Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Once Married, Who Owns The Engagement Ring?

Dear Tazi:

When I met my husband a dozen years ago, he made his living as a day-trader. Because this was during the dot-com boom, he made a fair share of money before taking some paper losses, and was able to further invest that money. When we got engaged a few years later, he bought me a very expensive engagement ring with the portion of the money he had made.

In the years since we married, my husband's investments have take a turn for the worse. He is not out of money to invest, nor are we in danger of ruining our credit with bad debt, but my husband feels it would be best if we liquidated our assets. By this he means sell my engagement ring. I was shocked at his suggestion, but he informed me he paid $15,000 for it and thinks he would be able to get $10,000 for it now.

Tazi, my ring means a lot to me - not because of it's financial worth, but because of the sentimental worth it has to me. I do not wish to sell my ring, and have told my husband as much. He has told me that the ring was *his* investment and that she should be allowed to sell it if he so desires; I say the ring was a gift and that it is mine to keep. Which of us is right, Tazi? Do I have to part with my engagement ring?

Sentimental Woman

Dear Sentimental Woman:

Are you certain of the state of your financial affairs? I ask because your husband is acting like he has something to hide. Therefore, I will tell it to you straight - please relay this message to him: the reason they say a diamond is forever is because you can't get rid of them; they have horrible re-sale value. The $15,000 diamond he purchased ten years ago might sell $10,000 retail, but a wholesaler would offer half this amount - or less - and a pawn broker would pay even less.

If your husband is still day-trading, I would suggest that he stop. If he has reached the point where he needs to sell his wife's engagement ring to finance his investments, he obviously does not have the money to invest at this time, regardless of what you have been led to believe. If he insists on investing, in spite of his lack of liquid assets, your husband may be a gambling addict. Day-trading can be as addictive as playing the slots.

As for who owns your engagement ring, that is a question that is usually decided by the courts; however, since you are still married, I would argue that it was given as a gift and is yours to keep if that is what you desire.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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