Prayer For Engagement Ring
On which finger should you wear an engagement and wedding ring?
Which finger should you wear an engagement and wedding ring on? You might be surprised to find out that there are at least 7 different variations to this custom in Britain and around the world.
- A look at the British ring-wearing tradition
- Customs in other countries and religions
- The growing trend of men’s engagement rings
- How to decide which tradition is for you
Traditionally in the UK and in Ireland, the man proposes to the woman with an engagement ring. He puts it on to the fourth finger of her left hand, known as ‘the ring finger’.
Some couples buy a promise ring previous to an engagement ring.
A promise ring may symbolise the couple’s commitment to each other. Or it can act as a substitute ring until the couple chooses an official engagement ring.
Promise rings are worn on the left ring finger in the same way as engagement rings.
After marrying, British women usually wear both the engagement ring and the wedding ring.
It’s acceptable to wear the wedding ring alone, although this is less common.
Either way, both are always worn on the left ring finger.
The rings worn by Queen Elizabeth II
Which ring goes on first in the UK?
In the UK women normally wear their engagement ring ‘on top’ of the wedding ring.
Meaning that the wedding ring is placed on the finger first. The reason is an old British superstition which states that a wedding ring must never be taken off.
During the wedding ceremony the bride puts her engagement ring temporarily on their right hand. This leaves the left hand free for the wedding ring.
When the ceremony is over the bride slides the engagement ring ‘on top’ of the new wedding band to ‘seal it’ in place.
The history of the British ring-wearing tradition
The UK wedding ring tradition is thought to have come from the ancient Romans. They had inherited it from the Egyptians.
In Old Egypt, people held a belief that the fourth finger of the left hand was where the vena amoris, or the ‘vein of love’, began.
This vein was supposed to lead all the way to the heart, therefore making the fourth finger of the left hand the ideal place to wear a ring as a symbol of lasting love and commitment.However, the Egyptians only wore wedding rings and not engagement rings. So while the British wedding ring tradition goes back to Egypt, the engagement ring tradition is actually attributed to Rome.
In Rome, it was customary for suitors to give a pre-marriage promise ring to their brides-to-be, in order to seal the commitment to marry them.
A newly engaged woman wears her ring on the left
Currently among the English-speaking countries USA, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand follow the same engagement ring custom as people in the UK.
Elsewhere in the world, Turkey, Jordan, Mexico, Sweden, Finland, Croatia, Slovenia and Romania also share it.
The same tradition also continues in Egypt and Italy, the two countries where this custom was originally forged.
A couple wearing their rings on the left
3. Elsewhere in the world & different religions
In some countries, it’s customary for the woman to wear the engagement ring on the fourth finger of the right hand.
The right-handed ring finger is a prevalent custom in many countries, including: Russia, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Lithuania, Greece, Poland, Austria, Hungary and Venezuela.
In these countries the right hand seems to be the established custom regardless of religion. The engagement ring is usually put on first, followed by the wedding ring. This is for practical reasons because of the order the rings were given in. However, this custom can vary according to what feels most comfortable to the bride.
German bride wears engagement ring on right
In Germany the fourth fingers of both the right and left hand can be used. As a general rule, the left hand is more prevalent among Protestants, and the right preferred by Catholics.
Modern Jewish couples often place the wedding ring on the right hand’s ring finger during the marriage ceremony and then wear it on the left hand’s ring finger post-ceremony. However, according to the old tradition, and also seen today in some of the more conservative Jewish ceremonies, the index finger or the thumb are used.
Curiously, although not for any religious reasons, in Brazil the ring is also first placed on the right hand’s ring finger then changed to the left hand during the wedding ceremony.
Engagement rings are worn in several Islāmic countries in South Asia and West Asia, and men usually wear them on the right and women on the left hand.
Wedding ring are not used in traditional Muslim wedding ceremonies, but if one is worn, it can go either on the left or the right ring finger. In Iran, the wedding band is more common and goes on the right.
