An Alabama woman called off her wedding then hocked the pricey engagement ring she was gifted at a bargain price, sparking a court battle by her ex-fiancé who wants his money back.
A state appeals court ruled this month that the woman should compensate her ex for the diamond ring, which he purchased for $32,000 but his would-be bride pawned off for $10,000, court documents showed.
The man said he proposed on Christmas Eve 2018 by handing his then live-in girlfriend a holiday gift bag with a 2.5-carat diamond ring, court records said.
The man said he took a knee and popped the question – although the woman testified he never officially proposed marriage, the records stated.
When she moved out in September 2019, she took the ring with her – then refused to give it back and initially claimed she tossed it into a local waterway, court records said. She sold the ring to “an individual” in 2020 when she fell on hard times and lost her job amid the COVID-19 shutdown, court records said.
Her ex-fiancé sued, but he lost in a lower court earlier this year on the basis the ring was an unconditional gift in the eyes of the law. The Alabama appeals court vacated the lower court’s decision and ruled that an engagement ring is a gift conditional on the marriage actually going through.
“We agree that, when an engagement is terminated, the donor has the right to request the return of the engagement ring and that, when such a request is refused, an unjust enrichment cause of action exists,” the appeals court ruled, according to the records, obtained by the Charlotte Observer.