BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. — It turns out that diamonds are not forever if you break off an engagement.
An Alabama appeals court ruled that a woman who broke off an engagement cannot sell the ring, WALA-TV reported.
The ruling overturns a decision by the Baldwin County Circuit Court that ruled the man gave the woman the ring as a Christmas present, the television station reported. Since there were no conditions placed on the gift, she did not have to return it, the circuit court ruled.
The Alabama Court of Appeals wants that decision vacated, WALA reported.
According to court records, the man proposed to the woman on Christmas Eve in 2018 and she accepted the ring, which was valued at $32,000, according to the television station.
Sometime in 2019, the woman broke off the relationship and the man asked for the ring back two months later, according to court documents.
The woman refused, saying she had thrown the ring into the Intracoastal Waterway, but she later admitted she sold it for $10,000, WALA reported.
The appeals court said the woman was “unjustly enriched at his expense” since she refused to return the engagement ring or its value and the gift was conditioned on a marriage that didn’t happen, the television station reported.
According to NOLO, a publisher of legal books, whether there is an obligation to return an engagement ring differs from state to state. In most states, the courts consider an engagement ring a gift from one person to another. However, it is also considered a conditional gift, which means one person gives the gift to another with the understanding that its acceptance means the end result is marriage.
WALA has reached out to both parties in the dispute but has yet to receive a response.
©2021 Cox Media Group