Engagement rings are a major investment that can cost up to thousands of dollars and are a physical representation of a couple’s relationship. However, there are circumstances in which someone may want to return an engagement ring.
- A happily married couple may be looking to raise funds due to unforeseen financial difficulties
- Or the wearer of the ring may simply be looking for a different style
- Maybe it is a family heirloom
- Perhaps the most difficult reason for returning an engagement ring is divorce or a broken engagement.
Regardless of your circumstances, keep reading to find out your options for returning your engagement ring.
Get answers to the following:
- Who gets to keep the engagement ring in a divorce or breakup
- What about the legalities
- Can you return an engagement ring
- What do I need in order to return an engagement ring
- What if the storeI bought the ring from does not accept returns
- Sell your engagement ring
Who Gets To Keep The Engagement Ring?
If you are returning an engagement ring due to divorce, there is first the question of who gets to keep the ring: the buyer or recipient? Some individuals believe that it is proper etiquette to return the ring to its buyer.
As early 1922, renowned etiquette expert Emily Post wrote, “If the engagement should be so unfortunate as to be broken off, the engagement ring and all other gifts of value must be returned.”In modern etiquette, Judith Martin, with the pen name Miss Manners, wrote, “Legally or emotionally, one can never be truly compensated for the failure of love . . . your self-respect would be best served by letting it go.”
Even decades apart, both women agree that the engagement ring, as well as any other valuable gifts, must be immediately returned to their original owner after a broken engagement. However, this really is a personal decision and one that should be agreed on by both parties.
What About The Legalities?
The laws determining which party is entitled to the engagement ring varies by country and by US state. Certain states view the ring as a conditional gift, with the condition being marriage. Once the vows are exchanged a contractual agreement is formed and the person who wants to divorce is breaking the contract. This means that this individual is at fault and will not get the ring.
For example, if a the buyer of the ring wants to get a divorce, then the receiver of the ring can claim that they get to keep the ring as they were not the one who broke the contract. Alternatively, if the recipient of the ring wants to get a divorce, then the buyer has the right to the engagement ring. However, if the couple splits before the marriage then the condition of marriage was never met and the ring can be taken back by its buyer.
Some courts state that if the engagement ring was given on a gift giving holiday, such as Christmas or a birthday, then it is strictly a gift for its respective holiday and should not be recovered by its buyer. Few states view the ring as an unconditional gift, which means that once the gift is accepted by its recipient, then the gift exchange is complete and irrevocable, regardless of who is at fault.
Now, more states are turning to a no-fault approach where it is possible to settle the divorce without attributing blame, making the process easier for all parties. If you are unsure about your state’s rules, read our state by state breakdown, but it is always recommended to consult an attorney in your state.
Can You Return An Engagement Ring?
After determining who has the rights to the engagement ring, the next step is returning it. Each store will have a different return policy and it is important to learn them in order to get the best exchange deal. Some stores have a dated return policy that range from as little as 90 days to a year from the date of purchase.
However the reality is that most stores will simply not take ring to the ring back. Especially those that:
- Have been personalized
- Were repaired in another store
- Are missing paper work
- Were on clearance
Also, some stores will only consider an exchange for a different piece of identical or higher value rather than a refund.
What Do I Need In Order To Return An Engagement Ring?
If the store you purchased from does accept returns, try to connect with the same person you bought the engagement ring from for a personal connection. You will need to have all of the ring’s documentation which can include its receipt, GIA report certificate, and any other gemological lab certification in order to show its authenticity.
What If The Store Does Not Accept Returns?
Don’t worry, if you are unable to return the engagement ring, you have other options:
You can donate your ring to charity to receive a tax deduction and the positive feeling of a good deed done.
- Pawn Shop
Pawnshops make it quick and easy to sell your ring, but given that the majority of pawnshops are not jewelers or gemologists that can accurately price your engagement ring, you may make a substantial loss.
- Online Ads
You can easily place an online ad on platforms like Craigslist where you can name your price. However, you will need to wait for interested buyers to reach out to you meaning that it can take a long time.
More importantly, there are genuine safety concerns when selling by placing an online ad. You will need to make sure that you take caution and do not exchange any unnecessary information such as your personal and financial details. Always meet with potential buyers in public places along with a friend or family member.
- Auction Websites
Websites such as eBay use the auction format, whereby you can set your price and have interested parties bid on the engagement ring. Much like with online ads, you will need to ensure that you do not share any unnecessary personal information. Be prepared for the sale to take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Ultimately, there is no guarantee of a sale with this option.
- Expert Online Diamond Buyers
At myGemma, we specialize in safely buying your engagement rings, luxury jewelry, watches and handbags in as little as 24 hours. Our secure and expert service has earned us an A+ rating with the BBB and we work with hundreds of satisfied customers every day. As specialist online diamond buyers, we have the industry connections necessary to get you the best price possible. Best of all, there are no fees, commissions or high-pressure sales tactics.
Sell Your Engagement Ring
To get a price quote on your engagement ring today, fill out our simple online form. Or call or text us at 646-569-3655 to speak with our GIA certified gemologists.
We also offer a trade-in program where you can update your engagement ring. Simply sell your ring to us and receive up to 10% more on your price in store credit with one of our many partners.