Leave it to Miss Manners to clear up a major issue for jewelry inheritors. Is it appropriate to wear an ancestor’s engagement ring even if you’re not engaged or married and never plan on being?

Today, a reader asked the following question:

“DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am in my 50s, have never been married and I have no children, sisters, nieces or nephews. Being the only granddaughter, I inherited two diamond engagement rings from my grandmothers. They both have great sentimental value to me.

Would it be improper to wear them on my right-hand fingers? It’s a waste to let nice rings just sit in a box.”

Miss Manners replies by saying that, because they once were her grandmother’s rings but are now hers, they are no longer engagement rings but instead “Family Rings.”

For those interested in the concept of family rings, no need to wait for a relative to leave you a special ring. Consider John Christian’s Continuous Life Mothers’ Rings, which feature the names of children and family members; and also the Family Crest rings. Just provide your name and country of origin and the John Christian jewelers will do the rest.

They truly are “instant heirlooms.”