What to Do with Jewelry from the Ex – Should You Give it Back?

You and your boyfriend (or husband/wife) have broken up. Symbolically you move the shiny diamond engagement or wedding ring from your left hand to the lonely ring finger on your right? After all, it’s still a pretty awesome ring, and after putting up with ‘him’ for so long – you deserve to take something away from the relationship, right? Or wrong?

Give Back or Get Rid of the Jewelry

According to a controversial website, called Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry.com where broken hearted (or maybe not) girlfriends can sell the jeweled goods received from their exes to the highest bidder, getting rid of jewelry after a break-up is ‘the right thing’ to do. This site sees no reason why women shouldn’t at least make a profit from the relationship or break-up. However, considering the fact that not all jewelry as gifts situations are the same, it seems only logical to consider that some jewelry should be given back to the ex.

For instance, what if the sapphire and diamond ring he gave you 2 Valentines Days ago, was his Great Grandmother’s antique ring, which has been passed down for many years. Or what if the engagement ring or wedding ring he gave you belonged to his own mother? Shouldn’t gifts like this be respectfully given back to the family from where they got their original heirloom status? Most people, based on morality would likely say, yes.

Unfortunately, considering what to do with jewelry from the ex should definitely entail more thought, than the break-up emotions often allow. Certainly, you are disappointed, maybe even completely pissed off that he cheated on you, and feel justified in keeping or selling a $5,000 engagement ring. The question is, is it the right thing to do?

Since the Ex Boyfriend Jewelry dot com site opened up in 2008, they have had over 400,000 users. One of the perks to selling ex boyfriend jewelry with this site is not only do you get to capitalize on the jewelry itself, but you are also able to connect with other women who have been scorned, are hurting from broken relationships, who are seeking some sort of payback and who need an opportunity to vent and share their relationship woes. Since jewelry and gifts from an ex often become symbolic of the relationship itself, getting rid of these things can be a huge step in the healing process. (It probably doesn’t hurt that these women will get retribution in the process).

Many women, who don’t readily give back the jewelry to an ex, or get rid of it by other means, hold on to it for various reasons. Some admit that they like to think of the good times, or that quite simply they feel like the gift gives them something to solid to hang on to, lessening the emotional blows of the split. In the long run however, getting rid of these items and moving forward is in your own best interests. Not only is it a complete turn off to other potential mates to still be wearing an engagement ring given to you by an ex, but it also becomes a very physical and visual daily reminder of the past.

Obviously, this is an issue that is quite confusing to many people. Across the United States alone, there have been numerous court filings with ex’s requesting jewelry, such as wedding or engagement rings, back from the ladies they gave them to. And many, especially those dealing with an engagement ring have won! Courts often rule in the favor of the male because the engagement ring is a gift that is contingent upon an implied situation, which in this case is marriage. So if the marriage doesn’t happen, then the conditional gift theory comes into account, and it is mandated that the ring be returned. Most courts do not take into account why the break-up occurred or whose fault it was that the marriage didn’t take place. Still, many states such as Montana – don’t intervene in these issues AT ALL, and have a straight laced policy that an engagement ring is an ‘unconditional, completed gift.”

You have to wonder however, if the issue of returning the ring or not is one worthy of going to court!

In a Cosmopolitan poll, 74% of women said that they would return the engagement ring if they were the ones to call off the wedding. This is opposed to 32% who said they would give it back, should it be the groom to be that interrupted marital plans.

If you peruse the internets wide array of relationship and engagement sites you will see that men feel pretty strongly that she should return the ring. Not based on morality, but on principal alone. After all, what in the world is she going to do with it? Most men also simply hope that in the heated argument which ends the relationship – she will perform the coveted theatrical act of throwing it at him and hitting him square in the nose, so he won’t ever be forced to actually ask. Truth is, tough economy or not – he paid a lot of money for that thing.

When it comes to marriage and the jewelry exchanged, the answers are more blurred. Most often, courts can decide as they are divvying up assets between the couple of who gets to keep what, and things are separated on over all value. In a marriage, gifts over the years of jewelry are seen as ‘completed gifts’ by courts with no implied consent. Yet many couples still argue over jewelry that has significant familial meaning.

In the end, what to do with jewelry from an ex is a personal decision that you have to live with. Your best bet to making the most karma friendly decision is to give yourself some time to think it over so that you will do the right thing in the end. If that right thing is pawning it, selling it, or giving back…so be it. However, it is important to realize that hanging on to past sentiments from an ex, is never a great way to walk into your future.



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