Fury Over Man Agreeing to 'Mutilate' Late Grandma's Ring to Please Fiancé

Family heirlooms often play an important role in bringing close loved ones together and linking them to past generations.

The value of such items is keenly felt among Americans, with a 2021 survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Shinola finding that nearly half of those quizzed ranked a family heirloom among their most prized possessions.

For these people, such items have a value that goes beyond monetary. "Being given a family heirloom is so much more than just receiving a physical gift – it's something that has lived a life already, and now it's going to make more memories with a new owner," Shinola's CEO Shannon Washburn explained. "There are stories engrained in those goods that are special to that piece only. It's like being handed a piece of your own family's history that you're lucky enough to carry on."

Aside from family photos (65 percent), wedding rings (56 percent), pieces of jewelry (54 percent) and engagement rings (50 percent) ranked among Americans' most prized possessions, according to the study.

Such items take on a symbolic meaning, with an heirloom ring coming with the hope and promise of replicating the love and happiness of the previous owner. Maybe that's why the actions of one newly-engaged man posting to Reddit have sparked so much anger on social media.

Writing under the handle Cold-Bookkeeper-4278, the 28-year-old revealed that a few months ago he popped the question to his now-fiance using the diamond engagement ring his late grandmother left to his mother.

She had originally intended to pass the ring down to her daughter, the man's older sister, but she already had a ring from her husband. It was therefore decided her son would propose with it. When it came time for him to get down on one knee, however, the reaction wasn't what he was hoping for.

According to the post, while his fiance was "amazed at the size of the rock" she "didn't like the ring" and asked if they could take the diamond out and use it in something "more modern."

Though his mom was "surprised" at the decision, he insisted she was "not upset" and instead asked if she could have the setting back as the inside was engraved with his grandparents' initials and a message.

It seemed as though the situation had been resolved, but matters came to a head with his sister when she saw the ring for the first time while they were all visiting their parents for Father's Day.

The man's sister was initially confused upon seeing the ring. When he later confronted her over it she told him: "If I knew you were going to mutilate gram's ring I wouldn't have told mom to give it to you."

She said that while it was their "prerogative" to remove the diamond for a new ring, "the setting was a piece of family history and sentimental and she didn't want it getting tossed aside."

Angry at the exchange, the man wrote that his sister's comments "spoiled" the engagement party. Yet for many online, the occasion was ruined the minute he chose to remove the stone from what was viewed as a priceless family heirloom.

"You clearly missed the sentimentality of the piece and just plain old dropped the ball on asking Mom if it was okay to reconstruct the piece," Twiddlywerp wrote. "Of course, Mom seemed okay with it after the fact, what else was she going to do? Wrestle the ring off your girlfriend's finger and demand it be put back together?"

Here_for_tea_ said he clearly "didn't care about a family heirloom" and "just wanted to save money on an engagement ring" while LilShortyMama commented that he was so "freaking entitled it's disgusting" adding that "so is his fiance."

ArbitraryAngelfish said: "If he weren't so selfish, there would be no need for a new stone in the first place, because he'd have told his girlfriend: 'No. I'm happy to save up and get you a ring you like, but I will not be dismantling a treasured family heirloom because you want a bigger diamond for free.'"

Sailingisgreat added: "An heirloom with a personalized inscription. That's priceless, so sentimental, a piece of his grandparents. Only an oaf doesn't care about that."

Newsweek has reached out to Cold-Bookkeeper-4278 for comment.

A diamond engagement ring.
Aman has sparked fury after removing the diamond from a beloved family heirloom. Stock image of a diamond engagement ring. Kwangmoozaa/Getty