Dear Prudence

Tales of the Rings

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When Prudie mentioned throwing a wedding ring into a fish pond, Sue wrote about her own wedding-ring exorcism, courtesy pawnshop-sponsored vodka, and suggested she’d like to know what other Prudie People had done with their wedding rings. Prudie invited everyone to send in their stories and promised to print the best five. Well, Prudie had no idea that such a flood of mail would come, making “the best five” an impossibility! So, by popular demand, this week will be devoted to the afterlife of wedding rings.


As I have been divorced twice, I took my wedding rings from both exes and had a jeweler make them into a necklace. Now I wear the ex-husbands around my neck like the albatrosses they were when we were married.



I ran my car over it to flatten it, then I threw it away.


I hung onto my wedding ring for a long time, not sure what to do with it. Finally, the week before I remarried, my new guy and I took it to a pawnshop and got $200 for it. Then on our honeymoon in Aruba, we went to the casino and put it all on one hand of blackjack. We won! Then we spent the $400 on a lavish dinner and drinks on the beach.


My first and only wedding ring is in the median of a highway leaving Panama City Beach, Fla. Anybody with a metal detector is welcome to it.


The wedding ring wasn’t worth much, but selling my engagement ring financed a large and elegant party to refuel my social life, post-breakup, to which I invited everyone I knew even slightly. Each person was encouraged to bring other friends. The evening was a very good idea: I met a woman who became my best friend, and a few weeks later she introduced me to a friend of hers whom I have been dating ever since!


After my ex flew the coop, I tied my wedding ring to a helium balloon and let it loose in the wild blue yonder. It was a symbolic gesture … I must have had my head in the clouds to get married in the first place.

—Aerodynamically yours,

Free as a Bird

You asked people to write in about what they did with their wedding rings after the divorce …. I put mine around the dog’s collar and attached the rabies tags to it. It looked better on the dog!!!

Leigh Anne

When my longtime fiance and I married, then divorced, he insisted I keep the ring. Then he wrote me a year later (!) asking me to return the ring. Treating him with the same consideration he showed me, I stuck it in an envelope with a regular stamp. The envelope arrived with a ring-shaped imprint, a small tear, and no ring. Apparently it didn’t make it through the letter-sorting equipment. He was furious … and then I realized that God was a woman with a great sense of humor.

—No Name

I’m holding onto mine until the next time I have a cavity. Then I’m going to have the dentist melt it down and use it as the filling, so when my ex does something that drives me nuts I can grind down on it like THISSS!


My ex-husband knew I wanted to go to law school but always told me he’d divorce me if I went. When he divorced me for an attorney, I discovered that the resale value of the ring conveniently covered half the cost of a three-credit class—and I’m thrilled with the exchange!

—Lisa, the 1L

My engagement and wedding rings sit in my jewelry box. Gold and diamonds hold their value, so I consider them my savings account. For the sake of symbolism, I used my wedding video to tape ER.


When my husband and I were separating, I helped him move into an apartment because he told me he was having some kind of crisis. It didn’t take me long to realize what was actually going on: I was helping him move into a new apartment with his new girlfriend—and that, in fact, they’d been having an affair. I threw my ring in his toilet, and when his girlfriend found it later she thought it was left from the last tenant. My ex-husband didn’t have the courage to tell her where it really came from, and so she wears it (fresh from the toilet) to this day on her right hand. As it wasn’t an expensive ring in the first place, it was a small price to pay for such amusement.


This is not my story, but it’s a lulu. My high-school sweetheart is currently married to her third husband. Following her second divorce (circa 1985) she had both of her wedding rings melted down and molded into a gold pendant, which, to this day, hangs from a delicate gold chain around her neck. The shape of the pendant? A tiny but very erect penis.


I had my wedding ring stashed in a drawer for the past year when I read about yours going into the fish pond. I decided to follow suit and throw mine into the canal outside my backyard. Thanks for a great idea!


I threw mine into the Hudson River—since I knew it was already polluted.


It’s at the bottom of the Mississippi River in New Orleans. If he wants it back, he can swim for it.


My best friend and I went to Balboa Beach and proceeded to get drunk at Studio Cafe. (This was the late ‘80s after all.) I then went to the edge of the Balboa Pier and shouted, “I DIVORCE THEE” three times, while spinning in a circle, then flung my ring into the Pacific.

—Facetious Goddess

After my divorce I walked out to the sidewalk in front of my house and pitched my ring into the sewer. It seemed so appropriate.

—Happy Again

(This next one is a slight deviation, but definitely in the spirit of things.)

Here’s my story of what my ex-fiance did with MY engagement ring when I broke up with him. It was a 1-1/2 carat marquise, and as a final gesture when walking out the door, he turned to me and swallowed it. Looked like it hurt going down … he turned very red and tears started rolling down his cheeks … but I’ll bet it hurt even more upon its reappearance.

—Ms. O’T

As for my two used wedding rings from previous marriages, I own a body piercing shop and used them there. I also advertise a free piercing if you bring in an old ring.

—The Worst Ring Boy

I sold one set back to a jeweler and bought a used computer. Had another melted down with several other meltable mementos and made a new piece of jewelry from the alloy: a composition of past memories, joys, and sorrows! It is healing and soothing to hold it, and it unfetters me from the energy of old ties. Thanks for asking!


Took the rings to a jeweler, sold the gold, and had the solitaire diamond set into a pendant, which I then gave to my daughter for her 18th birthday. The note said, “Now this diamond has been given with love, twice over.” She is 30 now and still wears the pendant every day.


I used the ring from my first marriage as a scarf ring for many years. I took the ring from my second marriage to the top of the Eiffel Tower and flung it as hard and as far as I could, yelling out an expletive [“F*** you, Mr. XXX”] as loud as I dared. For several years I wondered whether the ring hit some unfortunate Parisian out for a late afternoon stroll, but finally decided I was safe from capture and arrest. There will NOT be any third marriage.



For the longest time I wore mine on my thumb so I could “thumb my nose” at him with it.


My ex insisted that I give the ring back … but he didn’t specifically mention the stone, so I went to a jeweler and had the diamond removed and a CZ put in. Then I gave it back to him, never even hinting what I had done. I sold the stone and pocketed the money. (He became an ex from sleeping with one of my bridesmaids a few weeks before the weddingI found out about it. Now the only dog in my life is a Newfoundland! And my current hubby is really a great guy.)

—Most Mischievous in New Hampshire

I pawned my ring for scrap gold (I thought the pawnbroker had a rather appropriate way of putting it) and took the proceeds to Hooters. There was enough money for a nice lunch and a 150 percent tip.


When I got divorced, I lived in California, so my plan was to toss the ring into the ocean. However, I wound up cleaning out closets and gave the ring to the Salvation Army by putting it in a fancy leather purse HIS mother had given me.

—Sylvia in Albuquerque

No. 1, I lost. No. 2, I pawned and paid my car insurance. No. 3, the diamond anniversary band, I put away for a year, then took it out on the first anniversary of the divorce and rededicated it as a celebratory symbol of life without the jerk.

—Mrs. No More


So as you can see, there are a number of cathartic and symbolic ways to dispose of a ring … just as there are satisfying ways to keep and recycle them. These were fun to pass on, not least because each story had the, ahem, ring of truth.