There are a million possible stories behind a person coming into a jewelry store and returning a ring, and these are a few of the absolute best!
“I sold jewelry years ago as a second job. One guy will always come to mind. He was young, very shy, and only after seeing him a couple of times, and becoming friendly, did I find out that he had a TBI (traumatic brain injury). He would come into the store once a week and look at the rings. When he finally settled on one, we put it on lay-away, and he would still come by to look at it each week. I came to really like him, he was a good and decent man. We counted the days together, each week, we counted down to his big night. The day he came and picked up the ring, I remember putting it in the fanciest box we had. I wished him well and off he went. When I didn’t see him the following week, I just smiled, knowing he was happy. About a month later, he came back carrying the little bag. He said, ‘Can I give it back, Charlie?’ I asked him what happened and he told me that she said no. I didn’t ask any more questions. I would have done anything to fix him at that moment, but I knew that there wasn’t anything I could do or say to make him feel better. So I just told him that I was sorry and I rang up his return. As he was leaving, I said, ‘She has no idea what she’s missing.’ I never saw him again.”
Crazy Diamond Heist
“I’ve been in this business for over 10 years, and I’ve sold enough engagement rings that I really have no idea how many are out there at this point. Here’s the worst story. A couple comes in together (let’s call them Mike and Stephanie). Mike is ready to spend about $20k, which is a LOT of money for a young couple, and I’m showing them rings in that range, but Stephanie keeps pushing for more, and more, and MORE. Finally, with enough begging, pleading, smiles, and thinly veiled sexual promises, she talks him into a 3 carat center diamond, with an elaborate setting, for around $30k. Honestly, I don’t feel great about having to witness this whole exchange, but at the end of the day, it’s none of my business, so I complete the transaction. About 3 weeks later, Stephanie comes to my office alone. I assume she needs the ring re-sized or something, but instead she asks me if I can remove the center diamond and replace it with a CZ (cubic zirconia, a very cheap diamond substitute). I’m surprised, so I stammer ‘Sure, but why? Are you traveling or something and don’t want to risk the stone?’ She responds that it’s nothing like that, she just prefers to have the CZ in there for now. Obviously, every red flag in existence is waving in front of my eyes at this point, so I say OK, take her ring, and tell her she can come back in a day or two to pick it up with the CZ in it. But as soon as she’s out the door, I’m dialing Mike. After all, HE’S the one who wrote me a $30k check, so HE’S my customer, not HER. Mike picks up, and after a moment of small talk, I ask him if he knows what Stephanie is up to. ‘NO!’ is the shocked response. Mike called me back the next day and told me that apparently Stephanie was planning to call off the engagement and return the ring, but keep the 3 carat diamond. He was obviously very upset, and asked me if I could give him a refund. I offered my sympathy, and gave him back his money. Needless to say, he was very grateful that I had called him. About 2 years later, Mike came back with another woman who I liked much better. They’re happily married with two kids now. Mike and I have become friends, and he’s probably referred me 10+ other customers over the years. As for Stephanie, after she left my office that day, I never saw her again.”
Not The Surprise He Was Hoping For
“Back when I worked at a pawn shop there was this guy that came in all the time to buy jewelry for his live in girlfriend. He worked on offshore rigs and when he got home, he’d pick up something small and nice for his gf to show her he missed her. Well one day he came in wanting a ring. Said he felt it was finally time. Awesome! We pick out this great ring that he knows she’ll love, and off he goes. Says he’s going to surprise her with it that night. That night, I’m still at work. He comes in looking pissed. Apparently this time he came in after he told her he was heading back to the rig and he’d see her in a few weeks. He go the ring, then went back to the house to surprise her with the proposal, and tell her he had a few weeks off instead. He walked in on her and one of his best friend going at it. Not even an hour after he had left. He asked if he could return it. I said yes. He asked if he could spend the cash right then, I said yes. He asked if he could look at our shotguns, I said no. I didn’t want any part of that. He left, never saw him again.”