Indian culture never traditionally included rings. But now with western influence, diamond engagement rings have become much more common.
Thai wedding ceremony, bride wears western style engagement ring on left hand
Men’s engagement rings
According to a 2018 Huffington Post survey, there has been a 280% increase for saved Pinterest images of men’s engagement rings. In 2015, an XO group survey found that 17% of men would to wear a “man-gagement” ring.
A sign of the times?
This small but growing trend is partly a sign of growing gender and sexual equality, with the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the UK making men’s engagement rings more sought after.
For the other part, the trend it is celebrity-driven, and therefore most prevalent among the fashion conscious. Celebrities have generally made it more acceptable, or even desirable, for men to wear jewellery, such as diamond earrings.
Ed Sheeran’s engagement ring
The most recent UK celebrity male to wear an engagement ring is Ed Sheeran, who announced his engagement on 19th January 2018. After he was photographed at the Brit Awards wearing a ring on the fourth finger of his left hand, the media questioned whether it was a wedding ring. However, he stated he was wearing an engagement ring.
Subsequently, on the ITV show ‘Lorraine’, he said, “I never saw why men didn’t wear commitment rings, because it’s the same commitment either way.”
Other male celebs who wear diamond rings
Ed Sheeran is not by any means the first celebrity male to wear an engagement ring. For example, Scarlett Johansson’s first husband, Ryan Reynolds, wore an engagement ring. Singer Michael Bubble also wears one.
Some women also say the reason they want their fiancé to wear a ring is to show he is ‘off limits’ – they believe the ring tradition should not only apply to women.
The ‘mangagement’ ring trend in the UK
It will probably be a while before the average British man is seen wearing a diamond engagement ring.
Men’s engagement rings tend to be either plain bands, diamond studded bands, Claddagh rings or signet rings.
But not solitaire rings – women still have the monopoly on the single diamond.
A man wearing his engagement ring and wedding rings on the right ring finger
In conclusion: How should you wear YOUR engagement and wedding ring?
There’s something very exciting about all these different traditions we’ve outlined above. In an increasingly multicultural and gender-accepting society it has become acceptable, and even fashionable, to borrow exotic wedding and engagement customs from other countries, cultures and lifestyles. So you don’t need to follow any particular rule. Simply do what feels right for you.
Visit TheDiamondStore.co.uk to view women’s diamond engagement rings now.
Also see wedding rings & eternity rings that can be worn as wedding rings.
Also see men’s diamond rings.
READ NEXT: Meaning of Eternity Rings
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Choosing the Right Metal for Your Engagement Ring
It’s time to buy an engagement ring — and there are so many factors to consider. Choosing the metal alone is a more complex decision than it used to be. Where it once was a simple choice between yellow and white, now you have a whole range of possibilities to consider, including:
- What's the difference between white gold and platinum?
- What exactly is rose gold?
- How do newer, alternative metals popular in men’s wedding rings, titanium and tungsten carbide, complement gold and platinum in engagement rings?
Take it one step at a time — starting with the type of metal — and you’ll end up with a ring that suits her style and that she’ll cherish forever. Use this as your guide to the different types of metals available for ring settings.
What's her style?
Focus first on determining your fiancée's style, and then finding the right metal and color to complement that style. One of the first things you need to think about when choosing a metal for a setting is the type of jewelry your future bride typically wears:
- If she’s drawn to cooler hues and silver-toned jewelry, then platinum or white gold is the way to go.
- Yellow gold or rose gold are good choices if she tends to gravitate toward warmer tones.
- Mixing metals white gold and yellow gold is a smart option, because it will allow her to complement any piece in her existing jewelry wardrobe.
- Even if you decide on a warmer metal yellow gold, setting the diamond in a white metal head (which holds the diamond in place) platinum or white gold will accentuate the diamond, showing off its brilliance to sparkling effect.
Platinum is a naturally white metal with a cool luster that showcases the brilliance and sparkle of diamonds beautifully. It’s a popular choice for engagement rings and wedding bands, and is considered the most precious of all jewelry metals.
