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Breakup Etiquette: What To Do With Jewelry from Your Ex

Aug 29, 2019

Breakups are no fun. When all is said and done, you might be left with a few souvenirs from your time together — gifts like watches, necklaces, rings, and other valuables littering your jewelry box.

Wearing them would feel weird, but what are the other options? Do you return these gifts? Hide them at the top of your closet? Sell them? Throw them into the Chesapeake?

Get some well-deserved cathartic relief. Learn how to purge your life of unwanted jewelry after a breakup.

Return the gift to your ex

If you’re wondering if you should return that expensive piece of jewelry to your ex, breathe easy. There’s no law saying you have to give these gifts back. Though to be fair, there’s also no rule saying you can’t give them back, either.

Whether or not you return the piece of jewelry is completely up to you.

In most cases, we don’t recommend giving it back. But there are a few instances where returning the item (or offering to return it) might be something to at least consider:

  • If the item was a family heirloom
  • If the item was given to you a few days before the breakup
  • If you break off an engagement within a few days of a diamond ring proposal

Continue wearing the jewelry

If you really love the items gifted to you during the relationship, there’s no practical reason why you can’t continue wearing them. But there may be some sentimental ones.

Jewelry often comes with a lot of memories — memories of a time when you two were happy and together. Many people can’t handle wearing or holding onto the emotional baggage. But if you can and you love the jewelry, then by all means, keep wearing it!

Continuing to wear the items could also help you heal from the breakup. We recently talked with one customer who wore a ring from a past relationship for a good 6 months before she felt emotionally ready to part ways with it.

Re-gift it to a friend

Gifting the item to someone else is definitely a unique solution (if not bordering on a faux-pas), but it’s certainly not unheard of. Depending on the style and type of jewelry, pieces leftover from a relationship gone bad can make a great and easy gift — especially in a pinch.

Birthday party for a friend coming up? Forgot to get a gift? Wrap that bracelet in a cute gift box and you’re good to go! Your friend will be none the wiser (especially if you didn’t wear the item often during your relationship).

Trade it in for something else

If you know where your ex purchased the item — and it was purchased recently — there’s a chance the store might let you do a trade. Take it in, tell them your situation, and ask if you’re able to swap it out for another item or get store credit.

Of course, this won’t always be possible and is ultimately up to the discretion of the store, but it could be worth a try!

One situation where this is almost never an option is if the item was custom made for you. We’ve never heard of any jewelry store doing returns or trades on custom-made pieces.

Sell it for cash

The most popular option for jewelry after a breakup is also the one with the biggest reward — selling it for cash.

There are many ways and places to sell your jewelry, but you’ll need to navigate your options carefully, especially if you want to get the best offer (and who wouldn’t?).

Here’s what NOT to do:

  • Sell it on Ebay or Craigslist — these methods are insecure, unsafe, and not worth your time and effort. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve talked to people who have unknowingly got themselves involved in a scam where they either lost their item, were under-compensated, or put in a dangerous situation. Learn more about why you should be careful about selling jewelry online.
  • Sell it to a friend — Never mix business with pleasure. Selling to a friend usually results in getting much less from the item than if you had sold it to a reputable jeweler (it’s that “friend discount” mindset). And then if something happens with the item, like it breaks or is damaged, your friend might be upset and feel like you cheated them. It’s best to avoid this kind of stress on your friendship.
  • Take it to a pawn shop — Pawn shops will never offer you top dollar for your valuable. Even if you trust the pawn shop, most of these businesses do not have the training, education, and years of experience to know how much something is really worth. And if they do know, they want to buy it from you for as little as possible.

So how and where should you sell your jewelry after a breakup? A trusted and reputable jewelry buyer. Here’s what to look for:

  • A local and well-established local company
  • Good standing with the BBB
  • Specialists on staff who can accurately price your item (look for individuals certified by the GIA)
  • Great reviews from happy customers
  • A safe, clean, and high-quality environment
  • Ability to pay you on the spot

Does the buying company in question check all the boxes? Take your item in for an evaluation to see how much it’s worth and what they can offer you. You might be surprised!

Ready to get rid of your jewelry after a breakup? Start at Samuelson’s

Samuelson’s Buyers has been serving the Baltimore community for over a century! We buy all kinds of jewelry and valuables after a breakup — diamonds, rings, watches, you name it!

We’re trusted in the community and have a team of highly trained specialists on staff. We really want to provide you with a safe and high-quality experience, bringing a little bit of happiness to your day during a tough time. Let us know how we can help.

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