“Just out of university I ended up working in a jewelry store. Now I mostly did the paperwork, but I did do sales occasionally too. One day a friend from high school came in. He’d been dating the same girl for the past 8 years and it was no surprise at all that he was going to propose. So I started walking him through the rings. But the store had this stupid policy of the salespeople having more experience being allowed to lay claim to all the diamond sales. So Linda comes along and physically pushes me out of the diamond case and says that she’ll take over. Uh, no, both the man and I say. We’ve known each other for 10 years, and I’ve been friends with the girl he’s choosing the ring for since I was a toddler. He stands his ground and says he’ll only buy from me, because he trusts me and he wants me to get the commission. Well, Linda is pissed. Let me tell you. So she pulls me aside and says she’ll ‘help’ with the sale. Now, I’d gone through diamond sales training and had the certificate at this point. There was no reason at all I couldn’t do it by myself. But our manager was an idiot and she didn’t care about rules. (She let one guy ‘borrow’ 2 carat diamond earrings overnight to wear to a party. Yes, you read that right.) So I go back to my friend and Linda hovers over us. Eventually we pick a ring we both think my friend will like. When we go to ring it up, my manager and Linda again physically push me away from the till and put it under Linda’s number. My friend sees this and gets rather upset. I am told very harshly by my manager that since Linda is on the clock the sale has to be hers. I just cave and let them do it. My friend is not happy, but he takes the ring. A week later, after the proposal, they both come into the store. I give them congratulations and hugs and we chat for a few. Linda’s looking really smug. Except my friend isn’t wearing the ring. She’s wearing a different one. One from the store across the hall. I look at it and it’s a beautifully designed ring, I would have chosen it too if we’d had anything like it. So guess who’s looking smug now? The three of us turn to Linda and we do the return. And you know what? All these years later, I moved across the country. I’m walking through a mall one day exploring my new mall and city. Guess who I fucking see behind the counter in the jewelry store? Linda.”
Don’t Worry, There’s A Happy Ending
“Friend named Joanne was a bit socially awkward, which is not that uncommon for lesbians. She decides that she wants to put a timer on herself to motivate her to get out there and meet women. She goes to a jewelry store, picks out a big, gorgeous ring, prices it out exactly as she would want, and then gets a number: $20,000. So then Joanne goes home, and works out a plan. She’s going to put $250/month in the bank for the next 7 years. During that time her goal is to meet a woman worthy of this ring. She is motivated – this is about 10% of her take home pay so it’s a significant amount to her. She starts dating, asking girls out, has a few relationships. Finally she meets Dawn. Dawn is nothing at all like Joanne. Where Joanne is a bit socially awkward and kind of quiet, Dawn is tall, loud, and boisterous. She laughs too loud and too often for some people. She’s always got a story, she can drink like a sailor, and Joanne is completely in love with her. They meet, date a few times, and in three weeks Dawn moves into Joanne’s apartment. Some of Joanne’s friends don’t like Dawn. Her roommate doesn’t mind so much. Dawn loses her job, and for three months is looking for another one while she finishes grad school. Dawn may be a bit obnoxious, but she’s seemingly pretty honest. She seems to really care for Joanne.
Anyway, a couple more years go by and Joanne tells me she’s saved up the amount – she’s got a savings account with $20,000 in it and she wants to ask Dawn to marry her. Dawn has been employed for a few years now as a graphic designer and part time community college professor for art history. I tell Joanne she should ask Dawn first – but she’s having none of it. Joanne goes to the store, buys a ring almost identical to the one she wanted (the other one wasn’t available anymore – this is almost 7 years later now) and she takes it home to propose to Dawn. Dawn loses it. She just starts crying. She can’t handle it. She says she won’t give her an answer – she needs time to think. She needs to be alone. Dawn heads out the door – no luggage, no keys. Dawn is just…gone. Six hours later Joanne calls me in hysterics…she wants to take the ring back but doesn’t trust herself to drive. Can I take her? Sure.
