Midlife Divorce Recovery is reader-supported. Some links may be from our sponsors. Here’s how that helps us.

Laws About Engagement Rings

While most states consider jewelry a gift, it’s important to do your research on your state’s marital property/assets laws. Usually, engagement rings are yours to keep, regardless of whether the marriage remains intact. In the case of a broken engagement, however, laws vary widely from state to state, and many require that the ring be returned to the purchaser.

Perhaps your ring is an heirloom passed down through your ex’s family. In a case such as this, he might ask for the ring back. Even though the ring may legally belong to you, it’s important to tread lightly and see how divorce negotiations pan out. It’s wise to refrain from selling, repurposing or donating your ring until your divorce is finalized. Keep it in a safe place until everything is said and done.

worthy banner

Keep The Rings

Keeping your ring is certainly an option. It can be difficult to let go of something that represents a happier chapter of your life. However, minimizing and neutralizing your emotional attachment to that chapter can help you cope with the pain and turn the page. Ridding your environment of physical reminders of your divorce is an important step celebrating your newfound independence, achieving closure and eliminating thoughts of “what if”.

Save Them For Children

If you’re a parent, you probably hope to leave something valuable for your children. Many parents place their engagement rings into safekeeping to hand down. Maybe you’re still in love with your ring and want to give it a second chance to garner positive memories.

The caveat here is that some children don’t want the ring because of the divorce. They may believe that it carries “bad karma”, or perhaps it’s an emotional trigger for them, too. He or she may have their own perception of what the ring represents, so having a healthy discussion about your intentions for the ring helps ensure that you are both on the same page.

Make Them Into Something Else

Repurposing your ring into another item can be an opportunity for you to express your personal style, make a bold statement and reclaim your independence. Some women have their ring melted down and made into another accessory, such as a bracelet or pendant necklace. Alternatively, if your ring is multi-stoned, you can make your ring into multiple pieces of jewelry to gift to your children.

Return The Rings

While most state laws do not require you to return the ring, it might simply be the right thing to do – especially if the ring was a family heirloom. Returning your ring when it holds any kind of significant or sentimental value to your ex and his family can act as a sort of peace offering. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing that you can move forward and restart in good conscience.

Donate Them

Many charities/nonprofits accept fine jewelry donations year-round. Organizations like With This Ring, Support Our Troops, Giving Center and more will accept rings as charitable donations. If you do decide to donate your ring, make sure you get it appraised first. An appraisal provides the charity with your ring’s value and specifications and allows you to write off the value of the ring as a donation for tax purposes.

Sell Your Engagement Ring

It’s understandable why the majority of women opt to sell their ring after their divorce is finalized. Selling your ring provides financial opportunities to rebuild. It empowers you to make your own choices for how your money is spent. It’s the ultimate nod to your independence.

How To Sell Them

Selling your ring is not a decision to be made quickly. A lot of careful thought, planning and research must go into selling your ring to ensure you’re receiving a fair value from reputable buyers. Places like eBay and Craigslist leave you vulnerable to scams, while pawn shops and local jewelers may not be truthful about your ring’s true value.

If you opt to sell your ring, we recommend doing so through Worthy.com, an online auction site that takes the hassle out of selling fine jewelry. Their website is easy to use, their system is very transparent and they have an A+ BBB rating. They’ve helped thousands of divorcees sell their ring to their closed network of professional buyers and use the money to restart their lives.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to Worthy.com
  2. Enter your name, email, and basic information about your jewelry (diamond color, carat weight, clarity, etc.).
  3. Immediately receive an estimated market value for your piece. 
  4. A customer service representative will call you to answer your questions and tell you what will happen next. 
  5. Ship your item. If you approve of the estimated value, Worthy will send a FedEx delivery person to your house the next business day, in which you will send your ring to their NYC headquarters — Worthy pays for all shipping and insures the item for up to $100,000.
  6. Agree on a “reserve price,” or the lowest price you are willing to accept.
  7. Your item is auctioned. Worthy will put your ring in front of at least 100 professional buyers worldwide who can then bid on it.
  8. Receive an offer within 7 days of Worthy receiving your item.
  9. Get paid. After you confirm the sale, you’ll receive payment within 24 hours
worthy banner