Compared to gold, platinum is five times as rare and purer when used in jewelry. Platinum is durable, making it a good option if your fiancée leads an active lifestyle — its density provides a secure setting for diamonds or gemstones. Platinum is also naturally hypoallergenic, so it’s a great choice for those with sensitive skin.
Its elegant sheen will not fade or change color over time, making re-plating your platinum ring unnecessary. Because of its strength, it’s a popular choice for setting diamonds.
Gold is an extremely versatile metal, and the most common choice for jewelry. The standard measurement of gold is a karat, which is divided into 24 parts. Pure gold is 24 karats, meaning 24 24 parts are gold.
Pure gold is too soft to be used for jewelry, so it’s combined with other metal alloys to increase its strength. You’ll find 22K gold, but most often gold comes in 18K (75% gold), 14K (58% gold) and 10K (about 42% gold).
The remainder is made up of other metals — silver, copper, nickel and zinc — to lend strength and durability. The type and percentage of metal alloys used determine the shade and color of gold.For example, 22K gold tends to be a rich, saturated gold color, while 14K gold may appear as a slightly paler yellow.
Gold jewelry usually comes in these colors:
Classic yet fashionable, yellow gold achieves its warm patina from the red of copper and the green hue of silver. Yellow gold lost favor to white gold for a while, but has recently regained popularity.
More contemporary than yellow gold, white gold gets its silvery white character from combining yellow gold with copper, zinc and nickel (or palladium).
It’s plated with a hard element called rhodium (a platinum group metal), which costs about four times as much as platinum, resists scratches and tarnishing, and gives white gold a reflective appearance.
However, it may wear away over time, requiring a quick trip to your jeweler for re-plating.
Unique and romantic, rose gold has a warm, pink hue created by combining yellow gold with a copper alloy. The overall percentages of metal alloys are the same for rose gold as they are for yellow or white; it’s just a different mixture of alloys used.
While not all that common, green gold is unusual and nature-inspired; it has a soft, pale green color created by mixing yellow gold with silver, copper and zinc. Use green gold together with rose and white gold for an interesting, different tri-color look.
The perfect setting
Now that you understand the differences between metals, it’s time to put the pieces together. Choose your metal, pick your style and complete the look with a brilliant diamond or gorgeous gemstone.
In the process, you’ll discover things about your future wife that you may not have known about her before — and that’s part of the fun.
In the end, you’ll create an engagement ring that’s just as unique and beautiful as the woman who will be wearing it.
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WEDDING AND ENGAGEMENT RING ORDER?
Does the order in which you Wear your Wedding Band and Engagement Ring on your Wedding Ring Finger really matter?
Are there any real reasons why the Wedding Rings have a particular stacking order to them?
Let’s Find Out…
It’s a really crazy thing, because the order of the Wedding Rings doesn’t make any sense at all… But we’ll get to this in a minute. First, we’ll get the answer: The Correct Order that the Rings go on your Finger is this…
The Wedding Ring goes on the Finger FIRST!
Wedding Ring First on the Ring Finger…
Then the Engagement Ring second.
But the whole order of things doesn’t hold water.
Why? Because of what happens at the Altar! That’s right! The Altar.
Let me Explain!
You wear an Engagement Ring the entire time you’re Engaged. It could be days, it could be years. You wear it by itself on the Wedding Ring Finger. (Which is the 4th finger on the Left hand!) Then comes the Wedding Day! Your Wedding Ring is placed on your Ring Finger during the Ceremony at the Altar.
But there’s a Problem to doing this…
Because the Engagement Ring is already there! This adds confusion.
Do you Remove the Engagement Ring, put the Wedding Ring on, then Replace the Engagement Ring with hundreds of people watching? Lots of couples don’t know. Or, do you slip the Wedding Band on, leaving the Engagement Ring where it’s at, and have her switch the order later, after the Wedding?
