appreciate this idea whatsoever. 

“I mentioned this to my mother and told her that, instead, I would use the center diamond from my inherited necklace as the diamond for the engagement ring.”

“Boy, she did not like that… She literally said she was ‘crushed’ that I would do such a thing.”

“She didn’t want me messing up the beautiful necklace but most importantly she thinks, ‘The man should be able to prove that he can provide for you, etc.’ and that if he can’t afford a ring, I shouldn’t be with him…”

“WHAT?! It seems like she views him as a deadbeat.”

“She also said she was concerned about the pressure I will face in my marriage by being the breadwinner or sole financial provider for him and my future family.”

“She’s also upset that I would take apart something so sentimental to her.”

“So question is—AITA for taking apart this necklace and using the diamond anyway, knowing it would ‘crush’ my mother?”

The OP also edited the post to clarify her intentions. 

“My mom has about 20 pieces that were left to her from my grandmother. I ‘inherited’ the one necklace.”

“However, everything is kept in a bank security deposit box under my mom’s name… so I don’t even have possession of the necklace.”

“Since my mom had many other heirlooms, I didn’t think she would mind what I did with the (my) necklace. Maybe that was selfish on my part.”

“To make things more complicated, my mother gave my brother my grandmother’s old engagement ring, so he could use it to propose to his girlfriend (now wife).”

“Because of this, I was completely taken aback when I was told I couldn’t do the same…”

“I do love my grandmother deeply and I wanted the diamond, so I could look at my hand and think of her.”

“She had one of the biggest hearts, so I thought it would be fitting to use something of hers that symbolizes love.”

“Instead, it just sits in a bank security box along will all of my mother’s other valued material possessions.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the OP had the right, since the necklace was intended for her. 

“Suggestion: Please get a professional appraisal of the necklace before you dismantle it. If the necklace is a high-quality piece with carefully matched stones, or is from a recognized designer, or is valuable for reasons other than the value of its components, I encourage you to keep it as-is.”

“Yes, it is yours and you can do as you wish. But you can get an engagement ring with a manufactured stone that is just as beautiful as a ‘genuine’ diamond.”

“If you are sincerely interested in making a sound financial decision, you need to find out the value of that necklace before you alter it in any way.”NoxWild

“I’m not sure if the responders have understood the ownership of the necklace or the reasons for your mother’s distress. It’s yours to do with what you will, and much of your mother’s feelings stem from outdated concepts of relationship dynamics (and given that the necklace is yours, are largely irrelevant anyway).”

“Grandma gave it to you. Even if she would’ve been opposed to cannibalizing it – and for all we know, she’d be pleased knowing it became your engagement ring – she’s gone, and it’s yours (although I agree with the top comment about getting it appraised first).

“NTA.” – TeamSandersHRE

“NTA: Depending on the piece there’s a pretty big chance you can remove the diamond without ruining the necklace and have a different stone put in that so you can still wear it. We do it all the time where I work.”

“It’s yours, it does no one any good sitting in a box because it’s not in a form you will wear.”

“A decent jeweler knows how to do it. Hell, over time the parts that hold the stones need to be repaired or replaced and someone competent can do it while keeping the piece look like it was never touched.”

“Some of the responses here act like the jeweler got their training by watching Kathy Bates bash the shit out of James Caan!!! (a reference to Stephen King’s film, Misery)”SimAlienAntFarm

Others questioned the OP’s motives beyond finances. 

“ESH. Your mom is being sexist, so she sucks there. And while she has no right to the necklace, I can understand why she’s sad about it.”

“On your end, it seems like your motivation for dismantling the necklace is highly financial. You mention that way more than the sentiment of your ring being from your grandma. Don’t let your current financial position sway you in an irreversible choice about your grandma’s jewelry.”

“But also, if you two are not yet financially stable, is it really a time to be getting married yet? Jumping to taking a diamond from a family heirloom because you can’t afford a ring just sits a little wrong.”dotmur16

“YTA.”

“That necklace is a keepsake your mother has of her mother. Let it be.”

“You don’t have to spend thousands on an engagement ring. I have many friends who got engaged with rings that weren’t diamonds, and they spent much less than they would have with a diamond. Sapphire, emerald, ruby, even pearl or garnet, make lovely rings on a more sensible budget.”Jazzlike_Humor3340

“I’m sorry OP doesn’t like necklaces, but I wonder if her grandma would have even handed it down to her instead of OP’s mom if she knew OP didn’t even like it and was going to dismantle it.”

“The grandma likely didn’t hand it down to her so she has access to the diamonds themselves, it was the necklace as a whole that she wanted OP to have.”

“Seems cruel that OP’s mom loves it and it means a lot to her, but that since grandma handed it down to OP she has to watch her dismantle it after grandma’s dead when she herself would actually appreciate and want it.”TellSomebodyIt_

Some said repurposing the necklace would still make it a sentimental piece.

“How is repurposing a beautiful piece of jewelry destroying it? Taking stones from one piece of sentimental jewelry and putting them in another is how many heirlooms themselves get made.”SaveBandit987654321

“I can see the symbolism in converting the necklace. That wouldn’t be about the money, but about using something she already has and not spending more money.”shellshell21

“She doesn’t really like necklaces and would be able to wear something from her grandma this way? I wouldn’t take it apart, but it’s still can be sentimental to have the necklace destroyed.”

“I agree with the idea of getting a cheap ring now. Probably wouldn’t save any money on the ring, really.”Robina8

Though the OP didn’t think her plan was terrible, the subReddit had mixed feelings. Though some agreed she had the right to alter the jewelry in any way, because it’s hers, others thought it was more important to preserve the family heirloom and to save money, since the couple was not in financially the best place.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.