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Unexpected gift

(56 Posts)
Lizzle10 Thu 23-Sep-21 11:52:29

For several years I have worked for an elderly couple who over time have become very special to me, helping and supporting me through some tough times . They have a son and daughter who both live abroad and I no longer have my parents so we all mutually enjoy the relationship we have formed as it fills a void we all have . Last week whilst having coffee she opened a small box full of rings , asked me to try them on and choose one I liked . I said I couldn’t but she insisted as none of them were her ‘special’ rings . She is a great collector of jewellery real and costume so I assumed the rings were of little value . She picked up one and said I’d like you to have this , it was a very dark black looking stone with some clear diamond type stones round the edge . We tussled back and forth with me refusing until I finally agreed to take it . It was such a sweet thing and I’ve worn the ring ever since but yesterday my friend saw it and said what a beautiful ring that looks expensive . Now she’s said that I’ve looked at it and maybe it does , concerned now it may be of some value. I was thinking of taking it to the jewellers and if it is real returning it to her but I don’t want to upset her . What do you ladies think I should do?

crazyH Thu 23-Sep-21 12:00:42

She wanted you to have it and that’s it. If I was her, I would be really upset if someone returned my gift, for whatever reason. Both of you have great affection for each other. Keep the ring is my advice,

Shandy57 Thu 23-Sep-21 12:04:30

I agree, your friend would be very upset if you returned it. My daughter doesn't have any interest in my rings, and wouldn't care if I gave one to a treasured friend.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 23-Sep-21 12:05:41

I agree with crazyH. Keep it and wear it, whether valuable or not, to show her you love it and the lady who gave it to you I would get it valued though, as you may need to make special mention of it on your insurance for it to be covered.

NotSpaghetti Thu 23-Sep-21 12:06:07

If you like it enough to be wearing it, I'd say go on enjoying it.
An elderly lady gave me a brooch after I'd admired it once years before...
It's a privilege to give. Harder to receive. Your wearing of it will make her happy.

sodapop Thu 23-Sep-21 12:13:01

I agree with other posters Lizzle10 it will give both you and the donor great pleasure so enjoy your gift and don't worry.

Grandmabatty Thu 23-Sep-21 12:13:43

That is such a lovely gift. She obviously wanted to give it to you so returning it would be hurtful, I think. Definitely get it valued though,as you might have to insure it separately

Namsnanny Thu 23-Sep-21 12:17:53

From what you say, she clearly wanted you to have this particular ring.
Wear it enjoy it, and think of her.
Get it valued at some time though.

CafeAuLait Thu 23-Sep-21 12:50:28

I think you should accept the ring graciously and enjoy it. Your friend clearly wants you to have a gift and it has no doubt given her great joy to give the ring to you. That counts for a lot too.

nadateturbe Thu 23-Sep-21 12:56:01

I think I would get it valued now and if it turns out to be an expensive ring I would have to think carefully about whether to keep it or not.

grannyactivist Thu 23-Sep-21 13:01:46

I have been in a very similar situation and agree that you should accept the ring with the grace it was given.

A woman that I barely knew became very ill and so for several weeks I stepped in to take care of her, her children and her dog as her husband was working (in the military) abroad. When she recovered she gave me a ring that had belonged to her late mother and insisted I take it, which I eventually did with great reluctance. It’s a white gold clover leaf studded with marcasite and I’ve worn it for forty five years.

Riverwalk Thu 23-Sep-21 14:00:13

Your friend is free to give gifts as she's sees fit but I can understand your unease if it turns out to be valuable - you wouldn't want any future accusations of taking advantage.

It's a pity her children are abroad as you could have discreetly mentioned it - are you in any contact with them?

Nannarose Thu 23-Sep-21 15:09:22

I agree that you should keep it. I would also advise against getting it 'valued' - so you keep it simply for sentimental reasons, which is the spirit in which it was given.

My parents helped an elderly neighbour, and at one point she insisted that they take her late husband's 'Albert' , not because of its monetary value, but as a token.
We had to get it valued along with other jewellery, for probate when my parents died, and it did turn out to be worth quite a lot.
However, we had already decided how to share out the family Alberts among our sons. When we handed this one over, we simply said that it had been given as a token of friendship.

Lucca Thu 23-Sep-21 15:31:14

I disagree. You should have it valued for insurance.

Soroptimum Thu 23-Sep-21 15:38:10

Well I googled ‘Albert’ as I had not heard of this, but got some very strange results. wink

crazyH Thu 23-Sep-21 15:42:28

No point googling it then. So Nannarose, what’s an “Albert” ?

Riverwalk Thu 23-Sep-21 15:49:21

and at one point she insisted that they take her late husband's 'Albert'

Not his Prince Albert! shock

aggie Thu 23-Sep-21 15:54:44

It’s a watch , possibly on a chain

JaneJudge Thu 23-Sep-21 15:58:15

Lizzie, this has happened to me too but not a ring, a piece of furniture. I had it valued by an auction house (I can PM you their details if you want) and it wasn't worth as much as was thought but in that time I weighed up what to do and I thought I had helped my friend a lot and been there for her and her partner and they wanted me to have it it without an exchange of money, so I took it as a gift as was intended. I think I'd have upset them too much if I'd have offered money or given it them back.

Amberone Thu 23-Sep-21 16:07:09

I think an Albert is a chain that a pocket watch used to hang from. They were generally gold, so depending on the age, size, carat, etc, it could be worth a fair bit.

nadateturbe Thu 23-Sep-21 17:10:21


Your friend is free to give gifts as she's sees fit but I can understand your unease if it turns out to be valuable - you wouldn't want any future accusations of taking advantage.

It's a pity her children are abroad as you could have discreetly mentioned it - are you in any contact with them?

This is what would concern me.

M0nica Thu 23-Sep-21 17:45:13

If she is in her right mind than she is as free as you or me or our children to give all her belongings to anyone she chooses.

In fact you have done a lot for her that her children cannot do. They must be very trateful for this. You friend has given you a lovely present to show you her gratitude. I suspect she pushed you to choose that ring because she knew it was valuable and she wanted to say thank you and felt it wouldspoil your friendship to give money. Say 'thank you kindly' and tell her how much you will always appreciate the ring as a token of your friendship - then leave it at that.

Could you ask your DH to get it valued and work out whether it needs to be mentioned in the insurance. Then let him deal with the house insurance nad only find how much it is worth, when she dies.

lemsip Thu 23-Sep-21 18:09:07

I used to visit an old lady. when she died I was appalled when her family asked me to choose something of hers to remember her by...appalled to think that's why I had visited her for so long.... I won't forget her.

H1954 Thu 23-Sep-21 18:15:29

What a lovely relationship you have forged with this couple. The lady had obviously given a great deal of thought in offering you to choose from her selection of jewellery. I think you should keep the one she gave you, regardless of its possible value. It was given after a great deal of thought and in my opinion she and her OH truly value having you in their life. Stay safe and nurture this friendship, I wish there were more people like you in this mean spirited world.

sandelf Fri 24-Sep-21 10:37:31

Lovely generous act to give you this. Of course you should wear it BUT I would have it looked at by a jeweller - ask them to tell you what it is made of, and whether it is delicate, and a general value. You need to know these things - imagine you maltreat it or loose it and THEN discover it's very rare or valuable?