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 (29M) and I (28F) 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/living in debt. 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 did she not like that… 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…WAT?!
It seems like she views him as a deadbeat and she said she was concerned about the pressure I will face in my marriage by being the breadwinner/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?
Edit: thanks for everyone’s response! Just wanted to clarify a few things...
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 moms 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 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.
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 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.
YTA. You want a big huge diamond and are willing to destroy an heirloom to get it. Get something cheap then. My whole wedding set was less than $500. It's supposed to be about the symbolism, not the cost.
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.
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 too 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.
YTA for wanting to take apart a family heirloom!! Your mom’s reaction sounds unreasonable but that doesn’t mean you’re in the right. I cannot FATHOM taking apart any jewelry that my grandmother left me. Especially for an engagement ring?? This just screams tacky, I’m sorry but ugh. Yeah I guess it’s yours bc you inherited it but that doesn’t mean you’re not an ah for destroying a keepsake.
Did you not know your grandma, or was she mean to you? Did she make you promise to destroy the necklace like the ring of power??? That’s literally the only reason I can see a decent person wanting to ruin an heirloom like that.
YTA you don’t repurpose gifts given to you by dead loved ones. If you can’t afford the giant rock you want right now then you wait till you can. A lot of people start out with a simple ring and buy something more glamorous down the road.