When somebody posts an ad for an engagement ring, you may expect their marriage has bumped and burned, finishing in a divorce and the sale of all reminders of the other human.
But there are other reasons thousands of Canadians are selling their jewels on Facebook buy and sell pages, Kijiji and Varagesale.
Financial distress, last-minute loans and engagement plan mix-ups are some of the reasons these signs of obligation can end up for sale.
One Regina man told CBC News his involvement didn't work out and he was trying to get $7,000 for the ring he bought for over $15,000 just eight months before. A member of a Facebook sell and buy group of people said she bought the ring she was selling at an auction thinking her boyfriend could give it to her, but later identified out he had already acquired one himself.
Other posters had been recently separated, including one woman who wrote a poetic ad for a Vera Wang ring she was offering for nearly $9,000 on Varagesale.
" Met a boy, married that boy-- big mistake, boy converted out to be a liar and a deceive. Time to go and sell the ring to Mexico to celebrate!"
Whose ring is it?
Amanda Sundell's ring didn't make it down the aisle.
The Saskatoon woman said she ended her former engagement prior to the "I do's." Most recently, she posted her 14-carat white gold ring on Facebook for $1,000 after her partnership ended badly.
Initially, Sundell said there was some conflict over who the ring actually belonged to.
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" When you give somebody an item, I don't feel like you can just take something back," Sundell said. Sarah Knudson, associate professor of sociology at the University of Saskatchewan, said involvement rings are usually seen as a conditional gift, both according to North American etiquette norms and in the eyes of the law.
" The greater part of advice out there does say give it back, but there is a lot of pushback to that as well," said Knudson. "If the woman was cheated on, there's certainly a feeling that she's owed that ring to keep. And that's often why these things might escalate into a legal situation because she feels wronged and she actually doesn't view that as something that was conditional, she views it as a gift that was given freely."
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Knudson said research shows that an engagement should allow time for a couple to not only plan their wedding celebration, but also discuss their goals and enrol in pre-marital counselling. She said the average engagement now lasts a little more than a year.
More people are cohabiting before becoming engaged, with most spending more than a year in a fully commited relationship prior to engagement, Knudson said.
Inspite of this, many still fail. And there is often a common string.
" One of the top purposes couples, whether they are dating, engaged or married, break up, is because of financial arguments," Knudson said. "So it's really not surprising that this is a thorny issue. And it's really not astonishing that there are different sensations about it as well."
A lot of people are also investing more on rings.
Knudson said the old rule in Canada was to save one month's wage to buy an engagement ring. Now, on average, Canadians are spending about $6,000.
" Even if you were to compare that to the 1960s and the 1970s, the bar has gotten a lot higher for how spectacular a ring is and how much money they're spending on it," she said. "It's a lot easier to buy these rings on credit and to pay them off over time."
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According to Knudson, a trend in pricier jewelry has gone hand in hand with a general rise in standard of living across the board. People have more cars, more clothes read more and take more trips.
And the standard stone size for proposal rings is one carat.
Why go online?
Over a year since her engagement was broken off, Sundell still had her old ring, but she finally decided to list it online.
" My present partner wanted me to get rid of it," she said. "It doesn't really mean anything to me and I can't absolutely wear it because it was given to me by somebody else that I'm not with."
Before posting the ad, Sundell said she took the ring to a jeweller who encouraged her to sell it herself because she could get more money for it.
Knudson said it's a very similar concept to selling your house without a realtor. You can make as much money as possible without someone else taking a percentage off of the top.