Should I Sell My Wife’s Wedding Ring?

Some say that a home is where you make it…

However, reality is that we get attached to our homes and they end up being a place where memories are created and live forever.

Instead of a house being a shelter (as they’re intended) they become our identity.

Thus, when it’s time to sell a home it’s an extremely difficult process for people – some of us have simply become too attached and we believe that there is only ONE home.

Is the Same True for Wedding Rings?

Wedding rings

Picture by Jomphong

In America we have this affinity for material possessions; we simply LOVE stuff!

We love stuff so much that we work our hands to the bones to get it.

We love stuff so much that we go into debt for it and we sacrifice our family’s futures for it.

But at the end of the day, it’s just stuff, right?

What about wedding rings?

A wedding ring is a symbol of one’s love for another. It can also be interpreted as a physical sign of one being married.

Wedding rings have been around for ages and it’s believed they date as far back to the Pharaohs in Egypt. However, the dual wedding bands (husband and wife) didn’t become popular in the United States until the start of World War II.

So, how important are they? Is a wedding ring simply another replaceable material possession or do they have true significance and ancient cultural meaning?

Considering we didn’t even adopt the dual-band marriages until the 1930s, and understanding our culture and affinity for “stuff,” I’d tend to believe that a wedding ring is simply another material possession.

Why Do I Ask?

Well, the reason I ask is because my wife got her ring appraised last week. We wanted to make sure it was properly insured considering it’s been a couple of years since I bought it.

And Holy SCHNIKES!!

The value of the ring has gone up over 60% in the past 3 years!

We’re not loaded by any stretch of the imagination, but I was making decent money when I bought the ring and the increase in value (alone) could nearly pay off our smallest student loan!

I mean…come on…we’re trying to get out of debt, right? If you haven’t been following this blog, I’ll just tell you that’s been our focus and primary goal for the past 5 years.

We’ve taken extra jobs and worked like crazy people to get out of debt more quickly.

We’ve sacrificed and cut our lifestyle for the sake of the ‘debt free’ journey.

We’ve even avoided going further into debt because we hate it so much.

So why not sell the ring and get us that much closer?

I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure I could find another ring without looking very hard. It’s like the whole house thing: there is one on every corner.

My wife wouldn’t even have to go without a ring for long. We could sell the current ring, use the profit to pay down debt, and then buy her a replacement ring (granted…it would be a lesser ring than what she has now).

Better yet, we could wait a few years until diamond and gold prices go back down and buy her the exact same ring all over again! Then she wouldn’t have to take a lesser ring at all and in the meantime I could get her something from one of those cracker jack boxes!

Readers: what say you?

This blog has a fair amount of female and male followers, so I’m excited to see the thoughts from both sides.

Would you sell an item (any item…not just a wedding ring) that had gone up in value and you knew you could easily replace it? Especially if it meant that selling the item would get you 10% closer to achieving your long-anticipated goal?

Or, have I just gone off the deep end? Ladies out there, would you smack your husband if he even considered an idea such as this?

Check out the follow-up post I wrote about the psychology behind these decisions, why I wrote this post, and how the results/feedback turned out: The Emotions Behind Our Spending Habits & Material Possessions

About the Author

By , on Apr 12, 2012
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of WorkSaveLive.com.

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{119 Comments}

  1. jim says:

    Don’t you dare sell that ring! PERIOD. Don’t you dare!

    So you’ve been trying to get out of debt for 5 frickin years – big deal! You’ll get there – eventually, but don’t get there at the expense of selling for $ the ring you gave her that expressed your life-long commitment to each other. Just don’t. It is MORE VALUABLE than you can even begin to imagine.

    Speaking from experience here. My MIL is very wealthy – altho she and my FIL were dirt poor when they married. 67 years and 10 kids later, her single most cherished possession is her wedding ring. It probably wouldn’t sell for $200 today BUT my FIL recently died and that ring is more precious to her than a gazilllion $. Do NOT sell it. In a (very quick) few years your debt will be gone. If you sell that ring (and I don’t care how willing she is to do it) you are cashing out something that you can’t put a price on and you will BOTH grow to resent it. DON’T DO IT!!!!!!!!!

    You’ve got crap hanging around the house you could sell – everyone does. Leave that ring right where it belongs – on your wife’s finger.

    Jim – married to the love of my life for 33 years and have been broker than you ever dreampt of being. PLEASE DO NOT SELL THAT RING.

    p.s.
    YES my wife would b-slap me all the way to timbucktoo if I even thought of selling her wedding/engagement rings.

  2. It’s not your decision to make. It belongs to her.

  3. I would say that if your wife is WILLING to sell it then do it. If she is hesitant, then I would resist selling it. I don’t think the extra money from selling it would be worth a lifetime of resentment.

  4. Lisa says:

    I agree that it needs to be a joint and honest decision. True, (and sadly), to some, wedding rings are status symbols and for all of us, are part of your “stuff”, but for your wife, likely with an emotional attachment. Therefore, the greatest of care should be taken to make sure the joint decision made is one you can both not only live with, but celebrate with no hint of regret.

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