Travel

Traveling with engagement ring

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 8th, 2021 2:07 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 22, 2013
101 posts
37 upvotes

Traveling with engagement ring

Hi all, I reside in Canada and my girlfriend is in Michigan. I will be proposing to her, and was thinking about purchasing the ring in Canada and taking it across the border (either via land or air) and proposing to her there. I also have the option of buying the ring in the USA and proposing to her there, if that is easier. What does this process entail? I am not well-travelled.
25 replies
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
9993 posts
7944 upvotes
Kootenays
MrProdigy wrote: Hi all, I reside in Canada and my girlfriend is in Michigan. I will be proposing to her, and was thinking about purchasing the ring in Canada and taking it across the border (either via land or air) and proposing to her there. I also have the option of buying the ring in the USA and proposing to her there, if that is easier. What does this process entail? I am not well-travelled.
If you buy it in Canada and you're worried about bringing it back, just stop at Canadian customs along the way with your receipt for purchase and register it. If you're worried about the US customs seizing it, call ahead and ask them what to do. Will your girlfriend ultimately reside here or the US?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 22, 2013
101 posts
37 upvotes
smacd wrote: If you buy it in Canada and you're worried about bringing it back, just stop at Canadian customs along the way with your receipt for purchase and register it. If you're worried about the US customs seizing it, call ahead and ask them what to do. Will your girlfriend ultimately reside here or the US?
Ah I see, she resides in the US for the foreseeable future
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22895 posts
21745 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
It’s like any other item you take out of the country
It must be declared … if it’s going to be left in the USA / gifted

You are required by law to declare it to US Customs.
And ya … they might want taxes / duty paid on it … if it’s value is over $ 100 US

Now …
If you bought the ring in America
And gifted it to her there
That would be entirely another matter
Cuz it’s a US Good that never left the USA
As you won’t be returning to Canada with it
So you don’t have to declare it to Canada Customs when you return

In any case …
Whatever you do
Do keep the receipts
As you’ll need those for insurance purposes
And in the future if you / she ever has to prove where the ring was bought when crossing across the Border
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 22, 2013
101 posts
37 upvotes
PointsHubby wrote: It’s like any other item you take out of the country
It must be declared … if it’s going to be left in the USA / gifted

You are required by law to declare it to US Customs.
And ya … they might want taxes / duty paid on it … if it’s value is over $ 100 US

Now …
If you bought the ring in America
And gifted it to her there
That would be entirely another matter
Cuz it’s a US Good that never left the USA
As you won’t be returning to Canada with it
So you don’t have to declare it to Canada Customs when you return

In any case …
Whatever you do
Do keep the receipts
As you’ll need those for insurance purposes
And in the future if you / she ever has to prove where the ring was bought when crossing across the Border
If it's a $15,000 ring purchased in Canada and I'm traveling to the US with it, how much duty will I be charged?
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22895 posts
21745 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
MrProdigy wrote: If it's a $15,000 ring purchased in Canada and I'm traveling to the US with it, how much duty will I be charged?
Sorry that’s a question you’d have to ask US Customs
My knowledge only extends to here at home … Canada Customs

Their situation tho, is very similar to ours when it comes to folks who work “on the line”
How they apply their Customs Act
Is up to the discretion of the Customs Officer on duty when you cross … and whether you are charged the maximum under the law
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 22, 2013
101 posts
37 upvotes
PointsHubby wrote: Sorry that’s a question you’d have to ask US Customs
My knowledge only extends to here at home … Canada Customs

Their situation tho, is very similar to ours when it comes to folks who work “on the line”
How they apply their Customs Act
Is up to the discretion of the Customs Officer on duty when you cross … and whether you are charged the maximum under the law
Okay thank you!
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
26070 posts
10754 upvotes
Socially Distanced
MrProdigy wrote: If it's a $15,000 ring purchased in Canada and I'm traveling to the US with it, how much duty will I be charged?
At that price i suggest asking a paid expert in this area. A mistake is going to cost you thousands of dollars.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22895 posts
21745 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Quentin5 wrote: At that price i suggest asking a paid expert in this area. A mistake is going to cost you thousands of dollars.
Agree … go right to the source :

US Customs & Protection (CBP ) = https://www.cbp.gov/contact
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
26070 posts
10754 upvotes
Socially Distanced
PointsHubby wrote: Agree … go right to the source :

US Customs & Protection (CBP ) = https://www.cbp.gov/contact
I would ask someone privately so that your not on record that can put you under suspicion later.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22895 posts
21745 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Quentin5 wrote: I would ask someone privately so that your not on record that can put you under suspicion later.
Well … unless one knows a US Customs Agent personally … that’s pretty hard to do

Like our CBSA Office, the CBP office that I have given contact info for is quite used to getting inquiries about such matters.

There is no fear of “suspicion” in regards to these types of issues … and asking questions … as long as one is upfront and honest about stuff everytime they cross the border.

It’s folks who are dishonest / have something to hide (ie don’t declare / consciously attempt to smuggle / BREAK THE LAW) who run into problems. Cause one CANNOT CLAIM IGNORANCE OF THE LAW … as an excuse

It sounds as if the OP really wants to do the right thing here … as he should … so to bring no consequences now or later upon himself or his fiancée

So in this case … yes asking questions from the source itself … makes perfect sense. He can contact US CBP by email or phone with the info I have provided
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
26070 posts
10754 upvotes
Socially Distanced
PointsHubby wrote: Well … unless one knows a US Customs Agent personally … that’s pretty hard to do
...
It’s folks who are dishonest / have something to hide (ie don’t declare / consciously attempt to smuggle / BREAK THE LAW) who run into problems. Cause one CANNOT CLAIM IGNORANCE OF THE LAW … as an excuse
To be honest thats not the best idea, one person says something thats wrong and claiming well the border agent said it won't get the OP off the hook. As you say ignorance is not an excuse, and citing a random agent won't save your hide.
There is no fear of “suspicion” in regards to these types of issues … and asking questions …
Unless your a minority
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22895 posts
21745 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Quentin5 wrote: To be honest thats not the best idea, one person says something thats wrong and claiming well the border agent said it won't get he OP off the hook. As you say ignorance is not an excuse, and citing a random agent won't save your hide.


