What Do People Do With Wedding Rings After Divorce?

Updated June 29, 2018
Find new ways to use wedding rings.

Newly single and wondering what people do with wedding rings after divorce? When the tears have dried up, and the healing begins, people often try to find new uses for a once precious symbol of commitment. Since the divorce rate's acceleration in recent years, some have found new ways to reuse their rings, but many prefer more traditional methods. Let your heart and personality help you decide whether to choose a classic approach or try something a little less common.

Repurpose the Jewels

According to Amy Vanderbilt's 1952 etiquette book, proper wedding and engagement ring etiquette after divorce dictates specific repurposing. Take the ring to a jeweler and have it redesigned, then wear the final product on your pinkie finger to show potential suitors your availability. Instead of turning your wedding ring into a typical necklace or pendant, consider something a little different like an anklet or a barrette.

Save It for the Children

All parents hope to leave something valuable for their children. Many place wedding rings safely into a jewelry box, safe, or bank to save as keepsakes for their daughters or sons.

Give It Back

If you wish to close the book on your marriage in a noble manner, consider offering to return the ring to your ex-spouse. This is especially generous when the ring came from their family rather than a big name jewelry store.

Trade Memories for Cash

Trade Memories for Cash

The byproducts of divorce reach all the way to the bank account. If you find yourself struggling to make ends meet in the aftermath, selling your wedding ring is a viable consideration. Get an appraisal to determine the ring's value then find a buyer.

  • Newspaper Ads: Place an ad in the newspaper offering to sell your ring at a good price.
  • Online Auction: Thanks to sites like eBay, users can set up an auction to sell wedding sets or individual rings.
  • Internet Classifieds: Free classifieds like Craigslist provide additional options for selling off wedding rings.

Lay It To Rest

If you're of a particularly wicked mindset, you might want to order a Wedding Ring Coffin to display on your mantle. It's a fun and harmless way to take control and move forward.

Give It a Ceremonial Goodbye

If you really want nothing to do with your wedding ring, a little creative symbolism may go a long way toward healing. Consider tying your ring to a helium balloon or floating it down the river on a toy boat.

Throw It Away

For those hoping to wash away all memories of their past marriage, a more dramatic approach is in order. Some people throw it in the trash, flush it down the toilet, or even toss it out the window as they drive down the road.

Donate to a Worthy Cause

Organizations like I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation resell jewelry for a small cost at fundraising events. You could also give it to a friend or family member who may be delaying engagement or marriage because of the cost of rings.

Frame It

Find a quote that sums up your feelings about moving on then frame the handwritten quote with the ring and other memorabilia from your marriage in a shadow box.

Bury It

Bury It

Everyone loves a good treasure hunt. Bury your ring in a small treasure chest somewhere and mark the spot. You can leave it's finding up to fate or create a treasure hunt by posting vague clues on social media.

Create a Work of Art

Gather other old jewels or purchase some costume jewelry from a thrift store and dismantle them. Have the jewels removed from your ring. Using some hot glue and a canvas you can create a beautiful mosaic image made entirely of jewels. For wedding bands you can have the metal melted down and turned into a tiny sculpture.

A New Life for You and Your Ring

No matter how you feel right now, give some thought to the matter before you take action. Most of the time, hurts heal and tempers cool, but remorse over your own actions can be a tough pill to swallow.

What Do People Do With Wedding Rings After Divorce?