Sell Your Story Along With Your Engagement and Wedding Rings

Can memories be sold?  They sure can thanks to the modern day pawn shop − the Internet.

When engagements break up and marriages fail, someone is left holding the symbol of that failed relationship – the ring.  Some people will give the ring to their children; some take the ring to the jeweler to have the ring redesigned to represent a new start; others want the most cash they can achieve by selling the ring…..and a story to accompany the ring.  Selling rings is not new, but sharing the heartbreaking story?  It’s true and the stories can be sad.

Getting Possession

The diamond engagement and wedding rings are symbols of mixed emotions.  Cleary the rings represent the joy of a loving relationship.  The rings also represent sadness when the relationship ends.  These rings have intangible positives and negatives, but they also have tangible value.  Prior to marriage, if an engagement is broken, the question of who gets the ring depends on who broke off the engagement (see my blog post Who Keeps the Engagement Ring When The Wedding is Cancelled?). When a marriage ends in divorce, the diamond engagement ring and wedding ring belong to the person to whom they were given.  In California, the wife’s rings are her separate property; the husband’s rings are his separate property.  The reason is because these items were given in contemplation of the marriage.  Since the marriage took place, the rings belong to the person to whom the gift was given.  This means that the value of the rings is typically not included in the division of assets.  So you want to maximize the value if the rings are sold.

Realizing Value

In the past, people used to sell their rings to a jeweler or a pawn shop for fraction of the purchase price.  Then, people turned to selling jewelry on Ebay and Craig’s list.  But now, a few dedicated websites exist for jewelry and memories to be bought and sold, one of the most popular being,  Yes, engagement rings, wedding rings and even wedding dresses can be sold along with a back-story about the item.  Co-founder Josh Opperman tells his sad story on the website about the end of his engagement, which then sparked this on-line business − the cloud with the silver lining.  Opperman claims that a seller can recoup 65-70% of an item’s purchase price by placing it for sale on this website.  As for the buyers, Opperman’s company certifies the jewelry and escrows the funds until the gemologist finishes the certification for approval by the buyer.

Finally, there is a way for people recoup more of their investment into a relationship now lost. The result gives them a greater financial cushion as they start their next chapter in life.