The question of what to do with the ring your ex gave you can be a tricky one for many people. There have undoubtedly been other precious gifts that were received over the years as well. Some may be precious in monetary value. Others may be precious for sentimental reasons. Each individual must make a personal decision about the best way to proceed.
Although my opinion may not be shared by all, I believe the only circumstance in which a ring or other precious gift should be returned is if the marriage was incredibly short lived (think Kim Kardashian). Barring those circumstances, I believe that the ring should stay with its wearer, even if it no longer stays on the finger. As I write this blog I am reminded that on the day my mom and I took our picture for the masthead of our website, I was wearing the diamond my father gave her when they got engaged. However, it wasn't on my finger. It had been repurposed as a necklace. Although my parents are no longer together, I was proud to wear it.
There seem to be three common ways of dealing with expensive gifts or jewelry given by an ex-partner.
1. Sell the item or give it away. When it comes to expensive gems, selling would seem to make sense. Divorce or separation can leave people financially devastated. Sometimes money is desperately needed. If it doesn't feel right to sell a ring for personal gain, it may feel good to give it to a family member. Especially if you have a child who is the product of the union.
2. Repurpose the item so you can use it in a different way. A perfect example would be turning your diamond ring into a diamond necklace. This may only be possible once you have let go of bitter or hurt feelings surrounding your break up. It may simply be too painful to have a reminder of your ex around.
3. Put it in a drawer and forget about it. When a breakup is fresh, it may be hard to know what to with your ring or other expensive gifts from your ex. However, if you let it sit in a drawer for too long, it might signify that you have some unfinished business that has never been resolved. I would encourage you to not let too many years pass without deciding what to do with significant symbols of your lost love.
People around you might have their opinions about what you should do with your wedding ring, a remnant of a relationship that did not work out. It is important to keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. It's a decision that only you must feel comfortable with. When it comes to healing from divorce, or moving past the breakup of any long term relationship, the way you deal with material things is related to the emotional baggage you might carry inside.