When my mother-in-law passed away a few years ago, I inherited her wedding rings. They sat in a jewellery box for quite awhile as I considered what to do with them. They seemed so personal and so completely hers, not mine. Then a lovely conversation with a friend made me realize what a gift I had. She had several pieces of jewellery, including rings, that she had inherited from different relatives. As she pointed to each of the pieces she was wearing, she told me who she had received it from, and gave a mini-bio of the donor. Each one was a memento of someone whom she had cared about and served as a daily reminder of the role that person had played in her life. She was proud to wear them and to remember the people she had loved.

That conversation spurred me to consider my mother-in-law’s rings again. I had always been a bit in awe of her. She was bold and experimental with her cooking and her painting and she created beauty in her home and her amazing garden. She was a nurse and was very active as a volunteer in the community. I admired her greatly and grew to love her very much.

So I took the box out again and put her sweet old-fashioned wedding band on my ring finger with my rings and it has stayed there ever since. Then I studied her engagement ring: it was a simple gold band with three diamonds. Very beautiful and classy. I still didn’t want to wear it and it didn’t fit with my rings, so I took it to a wonderful jeweller who had made me an anniversary ring many years earlier and asked him to use her ring as the basis for a bracelet. (Mourguet, for the Toronto readers. He’s on Queen St. E. in the Beaches and he is fantastic!) After a bit of a discussion with him and a few sketches on either side, he came up with a fabulous design. I picked it up two days ago and I am thrilled with what he made. It is so completely perfect and beautiful and simple, and I’m sure my mother-in-law would have loved it too! If you look closely, you can see a line of gold on each silver band, and that’s the gold from her ring. So he used the whole ring in making this bangle and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result:

I would be interested to hear if anyone else has stories about wearing jewellery or clothing that you’ve inherited. Now that I’ve done this I can’t wait to wear it at every opportunity!


  1. I love this post, Jeanne! It really resonates with me, so soon after losing my mom.

  2. Oh, I'm glad Frances. I'm so happy I finally got around to doing something with her rings. Wore the bangle to a cousin's last night and told her all about it and that led to lots of reminiscing and many entertaining stories. Wonderful evening, wonderful memories.

  3. I wear a turquoise necklace from my grandmother. It has beautiful silver work and embedded tiny pearls. Every time I wear it I get a compliment. So, I wear it a lot!

    1. Wendy that sounds gorgeous. What a wonderful gift and memento. I'm sure you think of your grandmother every time you wear it.