An surprising discovery a few household heirloom does not make it any much less valuable

The story went like this: my husband’s Grandpa Ruby was a larger-than-life character, universally beloved by everybody he met. His laughter was mentioned to replenish a room, and he was movie-star good-looking, with a full head of hair and eyes that sparkled. He’d had dance classes as a baby, so he was an unbelievable dancer, in addition to being an completed athlete.

Doug’s ruby cufflinks | Credit score: Brenda Janowitz

True to his title, he wore a ruby on his pinkie finger. A ruby for Ruby. As the only grandson within the household, my husband, Doug, knew, for so long as he may bear in mind, that he could be the one to inherit the ring. The ring was particular. Folks knew Ruby by the stone he wore — it was a part of the legend of Ruby Lebenbaum.

Ruby died when my husband was solely twelve. Members of the family started to whisper — absolutely a twelve-year-old would not inherit a stone so massive, so beneficial. However my mother-in-law, Judy, determined that Doug would take quick possession of her father’s ring. However to not put on simply but. The costly ruby would go immediately right into a financial institution vault for safekeeping. It will re-emerge when the time was proper.

A New Setting for the Ruby

Years later, when Doug was in faculty, Judy decided that it was time: he was sufficiently old to begin sporting the ring, mature sufficient to maintain this priceless household heirloom. Pinkie rings had been not in model, so Judy instructed a visit to the household jeweler to brainstorm concepts on how Doug may put on the ruby.

It felt like a ceremony of passage

Doug was excited to lastly take possession of the ring he’d admired all through his childhood. It felt like a ceremony of passage — lastly, his birthright. The jeweler instructed making a pair of memento cufflinks; he’d haven’t any drawback changing the unique ruby from the ring right into a cufflink, and he’d simply be capable to discover a match for them to make an entire set.

Doug and Judy had been thrilled. Ruby’s ruby would stay on, by way of their household, and Doug would have a reminder of his beloved grandfather each time he wore the cufflinks. In any case, heirlooms are an necessary reminder of our previous. Seeing them can remind us of the one that gave them to us, and sporting them can provide us the sensation that the individual remains to be with us, their spirit conjured by the easy act of getting certainly one of their treasured gadgets shut.

Doug’s Grandpa Ruby | Credit score: Brenda Janowitz

I do know the sensation. I’ve a number of of my beloved Grandma Dorothy’s rings and I put on not less than certainly one of them practically each day. Some days, I put on three at a time. Each time I have a look at the rings, I consider my grandmother — the tiny however powerful matriarch of our household. After I have a look at the gold ring with an enormous star on it, I am unable to assist however consider my childhood. Dozens of reminiscences are stuffed along with her, sporting that ring. After which someday, once we had been each older, me, age 30, her, age 85, I instructed her how a lot I beloved it, what it meant to me. She held it out for me to take.

“Why wait till I am lifeless?” she mentioned. “When you find it irresistible, why not take it now? That method, I can see you having fun with it.”

And I did take pleasure in sporting it. (Nonetheless do. I am sporting it as I write this.)

Doug was anticipating to have an identical feeling when he wore his Grandpa Ruby’s ruby, quickly to be transformed into cufflinks. He was excited as they stood on the jeweler’s counter, prepared for him to inform them how lengthy it might take to supply an identical ruby.

An Surprising Revelation

“Let’s check out this stone,” the jeweler mentioned, bringing the loop as much as his eye. “Oh.” He seemed up at my husband and my mother-in-law, after which again down on the ring once more. “So, we’ll do a pretend for the second cufflink?”


“After all not,” Judy mentioned, furrowing her forehead. Indignant. “Why would we get a pretend?”

“You possibly can preserve the associated fee down, for one,” the jeweler replied, nonetheless wanting by way of the loop. “And, in fact, you understand that this ruby is pretend.”

The jeweler introduced the loop down and checked out my mother-in-law and husband. Judy’s face had gone pale. The jeweler had been incorrect. My mother-in-law didn’t know that the ruby was a pretend.

The story, it appeared, had modified. Ruby’s ruby wasn’t a ruby, in any case. The ring that they’d thought was so beneficial {that a} twelve-year-old could not presumably maintain it, the ring that had sat, protected, in a protected deposit field for nearly ten years, wasn’t price a fraction of what they’d initially thought. The priceless heirloom wasn’t priceless, in any case. The stone was manufactured from paste.

The destiny of the ring was determined.

“There’s just one answer,” Judy mentioned, steadying her voice, “We purchase two new rubies, and create the ruby cufflinks we initially supposed.”

“However I need Grandpa Ruby’s stone,” Doug mentioned.

“Sure, however that is a pretend,” Judy mentioned, nonetheless in shock over what she’d simply discovered. She was confused —there was no method that her mom would have purchased a pretend ruby for her father, all these years in the past. Had she been duped when she initially purchased the ring? However Judy could not ask, her mom lengthy passed by this time.

“You do not wish to put an actual ruby in a single cufflink,” the jeweler instructed Doug, “and have a pretend within the different.”

“Then match my grandfather’s stone with one other pretend,” Doug mentioned.

The destiny of the ring was determined.

The Energy of Heirlooms

Just a few weeks later, the cufflinks had been prepared. And with them, a brand new household legend was born. From the story of Ruby’s ruby got here a special story, and a thriller at that: was the ring ever actual? Had it been actual at one level, after which changed? Or was it all the time manufactured from paste?

It isn’t the financial worth that makes them necessary.

We’d by no means discover out.

Doug proudly wore Grandpa Ruby’s cufflinks at our marriage ceremony, grateful to have a bit of his beloved grandfather with us for the necessary day. It did not matter that the ruby wasn’t fairly as beneficial as they initially thought. It did not even matter that it wasn’t actually a ruby. What mattered was that when he wore the cufflinks, he felt like his grandfather was part of our big day, as if he had been wanting down on us, seeing the person he’d turn into.

As a result of that is the facility of heirlooms, is not it? It isn’t the financial worth that makes them necessary. It is the one that as soon as owned them, their reminiscence. Their story that lives on by way of the one that wears it.

We’ll by no means know the true story of Grandpa Ruby’s ruby. However as Doug proudly wears it for different necessary moments in our life, we understand: it does not matter.