Does Golden Bachelor Star Theresa Nist Get to Keep Her $40,000 Engagement Ring?

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The Golden Bachelor stars Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist stunned fans of the show on Friday when they announced they would be divorcing after only three months of marriage.

“Theresa and I have had a number of heart-to-heart conversations, and we’ve looked closely at our situation, and we’ve kind of come to the conclusion mutually that it’s probably time for us to dissolve our marriage,” Gerry said on Good Morning America on April 12.

“I think we just feel like it’s best for the happiness of each of us to live apart,” he said with Theresa by his side.

The couple married Jan. 4 in a star-studded live TV wedding event with a slew of Bachelor Nation royalty in the audience, including Ryan and Trista Rehn Sutter who married in the first Bachelor franchise wedding 20 years ago.

Related: What We Know So Far About The Golden Bachelor Season 2

With their long-rumored split confirmed, there's one big question that remains: What happens to that fabulous $40,000 Neil Lane engagement ring?

Gerry and Theresa shocked America by announcing their split just a few months after their televised 'Golden Wedding.'<p>ABC</p>
Gerry and Theresa shocked America by announcing their split just a few months after their televised 'Golden Wedding.'


We dug deep into the rules about keeping and returning The Bachelor franchise’s pricey engagement rings if the relationships go south, as so many do. Read on for more Bachelor Nation ring secrets.

Will Theresa have to return her engagement ring?

Gerry, 72, gave Theresa, 70, a diamond engagement ring from famed celebrity jeweler Neil Lane.

In a tradition that began more than two decades ago with the very first season, contestants receive their engagement rings for free—as long as they are designed by Lane.

But they can't keep them if they split up during a two-year period after the engagement.

Theresa told GMA’s Juju Chang during their breakup interview that she will have to return the ring: “I think that’s the rule. I think I have to give this ring back, sad to say.”

Strangely trying to put a positive spin on the matter, Gerry, who held Theresa’s hand during the announcement, then said, “But you know what, we don’t have to give back the memories.”

Neil Lane gave Gerry plenty of rings to choose from!<p>ABC</p>
Neil Lane gave Gerry plenty of rings to choose from!


How much did Theresa’s engagement ring cost?

The gorgeous custom ring Gerry proposed with is worth $40,000, according to the Daily Mail.

The ring features a huge princess cut diamond center stone with two longer baguette diamonds on each side, all set in gold. An additional 128 small round stones complete the setting for a total of 3.15 carats.

Gerry proposed to Theresa with the ring on 'The Golden Bachelor' finale last year.<p>ABC</p>
Gerry proposed to Theresa with the ring on 'The Golden Bachelor' finale last year.


What happens to Theresa’s wedding band?

Just hours after announcing their breakup, Theresa was seen in her hometown of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, still wearing her diamond wedding band, according to social media reports.

However, she wasn’t wearing the Neil Lane engagement ring and perhaps had already returned it.

At 'After the Final Rose' following 'The Golden Bachelor' finale, Theresa was happy to flash her engagement ring from Gerry. <p>ABC</p>
At 'After the Final Rose' following 'The Golden Bachelor' finale, Theresa was happy to flash her engagement ring from Gerry.


What is the ring rule for Bachelor couples?

While ABC hasn't officially revealed engagement ring rules for Bachelor couples, former host Chris Harrison told Entertainment Weekly in 2016 that couples must stay together for at least two years after their finale airs to keep their engagement rings.

If they split up earlier, they must return the ring to Neil Lane.

Jesse Csincsak, who got engaged to Season 4 Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas, previously revealed this timeline, telling Bustle in 2014, “In the contract, it says if you are not together for two years after the final day of the show airing, you have to give the ring back.”

DeAnna herself later confirmed to Entertainment Weekly, “I had to give it back. It wasn’t painful for me because it had no meaning anymore."

Related: Get the Scoop on the First Golden Bachelor Divorce

What happens to returned Bachelor engagement rings?

Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, who got engaged to her Season 14 pick Garrett Yrigoyen, joked to the Bachelor Party podcast in 2019, “I will say there is a ring graveyard. They get to keep them all locked away, hidden from everyone—all the scorned rings.”

