Would you sell your wedding rings to raise money, or after a divorce? You're probably wondering, “where can I sell my wedding rings?”
Last week during the television show Downsized, the Bruce family was faced with losing their entire emergency fund again due to an acute health problem and the resulting hospital bill, a car breaking down, and various other unexpected costs with the kids. The husband (Todd) was dealing with the problem by negotiating with the hospital, car repair parts place, dentist, and each of the other vendors in order to lower their overall bill. But the wife (Laura) had another idea all together: sell her engagement ring and wedding band.
This sparked up quite the conversation in our household, as I had once suggested we do the same thing. When Paul proposed to me in June 2009 he presented me with a gorgeous engagement ring. It was a platinum band with a beautiful clear-cut diamond cast between two diamond baguettes. The proportions were perfect for me—the diamond and band were not too wide or gaudy—and the setting was not so high that I felt it would catch on everything. And then I found out how the ring felt like it was made for me: Paul had designed it with the jeweler. Over the course of several weeks after deciding that it was time to propose, he had spent lunches with a jeweler on Buffalo Speedway to mold some metal and a stone into a beautifully shaped token of love. I gladly accepted.
We did not want a long engagement so we began planning for the wedding almost immediately. I had not been saving for one as most of my teenage and young adult life I didn’t think I was the marrying type. In fact, the only reason why I said yes was because it meant that I got to spend the rest of my life with Paul—the rest of being married I figured we could work out. Combined we were $25,000 in debt at that moment, we wanted to put a decent downpayment on a home, and we wanted to pay for our wedding in cash. All of this was to happen within the next 8-9 months. One day during a pragmatic conversation about finances and the wedding day I decided to throw out an idea he might be up for. “I think we should sell my engagement ring to help pay for the wedding.” It was almost dead silence after that, followed by a few minutes of a look of disbelief coming my way.
I knew that selling the ring would get us a notch closer to being where we wanted to be. In my mind, having a wedding band would signify I was married and since I do not wear much jewelry anyway what on earth would I do with two rings? On top of that, I thought it was a beautiful sacrifice I was willing to make for our newly forming family—if nothing else, it showed that expensive things were not what I wanted out of this relationship. Am I reminded each and every day when I wear one of these rings (admittedly I typically do not wear them around the house on weekends) of Paul’s love, our commitment, and our relationship? Absolutely. But personally, I get the same reminder from seeing Paul, talking with him, running through memories in my head, perusing our photos, working around our home, and anything else in our lives.
Paul had a different reaction all together, much like Todd’s reaction on Downsized. To Paul, this ring encapsulates his love, devotion, and commitment to me. Even though it is just an object, it is an emotional symbol for him that holds much more than a stone. My willing to sell it made his heart hurt. Paul and I are both reading the book The 5 Love Languages, and gift giving happens to be one of the languages in which some people primarily express their love for others, or primarily receive love from others. I do not think this is Paul’s primary love language, but gift giving and receiving certainly holds emotional value for him. Wedding rings in particular hold a lot of sentimental value for almost everyone—including myself. They are written into most wedding ceremonies, forever symbolizing love and commitment towards one another. They are so symbolic that when a marriage is on the rocks or towards its end you oftentimes see the person stop wearing the ring all together or wear it on another finger.Wedding rings in particular hold a lot of sentimental value for almost everyone. What's your special story? #WeddingRings Click To Tweet
We never ended up selling the ring. I am glad that we did not have to or that we chose not to, as it still holds sentimental value to me and will continue to do so until the day I die. Yet I would still be willing to sell it if a situation arose where the sacrifice was needed, and I could do it without questioning our relationship, our future, or our devotion to one another.
I would love to open this up for discussion from everyone here. What does an engagement ring/wedding ring mean to you? What sort of emotional values are tied with yours? Have you sold your engagement ring/wedding band in the past? Would you consider doing so in the future if put into a bad financial situation, or even if just wanting to secure a better future for you and your family? If you are divorced, did you sell your wedding rings from your previous marriage/relationship or did you keep them?