Selling an Engagement Ring

United Kingdom
March 7, 2017 12:17pm CST
There is some debate about whether or not it should be acceptable to sell an engagement ring given by a former partner, as it is a symbol of a promise which, if the partner is 'former' then that promise has not been kept. Does the ring then belong to the giver or the recipient? What should happen to it? Was it a gift so the giver has no right to expect it back? Or is the recipient obliged to return it? Well, here is my dilemma: I was engaged to my ex (M). I still have the ring, which is just sitting around doing nothing. I'd give it back to him if he wanted it, albeit reluctantly and in the knowledge it would either get lost or sold for beer money. A significant part of the problem for me is that I have not been able to make contact with M for several months now so I couldn't ask him about it even if I wanted to. There is also this: M is Mini's father and, since we left him 3 years ago, M has spent as little time as possible with Mini, culminating in them having no contact at all for the best part of a year. M has also never paid a penny towards Mini, despite demands from the Child Maintenance Service. In fact, as soon as CMS began to chase him up for maintenance, M suddenly became unemployed and uncontactable. So, would I be justified in selling the engagement ring he gave me, the proceeds of which would go towards his child? Rather than it sitting around gathering dust, would it not be better to sell it and use the cash for something worthwhile? What would you do? I have no idea how much the ring is worth.
7 people like this
7 responses
@Happy2BeMe (62082)
• Canada
7 Mar
The ring was a gift to you from him so even if you break up it is still yours to do with it whatever your please.
3 people like this
• United Kingdom
7 Mar
That's the way I see it, although I know some would say it was a conditional gift ie. it was mine on the condition of the promise to marry.
1 person likes this
@Happy2BeMe (62082)
• Canada
7 Mar
@pumpkinjam I have heard that too but you deserve to sell it and get some money for it since he never even tried to support his child.
1 person likes this
7 Mar
I think in your situation, it is acceptable to sell the engagement ring.
3 people like this
@Plethos (4848)
• United States
7 Mar
in y our situation. id keep the ring till the kid turns 18 and give it to the kid or you yourself sell it and give him the money to use for school if he goes to school. may as well use it as a way to get money from his dad to pay for something.
2 people like this
• United Kingdom
7 Mar
I don't think my son would want it, to be honest! He's at school but we don't pay for school here before age 19. I was thinking as you said, though, that it's a roundabout way of getting his dad to pay for something. My son has a few hobbies so the money could help to cover them for a month or two.
2 people like this
@Plethos (4848)
• United States
7 Mar
@pumpkinjam - or invest the money? savings account? i dont know how the money market is over there, but from what i hear or see on the news out here in "Merica!, not good.
2 people like this
• United Kingdom
8 Mar
@Plethos To be honest, I don't think the ring is worth a great deal anyway. I might, as I said, get enough for it to put towards my son's hobbies but I doubt it would go much further.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (5434)
• United Kingdom
7 Mar
I believe the convention is that if the woman breaks off the engagement, she returns the ring; if the man breaks it off the woman keeps it (as a sort of 'compensation' I suppose). So I would assume the same sort of thing ought to apply to marriage.
2 people like this
• United Kingdom
7 Mar
That is logical. I suppose there's a possibility that, if a woman always kept the ring, there would be some who would make a career out of getting engaged simply to break it off, and collect the proceeds from the rings.
1 person likes this
@Plethos (4848)
• United States
7 Mar
thats the same thing i was thinking. who ever breaks the engangement has no rights to the ring as the promise was broken.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31292)
• United States
7 Mar
Normally I would say give it back but in your circumstances I would certainly sell it! During my divorce I sold my engagement ring to help pay attorney's fees--and nearly everything else I owned. You have every right to sell that ring. It was a gift, which means he has no reasonable expectation to get it back. He also owes you many times the worth of the ring since you have a child together and he hasn't met his obligations to that child. I hope you get a really good price for it!
2 people like this
• United Kingdom
7 Mar
Thank you :) As I said, I have no idea how much it is worth but I will get it valued. I see it as you've said - that he owes far more than the value of the ring.
@scheng1 (24957)
• Singapore
11 Mar
Of course you should sell it, and save the money towards the college fee for Mini. If you are in need of money right now, you can use part of it to pay for whatever you need. But I still think that saving up for the future is way better than spending the money right now. As Mini grows, you will have to fork out more and more money towards her well-being and living expenses.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
12 Mar
I do try to save towards Mini's future. Unfortunately, when it's a choice between saving for the future or paying the bills now, the bills must be paid! I don't think the ring is worth a lot but I would spend the proceeds on Mini. Most likely put it towards his hobbies.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (73952)
• United States
7 Mar
If I was in your situation, I would sell it. The money would make up a bit for all your ex has not done that he definitely should have done.
1 person likes this