So if you’ve never been to a jewelry store to return a ring with a sobbing woman – good for you. It’s basically the best way to get people to give you the dirtiest looks possible. So Joanne and I get the money and we’re heading home. We get to the house and there’s Dawn on the porch. I tell her I’m going to leave but Joanne tells me to stay ‘just in case.’ Turns out Dawn had been proposed to once before – by a guy. Her first boyfriend right out of high school. Dawn is a bit of a drama queen and didn’t even consider ever being married again since gay marriage wasn’t legal in our state at the time. She just figured she’d be one of those ‘old dykes’ you see at OSH on the weekend buying plants. She walked around for almost 8 hours – considering it. She told us both that she had to be completely honest, first and foremost. She then told us the following: She would absolutely marry Joanne, but there would be no $20,000 ring. There would be no diamond because Dawn hates the diamond industry. Dawn wanted a simple titanium band. ‘Like a dude. Diamonds would just get in the way.’ Despite her previous kind of weird bohemian existence, she admitted that she’s from a very wealthy, very large family that loves her very much and does not care that she’s gay. Joanne had met her mom once and a brother once, but somehow had missed the fact that Dawn had six total siblings and step-siblings and had a personal trust fund that was well into the seven figure range. ‘We just never talked about that stuff much as long as the bills got paid,’ she said.
Dawn said that they shouldn’t get married right away in San Francisco, where they lived, but that they should spend a month traveling first. ‘If we can still stand each other after traveling for a month we’re good.’ Joanne had always wanted to travel but didn’t have the money. That changed. When Dawn and Joanne came back from their month abroad (technically a little over 5 weeks) having visited Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico (the joke was that it was the ‘pacific rimming’ trip) they were very much in love and wanted to get married immediately. A matching pair of titanium rings, $50 each off Amazon. ‘Like a dude,’ as Dawn said. They got married (a ceremony at least) in Golden Gate Park. I was there with some close friends. Last year in 2013 it became legal and they had an official ceremony – with family and friends from around the world. Dawn’s dad gave a great speech. ‘You never expect to use the phrase ‘my daughter’s wife’ when you get handed a naked baby…but it’s far from the most difficult thing to wrap your head around, especially compared to 8 years of art school…'”
That’s A Pretty Good Reason To Break It Off
“I worked at a jewelry store in a mall close to my community college, and while my time there was short, I have experienced someone returning a ring. It was the week of Mother’s Day and he was the first person I was able to sell diamonds to since I had finished my diamond certification course, or whatever its called. Anyway, he told my boss and I that he wanted to propose to his girlfriend who also happens to be the mother of his 2 or 3 year old son. He picked out the diamond that was a specialty diamond to the store. After he purchased it I hadn’t seen him for about a month, when he walked into the store asking to speak to my boss. After about 10 minutes and a sorrowful shoulder grab my boss started the return. Come to find out, his fiancé had said yes but then I guess guilt started to settle in cause she wasn’t sure if her son was his. Worst part about it all is he helped raise the child from day one and involved him in the proposal.”
“I worked/work odd days here and there in a jewelry shop. Because I’m not full time and only do the odd day, I don’t often get to see the outcomes, however there was one, fairly amusing time that I did. The guy was young, late teens or maybe early twenties. He went on and on about how much he loved his girlfriend, and how he wanted the perfect ring for her. I showed him a few, and each time he asked if we had anything cheaper. Finally, he settled on a £50 silver and cubic zirconia dress ring. Now, I’m not saying price should matter that much when it comes to engagement rings, but this was ridiculous, and the ring even looked cheap and tacky. Anyway, off the guy went, only to return literally a few hours later to return the ring because she’d (unsurprisingly) said no. He brushed it off, made comments about her being a bitch and such. Then he topped it all off by trying to hit on me.”
