Is An Engagement Ring A Gift

Is An Engagement Ring A Gift? Answered (Updated)

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Once you become engaged, one of the initial responsibilities you undertake is the selection of an engagement ring. This can feel intimidating considering the extensive array of options available.

Some people may consider the engagement ring a gift from the person proposing. But is this really the case? Is an engagement ring a gift? Let’s find out. 

Can You Consider An Engagement Ring A Gift?

hand holding an engagement ring

Most experts agree that, technically, an engagement ring is not a gift. This is because the ring is typically purchased with the intention of being used in a future marriage proposal. 

However, some couples do choose to give a ring as a surprise gift, without any specific intention of getting married.

This makes sense because in terms of gift uniqueness and luxury, ruby rings are hard to beat, and so work as a standalone gift independent of their original intended purpose. You might choose to buy one for a special person in your life, irrespective of your long-term plans together.

In this case, the ring can be considered a symbol of love and commitment, making it more akin to a traditional gift. Whether you consider an engagement ring a gift or not is ultimately up to you and your partner. But is it a horrible idea to get married on your birthday?

Is An Engagement Ring A Conditional Gift?

An engagement ring is a gift given to someone to signify that the giver intends to marry them. It is typically given during an engagement period, which is the time between when a couple becomes engaged and when they get married. 

The engagement ring is seen as a symbol of love and commitment and is often quite expensive. Because of this, there is often a lot of pressure on the person receiving the ring to accept it, even if they are not ready to get married. 

This can lead to the engagement ring becoming a conditional gift, where the relationship is only considered valid if the couple gets married. In some cases, the ring may even be used as leverage to force someone into getting married. 

What Makes A Gift Conditional?

A conditional gift is a gift that comes with stipulations attached. [1] The recipient must meet certain conditions to receive the gift, or the gift may be withdrawn. For example, a parent may agree to pay for their child’s college education only if the child maintains good grades. 

Or, a friend may offer to lend you money, but only if you pay it back within a certain timeframe. In essence, a conditional gift is a way for the giver to exercise control over how and when the gift is used. 

While this may seem like an unfair or even ungenerous act, there are often good reasons for making a gift conditional. In some cases, the giver may want to ensure that the gift is used the way they intended. 

Or, they may want to motivate the recipient to achieve a specific goal. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know that not all gifts are unconditional. Before accepting a gift, be sure to ask about any conditions that may be attached.

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Who Keeps the Engagement Ring After A Breakup?

woman wearing ring on left hand

The question of who gets to keep the engagement ring after a breakup is contentious. In many cases, it boils down to who purchased the ring in the first place. If the ring was bought by the person who is now breaking off the engagement, they are typically entitled to keep it. 

However, if the ring was a gift from the other party or paid for with joint funds, things can get more complicated. There are a few different schools of thought regarding engagement rings and breakups. Some believe the ring should be returned to the person who purchased it, regardless of who initiated the split. 

Others feel the ring should be kept by whoever wears it during the breakup. And still, others think that the decision should be made based on who has a more sentimental attachment to the ring. 

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer regarding who gets to keep the engagement ring after a breakup. It is a personal decision that should be made between the two parties involved.


Is an engagement ring considered an asset?

It depends on the ring. If it’s a family heirloom or something really valuable, it would be considered an asset. Otherwise, it would likely be considered a personal item and not counted as an asset.

Find out when should you stop wearing your wedding ring here.

Do you give the ring back after a broken engagement?

It depends. Sometimes, the couple might mutually agree to give the ring back. Or, if one person unilaterally decides to break off the engagement, they might also choose to give the ring back. 

There are also cases where one person will keep the ring even after a broken engagement. Ultimately, it’s up to the couple to decide what happens with the ring once the engagement ends.

But how do you keep a wedding and engagement ring together?

Is an engagement ring a gift in divorce?

It depends on the state you live in. Some states consider an engagement ring a gift, while others do not. Generally, if an engagement ring is given as a gift intended to be used for marriage, then it would likely be considered marital property in a divorce. 

However, if the ring were given as a gift with no such intent, it would likely not be considered marital property. If you are considering getting divorced and have questions about your specific situation, you should speak to an attorney.

Final Thoughts

Engagement rings are symbols of love and commitment. They can be seen as gifts, but they also come with many expectations and financial responsibilities. Ultimately, it is up to the couple to decide whether or not an engagement ring should be considered a gift.


Kimberlee Johnson
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