I’ll tell you the best two things to do, so you don’t make the transition any more confusing than it really is!
Here are your Choices:
1) Have her start the Wedding without Rings on her finger, and slip them BOTH on at the same time during the Ceremony. Or…
2) I already said, just Slide the Wedding Ring on behind the Engagement Ring and have her swap their places later.
You may have problems with the latter if the Wedding Ring is an Insert. (An Insert or Jacket, is where the Engagement Ring slips inside of two Rings…
That’s why they call it an “Insert!”)
Those will have to be done in Advance!
If the Rings don’t fit well, or easy. If they Interlock or Hook, or are just Soldered together, then by all means, have the two Rings already together, then put the two Rings on at the same time during the Wedding.
If the Wedding Band is just a Channel Set Diamond Band, or a Plain Gold Band, then it’s fine to have her wear her Engagement Ring during the Ceremony and slip the Band on at the Altar.It all depends on the Style of Rings you have. They will either fit flush and easy, or they’ll be Difficult and a Pain to get right. If it’s a pain, do it ahead of time!
What’s interesting about this whole Tradition of putting a Wedding Ring on next to the Engagement Ring, is that times are changing rapidly!
Change is Good?
A lot of Rings that you find in the Jewelry Stores Today are sold as a One-Piece Ring.
That means it stands for everything!
It’s both the Engagement Ring AND the Wedding Band! It’s the Entire Package. This way, she has one Ring to begin with, she gets that Ring put on her during the Wedding, and that’s all she gets! One ring to rule them all! (Most of the time, these Rings are a little bit wider than a normal Ring!)
One-Piece Wedding Rings makes the crazy time at the Altar, Smooth, Effortless, and a Piece of Cake. (Mmmmm, I Love Wedding Cake!)
That’s a Wrap…
Some couples have the ever popular Classic Engagement Ring, which is a standard Tiffany-Style Solitaire Ring. ( the Pear-Shaped Diamond in the Picture)
One of the choices you can use as a Wedding Ring with Solitaires are what they call Wraps! Wraps are Rings that “Wrap” around the center Diamond. (See Picture for a Wrap!)
Sometimes they go all the way around the Solitaire, other times they just fit on either side of the Diamond.
What’s funny about these, is that people don’t know which side is the Wedding Band side, since it’s wrapped around your Engagement Ring, it’s hard to tell. Each Wrap is different, so you’ll have to look good to see which Band is actually the Wedding Band.
The Side that has the Wedding Band goes on the Finger First!
But that still leaves one Big Question…
Why DOES the Wedding Ring go on the Finger First?
We know HOW, but what about the WHY?
People always want to know who made up this madness and why? Here we go… The Wedding Ring is put on the Ring Finger First, because myth says, that the Wedding Ring is always worn CLOSEST to the Heart! Aww! How Special!
Why the 4th Finger?
And why are the Wedding Rings put on the 4th Finger of the Left Hand? You’re going to love this one as well…
Myth states that the Wedding Ring Finger was the Finger used, because that was the Finger that had a vein in it, that ran directly to the Heart! WOW! You see, it’s all about Love and Romance. (And Gold and Diamonds… and Veins!) This wonderful myth or legend may not be correct, but somehow, the tradition still lives on Today!
Last Word on the Wedding Rings…
Make sure the rings fit together properly, and make sure they fit together on Her!
People don’t know this, but normally when you add the Wedding Ring to the Engagement Ring, you’ll have to get them sized up at least 1/4 size larger to fit.
That’s correct! At least a 1/4 size, if not more! (Don’t wait until the big day to realize this!) But it’s the truth, 2 Rings take up more space on your finger than one Ring. Taking up more space means, they’ll fit snugger! Make sure you have it checked out ahead of time. (It could be embarrassing at the altar trying to force the Rings on!)
Speaking of Weddings…
Don’t Forget This:
Get both Rings Polished and Cleaned BEFORE your Wedding Day!
You don’t want Wedding Photos taken of a Dirty Ring!
