That ‘Bach’ Engagement Ring Isn’t Really Rachel’s Just Yet

Rodrigo Varela/ABC

If you’ve watched at least one season of The Bachelorette or The Bachelor, you know that a few things always happen — an ambulance comes (or a preview shows it happening and it never does), someone cries, and someone gets handed a very, very large diamond at the end. As someone who loves sparkly things (I’m basically a magpie), I am always very interested in the engagement rings. Did Bryan have to pay for Rachel’s ring on The Bachelorette?

For those of you don’t know, celebrity jeweler Neil Lane shows up in the last episode of every Bachelor and Bachelorette season so that a ring may be procured for that grand proposal. Rachel’s was no exception, and the giant sparkler that Bryan put on her finger was quite dazzling. But Bryan, luckily, didn’t have to pay for it. I know that he’s a doctor and everything, but most people couldn’t afford a diamond that big, so I’m glad he didn’t have to mortgage his home in order to buy it. Instead, it’s just part of the show. It’s not exactly known if Neil Lane donates the ring to the show or if the producers of The Bachelor/ette pay for it, but the ring is gratis for the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Pretty nice, huh? Of course, you can BYOR — Aaron Buerge opted to present Helene Eksterowicz with a $35,000 ring from Harry Winston during his season of The Bachelor (they later broke up and she auctioned it off on eBay).

There’s a catch behind not paying for all of that bling, though – Radar Online alleges that there’s a clause in the Bachelor/ette contract that says that that honking piece of jewelry belongs to the show and not the recipient for two whole years after the proposal. If the couple stays together for 24 months, it’s theirs to keep (hooray!). If the couple splits before two years together, they reportedly have to give the ring back to ABC. If the couple splits after two years together, they can sell the ring or do as they please with it, but if they want to sell it, they reportedly have to tell ABC and give the network a chance to buy it back.

Is it all worth it? Um, I’d say yes, because a reality show is the only way that I would ever have a $50,000 ring on my finger. This is the way it has to be — I’m not saying that everyday engagement rings aren’t wonderful, because they are. You should spend nothing or everything that you can spend based on your budget, if that’s what you want. But the big, sparkly ring is made for television, and it would be cruel and silly of The Bachelor to force a suitor to buy a ring that he couldn’t afford. But, even though Rachel’s ring from Bryan may have been funded by someone else, but it doesn’t make it any less special to her.