Hive, I finally decided on my something old and something new.
This may look like a simple ring and pendant, but what if I told you they were actually the same thing? Don’t be surprised, but they actually are! I’ve had a great experience turning an old piece of jewelry into something new.
It all started when I saw the one of the tasks on The Knot wedding checklist: “Prepare your “somethings”—something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. I immediately deleted this task because I figured I wouldn’t be able to do this tradition. I simply wasn’t interested in going through the trouble of having my family mail me something valuable for my something old and something borrowed. I’m terrified of having something valuable lost in the mail.
One night I was rummaging around in my jewelry box and found an old ring from my deceased grandmother. My grandmother passed away when I was 12, and I have very fond memories of her and I thought it would be nice to try and incorporate her in the wedding. My sister, about ten years before at her wedding, decided to have an empty chair with a framed photo of my grandmother and a rose to honor her which I thought was very sweet. I started to think about ways that I could incorporate my deceased grandmother into the wedding as well. Since my sister used a photo, I decided to use the ring to be a little different. Sadly, the ring is in a bad state. It is a very old ring and it is quite large—it can only fit on my thumb. The ring once had about seven stones in it, but they sadly all fell out of the setting due to age. I debated wrapping the ring around my bouquet wrap, but I thought that once the wedding was over I would just put the ring back into the jewelry box where it would sit unused. I decided that it would be wasteful, so I started to research ways that I could have the ring re-sized and have the stones replaced.
Before: My grandmother’s ring
Jewelry and metal-working services are very expensive in Japan. I compared and contrasted the costs between Japan and America and having it done in Japan would have cost almost twice as much. I debated sending it to the States and having it done there, but I hated the thought of losing the ring in the mail. I didn’t have enough money in my budget to have the ring redone, so I started to give up on the idea until I stumbled on a shop’s website that melted down old jewelry and made new jewelry out of the metal. This idea intrigued me, but I had my reservations. Would it be disrespectful to melt down my grandmothers old ring? Should I just keep it as is? In the end, I decided that leaving the ring in my jewelry box forever would not be a good way to remember my grandmother. I decided to turn the ring into something I could actually wear and remember my grandmother whenever I wore it.
I found a place that was reasonably priced and went in for a consultation. The artisan told me the ring was nine karat gold and that he could make something small, such as a pendant for a necklace. Mr. G and I chose a design and a gemstone (an amethyst, which is my grandmother’s birthstone) and left the ring in the hands of the artisan. A few days later we came back and I was shocked at what he had accomplished.
After: The pendant
The pendant is seriously better than anything I could have imagined. It is shiny and bright while the old ring was quite old and tarnished. I have no idea how the artisan made such a great transformation! I am very happy that I went ahead and had it melted down. I feel that my grandmother would prefer me having a cute necklace than leaving her ring in the bottom of my jewelry box. I plan to wrap the pendant around my bouquet wrap and then wear it as a necklace after the wedding.
I unknowingly also created a two-in-one “something.” My something old—my grandmother’s ring, and my something new—the newly made pendant, are now one thing. Now that I have something old and something new, I figure I should go ahead and complete the tradition. I’m currently looking for my something borrowed and my something blue. I love the blue shoe trend, so I may do that. I’m still wondering what I could do for the something borrowed. There are not many people I can borrow from, as the idea of having “something borrowed” is very foreign in Japan. The main person I could borrow from would probably be Mr. G or his mother. If you are doing the tradition, what are your somethings? Is anyone borrowing or has borrowed something from their spouse?
Do you think it was a good idea to have the ring melted down, or should I have left the ring as is?