Get them Professionally Cleaned and Polished. (And Soldered together if necessary!) (Read my blog about: Should you get your Rings Soldered Together Before the Wedding?) And remember… Make sure you wear the Wedding Band closest to your Heart!
Tradition or not… You can’t Fool the Heart!
Amethyst Engagement Ring – A Proposal of Purple
In Greek mythology, there was a maiden named Amethystos. She was pitied by Artemis who heard her prayer to remain innocent. It seemed that Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication, more than fancied her.
But she didn’t want any of that so the Virgin goddess Artemis turned her into a white stone. White – to honor her purity. Learning this and moved by Amethystos wish to be chaste, Dionysus gave honor upon the stone, offering wine over it.
The color of the wine now taints the stone purple, a hue of which the stone amethyst is widely known for.
This story about the amethyst creation is not much of a secret. In fact, the name “Amethyst” is identified to come from the very name of the Greek maiden, meaning “not drunken” or “sober.”
The Greek story about the amethyst has other versions just as the amethyst stone has many uses nowadays. It isn’t merely a birthstone for a specific month or a choice jewelry of a person with a specific taste for the purple stone. It is now one of the many other colored gemstones that adorn engagement rings.
So if you are a guy who embraces unconventional practices and wants to show how there is no harm in expressing love in a nontraditional way to your girlfriend, then maybe you might want to consider buying her an amethyst engagement ring.While other men impress with eccentric presentations over dinner, in an airplane high above the ground, or engagement rings hidden in sweet boxes, you might want to be unique in choosing the stone to represent your “transformative” love.
In fact, the secret of how the amethyst can be capable of transforming its wearer is evident in how it can transform itself. This can be seen when an amethyst’s color changes when exposed to heat.
The PROS of buying an amethyst engagement ring:
- The amethyst gemstone will be perfect for a girl who is especially born or finds a close affinity to the month of February. Showing this in an amethyst engagement ring will be proof that you are paying close attention to the important dates in her life.
- If that isn’t the case then you might as well opt for a February engagement. Why? Because February, from Februarius, meaning to “purify” was, in ancient Roman traditions, a month of celebrations to reestablish the Empire’s want for righteous living. With this in mind, the month you propose will not only be the month of hearts but also the month of purification and what better way to remember it than with an amethyst engagement ring, which equally symbolizes spirituality.
- Although the meaning of this semi-precious gem does not immediately point to marriage, unity, and love, its ability, as known to some to sober up addictions, calm down anxiety and transform negative to positive energy, assures a harmonious union. Amethyst symbolizes spirituality, sincerity, and purity, all of which are great characteristics of a wedding vow.
- Most importantly, after digging into your pocket, you will be pleased to know that amethyst engagement rings compared to conventional engagement gems are affordable. This is owing to the recent discovery of amethyst mines in South America and Russia.
The CONS of buying an amethyst engagement ring:
- It is not widely accepted in comparison to the traditional diamond engagement ring, which for many readily symbolizes wedding before, after and forever. Compared to the amethyst, which comes from Greek “amethystos” or “not drunk”, the diamond comes from Greek “adamas” meaning “unconquerable”. If you are superstitious with meanings, you might want to consider before you give your girlfriend either a “sober” ring or an “undefeatable” ring.
- If your girl is mix-and-match conscious, she may find that, as romantic your idea may be of setting the engagement day on February with a purple-hued engagement ring stone to seal it, she may find it difficult to wear on daily basis. Un diamond, which goes with daily colors, the amethyst’s rich color may prove to be a challenge.
- Recently in the market today, the amethyst isn’t the only affordable gemstone used to complete an engagement ring. In fact, where others prefer citrine and blue topaz, many choose their birthstones even to adorn their wedding rings.
- Some jewelry experts do not really warm up to the idea of a non-diamond engagement ring for the simple visual fact that colored rings do not come close to a formal diamond engagement ring. They suggest that colored engagement rings signify diffidence in the relationship. Why? You can go back to the fact that only a diamond stands for “undefeatable” love.