Neil Lane remained coy on what happens to the rings.

In 2016, he told Stylecaster where the rings go after the breakups: “I just say it goes to ring heaven.”

Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen on The Bachelorette Season 14.<p>ABC/Paul Hebert</p>
Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen on The Bachelorette Season 14.

ABC/Paul Hebert

How much do the Bachelor engagement rings cost?

Although ABC has kept mum on the matter, it’s been reported that the show’s rings can run from $40,000 to $150,000.

Gerry's ring for Theresa is on the low end of the scale, probably because he was the first Golden Bachelor of the senior spinoff.

E! News reported in 2016 that the engagement ring that Season 20 Bachelor Ben Higgins gave to his winner Lauren Bushnell was worth a whopping $95,000.

The two went their separate ways in 2017 after just a year’s engagement, meaning they had to return the ring.

Lauren sported a massive rock from Ben, but it didn't last. <p>Mike Pont/WireImage</p>
Lauren sported a massive rock from Ben, but it didn't last.

Mike Pont/WireImage

What was the most expensive engagement ring in Bachelor history?

Life & Style has claimed Season 11 Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe holds the title. She received a 3.5 carat Neil Lane diamond engagement ring worth a whopping $150,000 from her show choice Shawn Booth.

Kaitlyn and Shawn split three years later, and because the engagement lasted longer than two years, she kept the ring.

“I don’t know what to do with it … but I don’t feel right selling it,” she told Entertainment Weekly.

ABC/Kaitlyn and Shawn couldn't go the distance.
ABC/Kaitlyn and Shawn couldn't go the distance.

Which star broke the Bachelor ring rule?

Season 6 Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky told an Us Weekly podcast in 2020 that she told producers no when they tried to collect her engagement ring after her 2011 split from Roberto Martinez.

“[We were together for] 18 months and the reason I know that so well is because I remember they wanted to, like, take my engagement ring away. And I was like, ‘No, this is part of my history, like, this is mine, you cannot have it!’” Ali said. “Per the contract, it was supposed to be two years, but they let me keep it.”

She added to Us, “I was like, ‘You’re not taking this from me, like, I’m keeping it.’ I put my foot down. And then they were fine with it. They understood when I, like, broke it down.”

ABC/ Roberto Martinez and Ali Fedotowsky
ABC/ Roberto Martinez and Ali Fedotowsky

Which Bachelor star auctioned her engagement ring?

According to reports, early in the franchise’s run, in 2004, Season 4 Bachelor Bob Guiney’s pick Estella Gardinier auctioned off his “promise” ring!

Estella sold the $45,000 ring for $22,300.

Which Bachelorette star stores her engagement ring in an usual spot?

Jillian Harris, who starred as the Season 5 Bachelorette in 2009, somehow wasn't subject to the ring return rule.

She split from show fiancé Ed Swiderski just one year after the show ended, and told Entertainment Weekly, “I still have it. It’s in my panty drawer…but now I have to move it because everybody will know.”

Which contestant was furious about returning her ring?

Michelle Young got engaged to Nayte Olukoya as Season 18’s Bachelorette but after they broke up only six months later, she was stripped of her ring.

Last year, she said on the Almost Famous podcast, “It was my dream ring. I wanted the relationship to work. I was willing to put in work for the relationship. And I had the person take off. I feel like that was literally kind of stripped away from me. So it pisses me off.”

ABC via Getty Images/Michelle Young<p>Craig Sjodin/Getty Images</p>
ABC via Getty Images/Michelle Young

Craig Sjodin/Getty Images

Which Bachelor star refused the free Neil Lane engagement ring?

Season 2 Bachelor Aaron Buerge reportedly chose not to get a free Neil Lane sparkler. Instead, he bought a Harry Winston ring worth more than $32,000 for his winner, Helen Eksterowicz. As Cosmo reported, she sold the 2.5 carat diamond ring on eBay for $28,300 after their split.

Helen previously explained to The New York Post, "I'm not going to wear it, and I don't want it around."

Next, Golden Bachelor Wedding Details: Gerry & Theresa Dish on Dress, Vows, Guests and More