Engagement ring: return it or not?

*Larry, from Walnut Creek, got engaged two years ago. He gave his girlfriend an engagement ring and she gave him a ring as well  (a golden ring with one encrusted diamond from a world-renowned brand name jewelry store). They never set up a wedding date and after an eight-month engagement, he broke it off.

Larry’s fiancé returned her engagement ring to him but didn’t ask to have his engagement ring returned to her. Larry said the ring he received from her is more expensive than the diamond ring he gave her.  One year has passed and now she has sent him an email asking for the ring back. Larry doesn’t want to give the ring back because he feels it was a gift; but now she’s insisting that she wants the ring back. He wants to know if he should give her the ring back or keep it since it was a gift.

Answer: Interesting. You’re the one who broke off the engagement. She was classy enough to return your ring and you apparently didn’t have the same decency. An engagement ring is contingent upon an event happening; and in this case, the event is something called “wedding” or “marriage”.  If she had told you to keep it because it was a gift, then you would be justified in keeping the ring and would not be obligated to give it back.  According to you, she didn’t say, “Keep the ring.” She was probably hoping you would do the right thing and return the ring just as she returned hers to you.

When an engagement/wedding is off, the ring has to return. It’s the classy thing to do. In some places, I believe, it is the legal thing to do. So, it’s time for you to do what you were supposed to do as soon as YOU broke off the engagement: man up and stop trying to fleece your former fiancé. Return her ring just as she returned yours.


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