Stop the Presses; Newspaperman Tackles Ticklish Engagement Ring Ownership Subject
There sat the email from an East Coast reporter. Subject line: Broken Engagements - Who Keeps the Ring?
This reporter wanted a wedding Jeweler's input on the delicate question: “What happens if an engagement is broken, to the admittedly expensive engagement ring?”
It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Living in Santa Barbara (one of the #1 wedding locales) and having designed many custom engagement rings and wedding rings, I do have an expert opinion about this. Here’s what I shared with him after reminding him as a Santa Barbara-based jewelry designer (note: this is not legal advice):
Five Things I Think About the Etiquette of Broken Engagements and Who Keeps the Ring
- If a couple is engaged more than a year I think she keeps it. However, if the center diamond is from his family and meaningful, she may need to return the family diamond.
- If they were planning the wedding and invitations went out, and he breaks it off, she totally keeps the ring. In a way as payback for investing her time, her heart, keeping herself free for him, and the embarrassment of not getting married after telling god and everyone they were going to.
- If she breaks the engagement, she returns the ring. If he was untrue, she keeps it.
- If he breaks it she keeps it. But if she was untrue she should return it.
- Back to the family diamond issue, if he breaks the engagement and invitations were sent, she keeps the ring. If the family offers a reasonable diamond to replace the family one, she should return the family diamond. It means more to his family than it would to her.
These are my opinions and have no law that I'm aware of behind them.
Calla Gold, Santa Barbara Engagement and Wedding Ring designer AND the "Emily Post of Jewelry Etiquette"