In Iowa, Diamonds Evidently Are Forever

     (CN) – An Iowa man must return a 2.1-carat diamond from his wedding band to his ex-wife, a state appeals court ruled.
     Brandon and Amy Van Zetten were married in 2006 but got divorced in 2013. In the dissolution decree, Amy was awarded “her original engagement ring.”
     Amy complained in 2014 that Brandon had failed to return the original ring. The trial court ruled that he had defaulted on the agreement.
     The court ordered Brandon “to return to Ashley … the original setting with the 2.1 carat princess cut contested diamond intact” within 30 days.
     When Brandon proposed in 2005, he gave Ashley a platinum ring with diamonds on the side and the princess cut diamond in the center.
     However, Ashley stopped wearing the ring when she learned that Brandon had originally purchased it for another woman.
     Before the wedding, the center diamond was transferred from the engagement ring into Brandon’s wedding band.
     Their court fight centered on whether the “original engagement ring” included the center diamond.
     Citing the dictionary definition of “original,” the trial court agreed with Ashley.
     “Original as used in the phrase ‘original engagement ring’ in the decree therefore reasonably means the initial or first form of the engagement ring: the original setting with the contested diamond intact, which is the way the ring was presented to Ashley by Brandon when he asked her to marry him,” the court ruled.
     The court also found that Brandon’s failure to return the ring in that form was not “willful, deliberate or intentional.”
     Brandon appealed, but the Iowa Court of Appeals also ruled in Ashley’s favor.
     “Finding no reason to set aside the district court’s interpretation, we affirm,” Judge Amanda Potterfield wrote on behalf of the court’s three-judge panel.

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