can you return an engagement ring

Can You Return An Engagement Ring?

It's no secret that weddings can be expensive. In fact, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is a whopping $33,391! A large portion of that cost is typically the engagement ring. So what happens if, after spending all that money on a ring (or rings), the engagement falls through and you need to return the ring? So Can you return an engagement ring? The answer, surprisingly, might surprise you. Let's take a deeper look.

Can You Return An Engagement Ring? The Answer, Surprisingly, Might Surprise You.

surprisingly most people think that you CANNOT return an engagement ring if the engagement falls through.

That is not always the case, however. While some jewelers have strict policies about not accepting returns on engagement rings, other jewelers are willing to engage in what is known as a "courtesy return." Courtesy returns are at the discretion of the jeweler and are not required by law. 

So, how do you know if your jeweler does courtesy returns? The best way to find out is to ask before you purchase the ring.

If they say no, then you'll know that you're out of luck if the engagement falls through and you need to return the ring.

However, if they say yes, then you'll know that you have that option available to you should you need it. 

Of course, there are some caveats to courtesy returns. For example, most jewelers require that you have your original receipt and proof of purchase.

Additionally, many jewelers will only accept returns within a certain time frame (typically 30 days). So, if it's been longer than 30 days since you purchased the ring, chances are you won't be able to return it. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that most jewelers will only give you back a percentage of what you paid for the ring depending on how long it was worn.

For example, if you only wore the ring for a few weeks before returning it, then chances are good that you'll get back most (if not all) of your money.

However, if you wore the ring for months or even years before returning it, then chances are good that your refund will only be a fraction of what you paid. 

can you return an engagement ring

The Customary Rule: Who Gets To Keep The Ring?

In the majority of cases, the person who purchased the ring gets to keep it—regardless of whether the engagement is called off by one party or mutually agreed upon by both parties.

The logic behind this rule is that an engagement ring is a conditional gift, given with the understanding that marriage will take place. If the marriage does not occur, then the gift is no longer valid, and so the ring should be returned to its rightful owner. 

Did The Giver Intend For The Ring To Be A Gift? 

If it can be proven that the giver never intended for the ring to be a gift—for example, if they asked for it back during an argument—then courts will likely rule in favor of the giver. 

Was There An Intention To Create A Contract? 

If it can be proven that there was an intention to create a contract—for example, if both parties signed a prenuptial agreement stipulating that all gifts would need to be returned in the event of a divorce—then courts will likely rule in favor of the giver. 

Has Wear And Tear Invalidated Any Value Associated With Returning The Gift? 

In some cases, courts will be ruling in favor of the recipient if returning the ring would result in undue hardship—for example, if it was purchased secondhand and has since been worn down significantly. 

can you return an engagement ring

The Exceptions To The Rule: When Can You Keep The Ring? 

There are a few notable exceptions to the customary rule stating that whoever purchased the engagement ring gets to keep it if the marriage does not occur.

These exceptions typically only apply in very specific circumstances and usually require proof in order to be honored by courts. They are as follows: 

If The Engagement Was Called Off Due To Fault By One Party 

If one party broke off the engagement due to their own misconduct—for example, if they cheated on their fiancé—then courts may order that party to return or pay for the value of the ring.

However, this exception only applies in certain states, and even then proof of fault must be provided in order for courts to rule in favor of either party. 

If One Party Refuses To Go Through With The Marriage Without Justifiable Cause 

Similarly, if one party refuses to go through with marriage without justifiable cause—for example if they have cold feet or had a change of heart—courts may also order them to return or pay for the value of the ring.

Again, this exception only applies in certain states and requires proof in order for courts to make a ruling. 

What If The Store Does Not Accept Returns?

There are several things you can do with the ring, depending on the circumstances. If the store has a return policy, you may be able to return it and get your money back.

If not, there are still options available to you. You could try selling it online or through a jeweler, or even donating it to charity. Let's explore each option in more detail.

Returning The Ring To The Store

If you purchased the ring from a brick and mortar store, your first step should be to find out if they have a return policy in place for engagement rings.

Many stores will not accept returns on special order items like engagement rings, but some will if you have the receipt and original packaging. It's always worth asking, but don't get your hopes up too high.

Sell It To A Pawn Shop 

One of the easiest places to sell an engagement ring is at a pawn shop. Most pawn shops will accept any type of jewelry, so long as it is in good condition.

And because they are businesses that deal in buying and selling second-hand goods, they are typically more than happy to haggle over prices. So, if you're worried about getting a lowball offer, keep that in mind when negotiating with a pawnbroker.

Selling The Ring Online

If returning the ring isn't an option, your next best bet may be to sell it online. There are a number of websites that specialize in buying and selling used jewelry.

Just be sure to do your research ahead of time so you know how much your diamond is worth and don't get taken advantage of by a lowball offer.

Selling The Ring Through A Jeweler

Another option is to take the ring to a local jeweler and see if they're interested in buying it from you outright or consigning it in their store. This is usually only an option if the ring is valuable and in good condition, however. Don't expect to get top dollar for a damaged or low-quality ring.

Donating The Ring To Charity

Finally, if you're not interested in making any money off the ring, you could always donate it to charity. There are a number of organizations that accept donated jewelry, like Goodwill or The Salvation Army. Alternatively, you could donate it to a local church or religious organization.

can you return an engagement ring


 In the end, it is up to the couple to decide whether or not they want to return the ring. If either person feels uncomfortable with having the ring, then returning it would be the best solution. No one else can make that decision for them. 

However, if both people are happy with keeping the ring, then there is no need to return it. Returning an engagement ring can be a stressful process, but it is important to do what makes you and your partner feel comfortable. Have you ever returned an engagement ring? Why or why not?

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