Colton Underwood is ready to put a ring on it — he just needs the jewelry first.
During an Instagram Story Q&A on Friday, Underwood, 27, was asked about eventually proposing to his final pick, Cassie Randolph, 24. In an apparent dig at The Bachelor, which he headlined in the show’s 23rd season earlier this year, Underwood responded by saying he’ll have to wait until he purchases a diamond on his own.
“After I buy a ring,” he said, responding to an Instagram user’s proposal question. “I never actually got a ring. But when the time is right, I’ll buy a nice ring with no strings on it.”
The comment seemingly refers to the ring he was given back in March during a post-season appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The host presented Underwood with a shiny Neil Lane rock and explained that Lane requested the ring be given to the couple even though there wasn’t a proposal on finale night.
“I do feel like you guys kind of got cheated a little bit because of the way you went about this,” Kimmel, 52, said during the episode. “Because they love to have you get engaged on television and part of the deal is you get the ring from Neil Lane. So this afternoon I was like, ‘This kind of sucks, they don’t get the ring from Neil Lane.’ So we called Neil Lane and so here, he sent the ring.”
Upon receiving the sparkler, Underwood asked Randolph to stand up, but quickly told her he was just joking as a reluctant look crossed her face.
The couple left the show as “confidently boyfriend and girlfriend,” Underwood told Kimmel and said the possibility of an engagement was on the horizon.
“You know we’ve talked about it,” the grinning reality star said at the time, after referring to Randolph as his “future wife.”
Representatives from ABC did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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Underwood’s season was one to remember, most notably because the former football player diverged from the traditional Bachelor path in more ways than one. He broke things off with runners-up Tayshia Adams and Hannah Godwin after Randolph left, overwhelmed by the possibility of an imminent proposal.
“I know there’s a certain format that comes along with being the Bachelor,” Underwood previously told PEOPLE in March. “But this was about the rest of my life. And I couldn’t risk giving Cassie up.”
He added at the time, “She doesn’t have a ring on her finger yet. But she will, one day.”
This wouldn’t be the first time a Bachelor Nation member proposed with a ring chosen on their own outside of their respective show. In August, Jordan Rodgers re-proposed to JoJo Fletcher with a new ring three years after their Bachelorette engagement.