When the Wedding’s Called Off, Who Gets the Engagement Ring?

An engagement ring is often seen as the ultimate symbol of promise between a couple: That they’ll get married, and hopefully live happily ever after, etc. But what happens when one half of a twosome breaks that promise — and insists on keeping the bling? Why, you report it to the local paper, of course!

That’s exactly what Manhattan resident Philip Langer, 45, chose to do after his fiancée, Ashley Chesler, 43, flew the coop. 

Langer proposed to Chesler with a custom-made $30,000 ring just three months after meeting her in a bar. After an unspecified amount of time, Chesler broke off the engagement and vanished with the promissory jewel. Naturally, her pissed-off ex arranged a meeting with his lawyer — and presumably notified the New York Post, which reported the story on Sunday. 

The thing is, it’s actually law in New York State that the ring giver is the one entitled to keep it should the engagement come to an untimely end — because technically, a ring is a “conditional” gift. Though laws on engagement rings vary from state to state, the only state in the U.S. that currently legally considers a ring to be a completely “unconditional gift” — meaning that it belongs to the receiver, regardless of why the engagement dissolved — is Montana. Bet Chesler’s regretting being a New Yorker right about now!

Legalities aside, if Chesler ended things with Langer on her own accord and not because he somehow betrayed or abused her, it seems pretty obvious that she should return the ring. Thirty-thousand dollars is a helluva lot of cash, and assuming Ches actually did intend to marry the guy originally, she’s got to respect that he spent more than a recent college grad’s salary on a sparkly rock in hopes of making her his wife.  

Or maybe she just lost the ring accidentally, and this whole thing is an elaborate cover-up? Strange things can happen when expensive jewelry is involved. …

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