What to Do with the Wedding Ring after the Divorce

wedding-rings-divorce

Your wedding ring is a big investment. Selling the ring is one of the most popular ways for dealing with it after divorce. Selling it can be very emotionally satisfying. A lot of people also sell it because wedding rings carry a lot of value, and they need the money for lawyers and other costly issues that come with a divorce.

Immediately after a divorce, many people want to sell it right away. Most people understand that they will not get the full value they paid for their ring, but a lot of people settle for less than what they can actually acquire. However, many people get in so much of a hurry that it does not serve them. In order to get the highest, most satisfying payout, you need the right strategy.

However, if you do not want to sell the ring and do not need the money or the satisfaction of getting rid of it, there are other viable options that can be very cathartic.

 

Below are tips for getting the best payout for your wedding ring.

Try Waiting

Most people do not realize that waiting to sell the ring will end up paying much more. The more patience you have with the ring, the more you will end up getting for it.

If you sell your wedding ring out of anger or desperation, you will probably move forward with the first jeweler or gemologist you encounter. Therefore, you could miss out on good negotiation tactics. When you have patience, you can get several offers and create competitive pricing. Jeweler and gemologists will always have more interest—and therefore higher bids—if they know others are interested in the piece.

 

Try Not to Use It as a Retainer for Your Lawyer

Many people who are desperate to pay their divorce attorney will use their ring as a retainer. Down the line, you could receive much more benefit if you can get a loan instead. Lawyers will pay pennies on the dollar, much less than any jeweler or gemologist would offer, especially if you shop around.


Getting Estimates

To get the best estimate and therefore the highest bid, gather as much documentation about the ring as possible. The more documentation you have, the more ways you have to appraise it. Any piece can be taken to a fine jewelry appraiser, but they will be much more impressed with a thorough, documented history of the ring, as will gemologists and diamond specialists.

After you have gotten several appraisals and a thorough amount of paperwork for your ring, auction houses like Sotheby’s are one of the best ways to get the most amount of money for your ring. They will document everything, including the appraisals, and gather interest before the actual auction. That way, you have a better chance of creating a bidding war.

The more people who bid on it, the higher your payout. To keep yourself safe, you must choose to have a reserve. Then you will know that you will end up with your desired amount. You will be glad you waited.

 

Upgrade or Redesign It

You are used to wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry, and this ring has meaning to you.

One choice that many people do not consider is trading the in for a new piece of jewelry, but it can be very healing. Many jewelers will give you store credit for your ring. Often, store credit will be higher than any cash offer you receive, and you will end up with a piece of jewelry that is just as beautiful and valuable as the original. It will also be a symbol that you are moving on.

If you do not want to trade it in, here is another option: change the style of the ring, or turn it into a completely different piece of jewelry altogether, such as a pendant for a necklace. This choice is a great way to mark your new life, and it is a beautiful way for your wedding ring to change with you.

 

Keep It

Perhaps you have a sentimental attachment to your ring. Sometimes marriages end amicably, or one person does not want to let go of everything the ring symbolized.

You can still wear it if you want to, though that might not be the healthiest thing to do. However, if you need more time, wearing it is certainly an option. You can also pass it down to children or grandchildren.

If your children are still small, you can keep it in a jewelry box and hold onto it for them, or keep it for yourself as a way to remember the past. That way, you can get a new jewelry box or another kind of container. If you want to add some humor and flare, you can also order little coffins that were specifically made for wedding rings.

Sometimes, you want to keep it, but you do not want it to be where you are tempted to keep looking at it. If that is the case, try putting it in a safe-deposit box. Then you can take your time considering your next course of action. If you know that it is safe and available to pass down or sell, you will have peace of mind as you go through the challenges of life after divorce.

 

Summary

Whatever you choose to do with the ring, think about all of your options. If you do choose to sell it, there are many wrong turns you can take, which can lead you to get significantly less of a payout. Consider hiring a divorce coach, who has experience in selling rings. They know the industry and have valuable contacts.

A wedding ring might seem like a small aspect of a divorce. However, its symbolism is huge, so it is a decision you should not make immediately or take lightly.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

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Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.