Gothamist always thought that when the man in an engaged couple called things off, he should let the woman keep the ring - and if the woman in the engaged couple ended things, she should return the ring. But sometimes there are mitigating factors that make conventional etiquette obsolete. Dana Clyburn Parker of South Carolina met Manhattan financial guy Brian Callahan via Match.com in 2001, eventually moving to NYC. Callahan proposed to her in July 2002, giving her a 3.4 carat ring worth $40,000 (!), but in 2003, Parker dumped him after finding out he was still "pursuing online relationships with other women," as in other emails to women on Match.com. D'oh! But Callahan denies this of course - we're talking about $40,000 of ice!
Anyway, a judge ruled that Parker was able to keep the ring because Callahan wasn't officially divorced when he proposed. Double dippity d'oh! From the Post:
When one of the parties is married, an agreement to marry is void as against public policy," the judge said - so the "gift" cannot be considered conditional.
So, in spite of Callahan's complaints that Parker was pressuring him to propose and in spite of being divorced except in paper work, Gothamist says this: Be divorced when you propose. And if this was a longterm grift, touche!