My future mother in law just lost her husband, and he liked diamonds. She offered to take the diamond out of his ring, and purchase the setting for me, for the .
Everyone I've talked to just keeps telling me to get over it, go with her and pick out a pretty setting for the diamond. I DO want to honor her, and Dewey (her husband), and it would be a touching thing, to have his ring as our wedding bands. My fiance is using his other ring as his band.
Is there some company that would recycle the band he had, and make it into a woman's ring? I did find one, but they were SO pricey it made my teeth hurt. Plus, future ma is kind of bucking the recycling idea....afraid it might break or something. I feel so, well, awkward. Thankful, but awkward. This is a pretty tough and personal matter, so I understand if you don't have any 'feelings' answers, but if you know of some jewelers that would do this for less than two months salaries, that would be pretty freaking sweet. In the meantime, I'll keep searching.
You're so lucky! A family ring! It's saturated with symbolism and it's better for the environment and the budget. Hooray!
I don't think you should make this process difficult for your "future ma" who is being very generous and welcoming.
With that said, I do think it's possible for you to make one more push to have the old setting melted down and recast into a new setting. I have never heard of "recycled" rings being less durable than non-recycled rings. In fact, I think it's a pretty common practice for jewelers to get their hands on formerly-used metals (from industry, maybe?) and repurpose them into rings. Don't quote me as the expert on that (I just remember reading something during my ring research days.). However, I'm sure you could google it and find lots of evidence.
I found lots of independent jewelers--like Sally Brock of Fancy Jewels--who were able to melt down old gold and cast it into new settings. The only problem I encountered was that some of the smaller jewelers couldn't change the color of the gold (e.g., from yellow to white). I imagine there are lots and lots of talented jewelers on Etsy who would be willing to help you out.
You could make the argument that it's even more sentimental and sweet to incorporate the old metal into the new ring!
If you go with a more expensive company like greenKarat, you could ask additional family and friends to donate their old jewelry to the cause (including broken chains, earrings with missing pairs, or break-up jewelry--the bad karma gets melted out, in my opinion). Matt and I were able to drop the cost of our rings from over $1300 to just over $100.
In the end, if it starts to get too complicated and too contentious, I would side with your friends and say just "get over it." You're already doing a huge thing by not contributing to the diamond trade.
Sending good thoughts your way!