Famous People who tried the Colored Engagement
Ben Affleck popped the question to Jenifer Lopez with a six-carat pink, radiant-cut diamond which costs more than $3 million. What makes it even more expensive are the three additional, surrounding white baguette diamonds. Although honoring the event with the traditional diamond, the idea that it comes in pink some amethyst hues makes for a colorful and unconventional celebration.
Even more colorful is Princess Diana’s engagement ring from Prince Charles. What looked a flower was made up of an eight-carat oval sapphire adorning the center of the ring while fourteen little white diamonds encircled it tiny petals.
I am however aware that no matter how expensive and grandiose these rings were, these celebrity couples didn’t last, as diamonds do – “forever”.
I then went ahead to browse through forums and check on how men and women feel about engagement rings that weren’t necessarily diamonds.
After reading, I came to the general conclusion that not everyone is nearly as traditional or scared to end up J.Lo and Ben or Princess D and Prince Charles.
If you ask me…
While browsing through online discussions, I also realized that, next to diamond, sapphires and rubies are popular options for engagement rings.
What I am “proposing” is a little awareness about how meaningful an amethyst stone could be for an engagement ring. But as a woman (and I am sure other women will agree with me when I say) any lady with a ring finger waiting is ready to be swept off her feet with any colored ring as long as it involves the big question.
Find the Perfect Engagement Ring with Joseph Jewelry
One of the first steps in finding your dream engagement ring (or pointing your love in the right direction) is to determine your ring style.
Since you’ll be wearing your pretty sparkler everyday, you’ll want your ring to be a true reflection of your personal taste and a symbol of the bond between you and your partner.
By far, the best way to get your hands on a ring that matches your personality is to work with a custom jewelry designer.
A custom design adds a sense of intimacy to your ring and ensures that it’ll fit seamlessly with your unique style.
Wondering where to begin? We’ve teamed up with our friends at Joseph Jewelry to share a few of our all-time favorite ring styles. Take a peek below, to determine which style is for you.
Engagement rings via Joseph Jewelry
What is Your Engagement Ring Style?
Are you more of a classic gal, or are you all about the glitz and glam? Peruse through the Joseph Jewelry beauties below to find your perfect fit!
You seriously can’t go wrong with a classic, round-cut diamond—perfect for those with traditional taste.
If you’re looking for a ring that’s timeless (i.e., something you’ll still love wearing 50 years from now) and blends seamlessly with other accessories, this style is the best option.And don’t be afraid to play it safe—an engagement ring is a big investment. As trends come and go, classic rings are always iconic.
Top Row – One / Two / Three | Bottom Row – One / Two / Three
Is your go-to look a bit understated? Then, you’ll love the sweet simplicity of these pretty little gems. Simple engagement rings are always romantic.
They’re not too showy or over-the-top, but they never fail to leave an impression (“less is more,” as they say).
Simple rings are also popular among indie or boho brides since they tend to add a little sparkle without being too flashy.
Top Row – One / Two / Three | Bottom Row – One / Two / Three
If you love anything with a retro feel, vintage-style rings are sure to stand the test of time.
Plus, one of the best things about working with a custom jeweler is that you can reuse old gems ( your grandmother’s stone or a family heirloom) to create a new, vintage-inspired piece—ideal for the bride with a nostalgic side.
Top Row – One / Two / Three | Bottom Row – One / Two / Three
Do you gravitate toward refined styles? Emerald-cut diamonds are the epitome of elegance and sophistication.
Not to mention, they’re a celeb favorite. Amal Clooney, Angelina Jolie, and Beyoncé all wear stunning emerald-cut rings on their fingers.
Top Row – One / Two / Three | Bottom Row – One / Two / ThreeLooking for something unique? A ring in a rose-gold setting is perfect for those with a chic, yet eclectic, style.