Bought It Too Soon
“Not a jeweler, but from the guys point of view: Went shopping for a ring. Found a great one. Picked it out, was going to pick it up after work on Monday. Halfway through Monday, I get laid off, and have to return the ring so I can use the money to move across the country. The jewelers were super nice about it and gave me my deposit back and everything, and called occasionally wishing me luck in finding a new job. Sucked big time.”
“It’s better to return a ring than to give it to your next girlfriend! Don’t do this, please. My ex, who was obsessed with the ‘idea’ of me (not the ‘real’ me), decided to propose and bought a cartier engagement ring. I overheard him talking to his mother (he still lived at home at 35 and she still ironed his underpants). After a few serious alarm bells, I finally got the courage to leave him before he got the chance to propose. Anyway, he was upset about this break up and started frequenting my college library (among other stalker stuff). He saw a girl who has my hair color and style and starts to chat to her. Turns out she even has the same name as me. They start dating and he turns her into a mini-me, taking her to our holiday places and posing her in identical poses. They buy a dog the same breed as mine (he hated animals and was allergic) and CALLS IT THE SAME NAME AS MY DOG! He proposes and gives her the ring he chose for me. A year after our breakup he ‘bumps’ into me, and was so proud to tell me their story. Yuk yuk yuk. Return the darn ring and get the poor girl her own.”
“I used to work in a pawn shop during the summers between college. I would say that once a week we would get someone coming in to sell engagement rings that were turned down. It was always sad because my boss knew that he could get them for a cheaper price because the people just wanted to get rid of the rings. The poor souls would usually leave with around half the money the ring was worth just to move on.”
Out With The Old
“Not a jeweler but I did return and engagement ring. The ex-fiancee and I had broken up for good in December of 2005 and I had held onto the ring because I was an idiot (‘There’s still and chance man!’). The following St. Patrick’s day I decided to pawn the ring to get some booze money to go to a party with this girl I had been seeing since the middle of February. Pawn store clerk hands me a receipt with the invoice number and he notices that the last three numbers were 666. I thought that was pretty fitting. Best part is that the girl I was getting booze money for became my wife three years later I now have a beautiful daughter.”
“My brother in law is a jeweler. He told me that he can always tell when someone is going to return the ring. If the man and the woman are WAY off on how much to spend, it’s over. In his experience, it’s mostly the women who want to spend over 10 grand. When the guy wants to spend a few hundred and the woman wants to get a 2nd mortgage, it’s over. The other one is when the woman is buying the ring instead of the man. He says he sees it often and they used to take bets on when she would be coming back to try and return the ring. They don’t do that anymore because most of the time the woman came back within a few months to return it.”
“I sold jewelry for almost a year at a retail store and frequently we’d have young men come in (sometimes really drunk) to buy engagement rings for their girlfriends and they’d come back in a few days to return it. Personally, I guess because of my age and that I’m a woman, these men felt like I needed to hear about their ‘bitchy girlfriends’ and how they tried to mend their relationships with an engagement.”
Stuck With It
“Not a jeweler or an employee of a jewelry store, but the unfortunate chump that had to wind up returning an engagement ring. After moving across Canada to chase who I thought was going to be my wife I found out she was cheating on me. Roughly 6 months earlier I had spent what savings I had buying the engagement ring that she wanted from a rather well known chain jewelry store in Canada. Well to make a long story short they wouldn’t take it back, as much as I fought with them they pretty much told me I was S.O.L. I wound up selling it privately and losing roughly 5k in the deal. Still bitter.”
“I worked at a pawn shop owned by a friend’s relatives for a short time and the thing that comes to mind when I read this thread is the time I probably ruined a relationship. A lady came in one day with a ring, she asked if we could appraise saying ‘He said he spent $5000 on it, I want to check to make sure.’ I thought it was funny, so I took the ring in the back, Checked the gold – fake. Checked the diamonds – all fake. Head back to the lady and hand it to her saying it’s definitely not $5k, more like costume jewelry. Needless to say she was PISSED, stormed out of the store yelling ‘I’m gonna kill that motherfucker!’ I chuckled and went about my day.”