What Is a Family Heirloom?


Do you have a family heirloom that’s over fifty years old? If so, you’re among forty-two percent of Americans.

Maybe you want to leave prized possessions for generations to come. You may be wondering, though, what counts as a family heirloom?

We’re here to answer that question and give you a few heirloom ideas.

What Is a Family Heirloom?

When you think about a family heirloom, maybe family wealth, a wedding ring, or expensive jewelry comes to mind.

The truth is, a family heirloom can be whatever you want it to be as long as it’s one of your prized possessions. Traditionally, it has monetary value or is tied to family wealth in some way.

If you’re trying to decide on a family heirloom, think about something that has personal value to you. It should be something that tells a story about you as an individual, or about your family.

Class Rings

Maybe you have a father or grandfather who never leaves home without his class ring. He’s even mentioned that he’s going to pass his down to you one day.

Have you ever wondered why they’re significant? Class rings are a kind of family heirloom that has a rich and interesting origin. Click here to learn about the complete history.

Expensive Jewelry Collection

If you want expensive jewelry as part of your heirloom, make it as personalized as possible. Other than having personal value, they could be items that say something about your culture or heritage.

Additionally, expensive jewelry will tell a story about the era they’re from. How does its unique design speak to the trends of the day?

However, make sure it doesn’t look too trendy. You want the heirloom to have a timelessness so it appeals to future generations. Regardless, your future grandchildren will be delighted about having new vintage pieces.

Wedding Ring

Why not make your wedding ring can be the centerpiece of your expensive jewelry collection? It’s a beautiful way to keep the love story in your family alive.

Handing down a wedding ring is also a practical way to make sure your kids have a ring with which they can propose. They won’t have to spend thousands on a new one.

More Kinds of Heirlooms

Traditionally, heirlooms have monetary value, but they don’t have to. You get to make and break the rules.

Instead of letting your old clothes find their way into an antique shop, why not hang on to your bellbottoms from the 1970s or your windbreaker from the 1990s?

Here are some other heirloom ideas:

  • A hand-written recipe
  • A quilt sewn by hand
  • An old-school kitchen appliance
  • Antique furniture
  • A family photo with historical significance

As long as you take the time to preserve the items, you can turn almost anything into an heirloom.

Choosing Your Prized Possessions

Whether you hand down your wedding ring or expensive jewelry, your heirloom should have special meaning to you. It should tell a story that future generations will cherish.

If you need advice for styling jewelry new and old, keep reading our site.

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