Plus, the pretty gold color adds a soft, feminine touch. We’re currently obsessed with Leighton Meester’s rose-gold engagement ring from Adam Brody (btw, are they not the cutest couple?).
Top Row – One / Two / Three | Bottom Row – One / Two / Three
Halo rings are a match made in heaven for those with a glitzy persona. The more sparkle, the better!
Also, an insider tip: The halo style is great for those who love the look of a large gem but don’t want to break the bank.
By adding a small halo of diamonds around the center of a ring, you can increase the overall ring size without spending as much as you would for a single, large stone.
Top Row – One / Two / Three | Bottom Row – One / Two / Three
An engagement ring with a pop of color is always fun and refreshing—ideal for the trendy fashionista. Carrie Underwood, Jessica Simpson, and (of course!) Kate Middleton and are just a few stars who’ve opted for gorgeous colored gemstones.
Top Row – One / Two / Three | Bottom Row – One / Two / Three
Customize Your Engagement Ring
Once you’ve determined your ideal style, Joseph Jewelry can customize any ring with a variety of metals and gems to create a distinct piece tailored just for you.
Joseph Jewelry follows a simple design process, so creating your perfect engagement ring is super easy. Plus, every step of the way, you can review your design, either online, or by visiting the Joseph Jewelry store in person (for those around the Seattle/Pacific Northwest area).
Check out the “Design Your Own Ring” page on their website for more info on the process and let the fun begin!
For more engagement ring inspiration, check out these past posts on sparklers.
Broken Engagement: Ring Etiquette | Worthy.com
A broken engagement can be difficult to cope with. Your hopes, dreams, and wishes for a future filled with happiness are over. Whether your engagement was a long one or a short one, the question of what to do with the engagement ring is a vital one.
The answer depends on a variety of broken engagement rules, with some possibilities being returning the ring, selling it, keeping it, or even transforming it into a completely new piece of jewelry.
What to do in your case? We’ll address all of these questions in this short guide to broken engagement ring etiquette, and in the process, help you find a way to resolve this very sensitive issue.
Topics in this Article
1. Giving an Engagement Ring Back to Your Ex 2. Keeping an Engagement Ring After a Broken Engagement 3. Broken Engagement Etiquette and the Law A. Conditional Gift States B. Implied Conditional Gift States C. Unconditional Gift States E. Prenuptial Agreements F. Fault-Based Approaches When the Reason for a Broken Engagement is Considered G. No-Fault Based Approaches When the Reason for a Broken Engagement is No Considered 4. Making a Smart Decision About Your Engagement Ring
Giving an Engagement Ring Back to Your Ex
It is not at all uncommon to want to remove all reminders of your ex, and your diamond engagement ring is a prime example of this. Before you return the ring (or have a friend or family member do so on your behalf), be sure that etiquette demands that you return your engagement ring to your ex.
Broken engagement ring etiquette once demanded that the ring be returned to the giver no matter what. Expert advice stated that if the engagement was broken by either party, the bride needed to return the ring and its’ diamonds unless it was an heirloom from her side of the family. The real-world answer is far different. When should an engagement ring be returned to the groom?
- When the bride broke the engagement and the ring is not an heirloom from her family’s side
- When the groom broke the engagement and the ring is an heirloom from his family’s side
- When legal statutes dictate that the ring must be returned
Sometimes returning an engagement ring is part of the closure process. About two months after her split from Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez returned her 6.1-carat pink diamond Harry Winston engagement ring, doing so quietly as a final chapter to their failed relationship – even though Affleck never asked her to give it back.
Keeping an Engagement Ring after a Broken Engagement
There are a few times when etiquette states that the ring’s recipient can keep it after a broken engagement. We’ll be highlighting some legal conditions in the next section, so be sure that there is no conflict with these if you believe that you have the right to keep your engagement ring even though the wedding has been called off.
- The bride paid for the ring herself
- The ring is a family heirloom on the bride’s side
- The ring was presented as a gift on a special day such as a birthday or holiday, including Valentine’s Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, etc.