Unless your a minority
What are you going on about ?

The OP want to know :
MrProdigy wrote: If it's a $15,000 ring purchased in Canada and I'm traveling to the US with it, how much duty will I be charged?
That’s a straight forward question.

He asks it directly to CBP … and they’ll tell him what the legal maximum is (Taxes + Duties). So when he arrives at the Border he’ll know what to expect regarding costs.

You … are implying here that once at the Border that CBP will attempt to charge him more cuz he’s possibly a visible minority.

Well if that was indeed the case … then he’d have justifiable reason to file a complaint / appeal with the authorities … the same way we do here in Canada with any ruling made by a CBSA Officer (noting if he had a copy of his question & reply in an email from HQ … then that would go a long way in his favour as well )

Corruption happens … but in the big scheme of things it’s quite low.

Personally I am quite sick of people who think every law enforcement group / officer is corrupt / on the take … it’s just not true. There are fine men & women serving their country / doing their duty every day.
Last edited by PointsHubby on Aug 24th, 2021 9:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
26070 posts
10754 upvotes
Socially Distanced
PointsHubby wrote: What are you going on about ?

The OP want to know :



That’s a straight forward question.

He asks it directly to CBP … and they’ll tell him what the legal maximum is (Taxes + Duties). So when he arrives at the Border he’ll know what to expect regarding costs.

You … are implying here that once at the Border that CBP will attempt to charge him more cuz he’s possibly a visible minority.

Well if that was indeed the case … then he’d have justifiable reason to file a complaint / appeal with the authorities … the same way we do here in Canada with any ruling made by a CBSA Officer (noting if he had a copy of his question & reply in an email from HQ … then that would go a long way in his favour as well )

Corruption happens … but in the big scheme of things it’s quite low.
Jesus, get a grip.
I suggest the OP ask a legal expert because this is not small potatoes at stake.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 9, 2012
5792 posts
4931 upvotes
Oakville, ON
MrProdigy wrote: If it's a $15,000 ring purchased in Canada and I'm traveling to the US with it, how much duty will I be charged?
You can call CBP and ask them the duty rate and they can tell you.

That said, it's not just duty to worry about as I believe that you'll also need to prove to CBP that the diamond is NOT a blood diamond (ie a diamond that originated in: Angola, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, or Guinea Bissau). Not sure if a bill of sale from a recognized Canadian jeweler would suffice - when you call to ask the duty rate you can also confirm what paperwork would be necessary to prove the provenance of the diamond's source.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
6576 posts
3733 upvotes
Toronto
It seems like an unnecessary complication to me - I can't really think of a good reason to buy it here rather than in the US, given that's where she lives. I imagine you would have a greater variety to choose from and probably better pricing there too.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 9, 2009
6633 posts
2870 upvotes
Montreal
If the ring will be staying in the US, definitely buy it in the US. It'll be cheaper and you'll avoid a lot of hassle.
Jr. Member
Mar 25, 2010
137 posts
93 upvotes
Ottawa
It's been years since I did this, but find a good Jewelry store and get just a "prop" ring that the store will take back and give you full credit. A nice one but may not exactly be the one she keeps. Use it for the proposal and then let her go back to the store to design/pick out one together along with the his and her wedding bands. You may think that is not romantic but she probably has a type of ring in mind already so unless you spoil the surprise you will not likely get it right.

Jewelry stores do this often, they are familiar with the routine and what grooms go through.

For the original question, if you do it the way I have suggested, you will have to go with a US one.
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
13074 posts
8319 upvotes
Markham
Practically how could you purchase in US?

Like you tell your GF that you need half day off and she can't go with you? Sounds suspicious lol
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22895 posts
21745 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
smartie wrote: Practically how could you purchase in US?

Like you tell your GF that you need half day off and she can't go with you? Sounds suspicious lol
Truth … the OP has lots of options

# 1 - Buy the ring from a local jeweller in the USA … no import / border issues

# 2 - Buy the ring online in the USA … lots of options be it regular jewellery Stores (like Zales = Parent of People’s Canada) or from others like Blue Nile or James Allen

# 3 - As outlined by @denbo30 … use a Stand In Ring for the proposal only
Could even be similar in look … like this company sells in CZ = https://www.berricle.com/wedding-jewelr ... -rings.htm
Buy / pick up in the USA = no border issues

Or use something fun for the stand in ring at the Proposal
Wouldn’t be the first guy to propose with a ring pop or a paper band

# 4 - Not as exciting … but one can also propose without a ring

It’s not that uncommon now for couples to shop together for an ERing
using options # 3 or # 4 for the proposal

For some shopping together makes perfect sense … as many women prefer particular looks over others
And not all rings look great on all hands (some have short vs long … or thick vs thin fingers)
Afterall she’s gotta love it … as she’s the one wearing it and looking at it everyday

Plus there is budget considerations
Nothing wrong with kicking off your pre-married life with a very REAL conversation about finances
It may be HIS MONEY doing the buying
But from this point forward it’s THEIR FINANCES gonna be under consideration for everything … including planning a Wedding, Honeymoon, and day to day living

Engagement & Wedding are important milestones
But they are brief moments vs a lifetime together

Top

Thread Information

There is currently 1 user viewing this thread. (0 members and 1 guest)