What to Do With Your Wedding Ring After Divorce

Engagement RingOne of the many difficult decisions that come with getting a divorce is deciding what to do with your engagement ring. The knee-jerk reaction is simple: sell it and move on. But divorce is far from simple, and many women find it hard to let go of their ring long after their marriage is over. Here are some suggestions to help you decide what to do with your wedding ring in the aftermath of a divorce.

Have the diamonds reset into a new piece of jewelry: The majority of married women wear their engagement rings every day, so it is understandable that many women remain attached to the ring, even in the event of divorce. However the ring will trigger many memories of your marriage, and continuing to wear it will only make it that much harder to move on, as well as scaring off any new suitors that come along. If you’re particularly attached to your diamond ring, consider having it re-cut into a new piece of jewelry, to signify the new chapter in your life. Many places that sell diamonds also re-set them, making it easy for you to turn your existing ring into a new piece of jewelry you’ll love just as much.

Trade it in for a right hand ring: Just because you’re no longer married doesn’t mean that you can’t wear a diamond ring. A right hand ring is a sign of a woman’s independence and good fortune in life. Trading or selling your old engagement ring for a new diamond ring can be healing. While looking at your old ring might have dredged up painful memories, the new ring can be a symbol of hope, strength, and the bright future you have ahead of you.

Sell it and use the money for legal fees: Divorce is expensive. Between legal fees and the cost of two separate households, it can definitely be difficult to maintain steady finances. You can sell diamonds for a lot of money, which can go a long way towards paying off post-divorce debt. Selling your engagement ring can be a lot easier if you know that the money is going towards something necessary.

Sell it and use the money to treat yourself and your kids: Divorce is hard for everyone, but it is especially hard for children. Children often have a difficult time processing the new family structure. Spend the money, from your ring, on bonding activities with your kids. It will be a great investment in their mental health. A vacation could be a great way for all of you to de-stress and reconnect. There are also many different activities and classes designed for mothers and their children, such as cooking or art, and they can be a great way to strengthen your bond and help them adjust following the divorce.

Your engagement ring is a symbol of your marriage, and for many women parting with it is not easy. However revamping, trading, or selling your ring is a crucial part of the healing process and will help give you the strength you need to start moving on.

Ellen Jackson studied English Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently living in Los Angeles and working as a freelance writer.

  • http://twitter.com/adevin25 adevin25

    Depending upon the situation the engagement ring should be given back the husband.  The ring is a promise of spending years together and when that promise ends the rightful owner shouldbe returned his or her property (depending upon whom did the engaging).  Just my 2 cents.  But everyone has a different way of thinking about it. 

    • http://www.postdivorcechronicles.com LeeBlock

      Actually, the ring is a gift, and by law all gifts are considered personal property. Does that mean that every piece of jewelry should be returned? It should be given back if it is a family heirloom, but otherwise…well, I have to disagree with that one, and I believe the law does as well!

  • http://twitter.com/DogMomApril April Johnson

    Mine sits presently.  I loved the stone and the journey it took to reach the jeweler and ultimately my finger.  It is my tentative plan to have it reset into another ring for my right hand once I’ve “made it.” (Meaning when there’s fluff money in the budget to indulge.:)  Thanks for the thought-provoking article!

    • http://www.postdivorcechronicles.com LeeBlock

       I love how you are looking at it! Beautiful way to see it!!

  • http://www.tararobinson.com/ Tara Rodden Robinson

    Hi Lee,

    One of the first things I did as I was getting divorced was to get an extra piercing on my left ear and had my engagement ring diamond made into a stud earring. Now, over 20 years later, I’m still wearing it, quite proudly. I smile when I think of where this diamond came from: my willingness to walk away from my abusive ex-husband and begin a life of joy and independence.

    With love,

    • http://www.postdivorcechronicles.com LeeBlock

       Tara, I love that! What a great idea!!

  • http://onlinediamondbuyingguide.com/ Paul Gian

    sell it if it brings or retains unhappy memories.

  • Liz

    I am going to have the diamonds unmounted and give each one to my kids, to remind them that they will always be the precious gems that came out of our marriage.