Broken Engagement Ring Etiquette and the Law
You might be mostly concerned with etiquette surrounding what to do with an engagement ring after a breakup, but be sure that you pay attention to local laws in your country that dictates who gets the engagement ring in a divorce.
In the United States, broken engagement rules vary from one state to the next.
You can use this list as a general guide, however laws do change, so be sure to double-check before making a final decision about who keeps the ring following a broken engagement.
Conditional Gift States
Do you legally have to give back an engagement ring? It turnes out, that in many states, engagement rings are conditional gifts that are presented as part of the marriage contemplation process. In these states, the ring must be returned if the engagement is broken, since no marriage will be taking place.
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
Implied Conditional Gift States
States that view engagement rings as implied conditional gifts award the ring to the bride in case an engagement is broken by the groom. While he can request the ring back, it is considered to be the bride’s legal property unless she is the one who ends the engagement. Implied conditional gift states include:
Unconditional Gift States
In some places, an engagement ring is viewed as an unconditional gift, and it’s up to the bride to decide whether she wants to keep it or return it. There is only one unconditional gift state in the US.
Keep in mind, the court may consider other circumstances when deciding who keeps the engagement ring after a broken engagement. Laws typically require three elements to constitute an item as a gift:
- The giver’s intent: Was the engagement ring being given as a gift?
- The giver’s act of giving: How was the engagement ring presented?
- The receiver’s acceptance: How was the engagement ring received?
Most of the time, courts find that when the intent was to give the engagement ring as a gift, and it was given as such, and the recipient viewed it as such, the recipient was allowed to keep the ring. Of course, in states where engagement rings are considered to be conditional gifts, they are normally returned to the giver.
What if you and your intended had a prenuptial agreement? If so, then the conditions of that agreement must be followed to the letter. The court views prenuptial agreements as legally binding documents, and they dictate broken engagement rules surrounding the disposition of the ring.
Fault-Based Approaches When the Reason for a Broken Engagement is Considered
No matter where you live, you may be able to take the person who caused the broken engagement to court and see what the judge decides.
Often, authorities decide that it just isn’t fair to return a ring to a person who broke an engagement.
In the fault-based approach, the ring is returned if the recipient broke off the marriage, and is kept if the giver is the one who called off the wedding.
No-Fault Based Approaches When the Reason for a Broken Engagement is Not Considered
Some courts hold the view that the reasons for a broken engagement are private, and the giver always gets the engagement ring back, no matter what happened.
Kansas is an example of a state that takes this approach, and its model is used in several other places.
The court lists a variety of reasons to end a relationship and if one of them is the cause of the broken engagement, it’s considered to be no-fault. Some examples include:
- Parties have nothing in common
- Parties dis prospective in-laws
- Adult children will not accept prospective step-parent
- Minor children are hostile toward prospective step-parent
- Parties have pets that do not get along with one another
- Parties proposed or accepted proposal too hastily
- One party has untidy habits that irritate the other person
- Parties discover that they have religious differences
- Parties feel as though the pending marriage is a rebound situation and feel regret over acceptance
It’s not always clear who is the rightful owner of an engagement ring when a wedding is called off. While it’s probably best to settle disputes amicably, you may find that you need legal representation to sort out the question of broken engagement ring etiquette and legal issues.
Making a Smart Decision About Your Engagement Ring
Whether you were the prospective bride and it has been decided that the ring is yours to keep, or if you were the prospective groom who has had a ring returned, you’re probably wondering what to do with it. After all, it represents so much more than just monetary value. Here are some suggestions:
If you , you can keep the engagement ring. Perhaps you’re just not ready to part with it, or perhaps you want to have it turned into another piece of jewelry. Broken engagement ring etiquette dictates that both of these actions are socially acceptable.
The ring is yours, but you really don’t want to keep it. Why not exchange your unwanted engagement ring for money that you can use to purchase something you’d rather have? You can sell it online with Worthy for the highest bid and get cash for it in a matter of days!