In many European countries jewellery is typically used as a gift for certain milestones; a child's birth, baptism, 1st birthday, holy communion, confirmation, etc ... and I've been the lucky recipient of many pieces of jewellery over the years. Most of these pieces sit in a bank vault. I have an aunt who lives in Trieste (near the Italian/Slovenian boarder) and she has given me some beautiful rings in the past but the one which I wear everyday is an heirloom that was given to her which she passed onto me about 20 years ago - it's a ring which has a beautiful large amethyst bauble set in gold. However my most prized possession is an Austrian Gold Coin my father gave me, which I would like to one day have made into a necklace.
Yes, I have received two rings from my grnadmother, one of which I lost at the beach many years ago - of course the nicest!
I also received my daughter's jewellery when she died -several rings, and necklace type things.
Also from my mother, wedding rings from my mother, father, and grandfather.
The nicest one is a huge 1 carat diamond from my mother's aunt who had no children, and who's husband was a jeweller in europe. This went on to be made into a three diamond ring with two other diamonds I had.
I have a lot of old costume jewellery from my mum, and watches, but do not wear any of these.
My Mother left behind a large English Cameo and a few other pce's...I think for daughters, there always seems to be one or two pce's left for them.
I have not worn them, just not something that is my taste...so they will be left for my son's.
My aunt gave me a beautiful crystal necklace that I wear when I go out (it gets plenty of use ). I was also given a beautiful strand of pearls. The crystal necklace belonged to my grandmother I think, but I am not sure where the pearls came from....maybe an aunt. They are both worth a lot to me. One time I couldn't find my pearls. I spent months looking for them. I was so upset. I was thinking I would have to get a new strand specially made. Then , one day, I was in my jewellery box looking for something to wear that day, and there were the pearls sitting right on top !! I had searched there many times. I had even taken evvery piece out of the box until the box was empty, and put it all back again. For them to be sitting in the box, right at the front is no coincidence. Someone put them there, it seems. I know it wasn't anyone in my family as they had all been aware they were missing . I know who put them there. She would have been upset when she saw me looking for them for months. Amazing what she did, despite being dead ten years.
I have a truly special antique gold charm bracelet which my father bought as an engagement gift for my mother, and I have her tiny gold watch as well. I also have some lovely pieces of costume jewellery which belonged to my mother.I was just 17 when my mother died at 42,and there had been a lot of angst between my sister and myself at the time. Mum had left a medallion to me as well,but my older sister made such a stinking fuss about it,despite the fact that she had inherited the amazing hand made wedding ring,along with other treasures filled with memories,that in the end,I just told her to take the darn thing and never mention it to me ever again. I got all of my mother's beautiful old books which were right up my alley anyway,so I was more than happy with these,along with the other items I have mentioned. I have bought many very special items of jewellery myself which I shall leave to my son. At least I know that I am the one who paid for those,and when my son does get them,it is up to HIM what he does with them!
Years ago mum gathered myself and my 3 daughters and handed out jewellery including pieces I had given her over the years. Probably my prizes piece is a pair of red spinel and gold earrings she was given as a present by an American sailor during the war years. As she wore hearing aides she was unable to wear them. I had them converted to pierced earings. Her reasoning was that she would rather see us wearing them so her enjoyment would be the present and not after she passed over.