What To Do With The Wedding Jewelry After A Divorce?
When “Happily Ever After” does not seem to last, life takes an (un)expected turn and it is for the worst – a divorce is on the way. The hardest part of all? How to deal with the feelings of pain and grief while a large list of decisions awaits you; the division of the assets, the custody of your children and of course, uprooting your life, as the three most important ones. With so many things running through your mind, there is the point when you stop and start wondering what to do with your wedding jewelry, which now is the first reminder of your lost marriage. Do you have to keep it, sell it or maybe give it back? Keep reading to find out what options you have.
DEFINE WHOSE PROPERTY IS
That being said, jewelry can be considered a “separate” or “marital” property. According to the state laws on marriage, any assets acquired prior to the marriage are considered a separate property. But, here, a tricky question pops up – What happens to the engagement ring? It was acquired before you got married to signify the will and intention to get married. And you combined it with a wedding band to make a matching bridal set. So, which of these two categories it belongs to?
Although it sounds a little bit confusing, the engagement ring is considered a separate property, as it was given as a gift outside of marriage. The only case when it can be considered a marital property is if it has been upgraded during the marriage, meaning that its value will be divided 50/50 during the divorce process.
However, there are two cases when the engagement ring goes back to the person who gave it:
» If you had a mutual agreement that it will be returned in case of divorce.
» If it is heirloom jewelry.
Seen from an ethical point of view, the engagement ring should be returned to the giver in case of break up or divorce. Usually, the wearer of the ring decides to give it back, as they do not want it to remind them of the rupture and the memories of it. However, in some states, like Kansas, Tennessee, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New York, the engagement ring is considered a “conditional gift” and the person who gave the ring is its only rightful owner under any circumstances.
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It is okay and totally understandable if you want to keep your wedding jewelry even after all the drama you went through. If you can separate the good from the bad and decide to appreciate the beautiful memories you have made with it, then add it to your personal collection. Who knows, maybe one day you will pass it down to your children when the time is right.
Another reasonable thing you can do with the wedding jewelry you do not wear anymore is to give it a makeover. One of the creative suggestions is to melt it down and make something special for someone special. It could be a friend, a family member or yourself. This way, you will transform your “once” wedding jewelry into “to be” heirloom jewelry with a whole new meaning and a brand new look. For what is worth, re-purposing old wedding jewelry is especially popular among modern divorced women.
Not willing to keep it nor restore it? Then, sell it! If feeling bad about it, you should consider it a symbolic way to cut the ties with the past and get ready for the future. To feel even better, you do not have to use the money for yourself – donate it, instead! You will not just become your own hero, but you will become somebody else’s hero and the living proof that humanity does exist!
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WHERE TO SELL IT?
Local jewelers are the first place to go. They are often interested in purchasing valuable pieces, regardless of how old or used they are. Even better, if you know where the jewelry was bought from, you can turn to that particular jeweler and ask for a refund or store credit.
» Gold Dealer
To melt those precious metal pieces of wedding jewelry, you have to find a reliable gold dealer. You can either get paid for their melted value and leave them in their possession or decide to use them for something else. Keep in mind that gold dealers are only interested in precious metals, not precious stones.
If the conditions of the two previous options do not suit you, the last one you have is to try to sell your wedding jewelry online. Look for upcoming auctions in/near your place or some competitive websites that sell used personal assets. To give you a hand in the selection, click here to see what are the best places to sell jewelry online.
No matter what you decide to do with the jewelry whose updated meaning is a marriage that did not last, there is no denying that it is going to be a tough choice and you, my dear, be prepared to be emotionally charged. But, every cloud has a silver lining and so does yours. Be sure that other extraordinary adventures are lying ahead and you should do nothing, but delve into them with positive spirit and great enthusiasm. Remember, the best is yet to come!
Written by: Liljana Tomova