After finding love on Season 20 of The Bachelor, Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell have ended their engagement. And while the couple told PEOPLE in a statement that they will “remain friends with much love and respect for one another,” Bushnell still has to part ways with her engagement ring.
Higgins popped the question in 2016 with the biggest ring given in the entirety of the franchise, including both The Bachelor and Bachelorette. He chose a 4.25-carat Art Deco-style ring set with a central radiant-cut diamond and surrounded by over 240 round and baguette cut diamonds, and was so emotionally involved in the design process, he had to abruptly leave the room during his consultation with jeweler Neil Lane.
“It was very intense. That never happened before,” Lane told PEOPLE at the time.
So who gets to keep the gigantic sparkler now? The franchise’s go-to jeweler doesn’t get it back.
“I make the rings with love and always hope for the best,” Lane tells PEOPLE exclusively. “But once I present the rings, I don’t know what happens to them afterwards if the couple breakup. I think the ring goes to ring heaven.”
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The couple were together for over a year before announcing their split on Monday. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways,” they told PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. “We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time.”
In October, they told PEOPLE exclusively they were undergoing couples counseling at their church. “We’re not the perfect couple,” Higgins said at the time. “Far from it! But we are trying really hard and we love each other a lot.”
“There are so many weird elements to being in a relationship after The Bachelor,” Bushnell added. “We’ve gotten in arguments like any other couple, but about some things that other couples wouldn’t have to fight about, like the fact that we met when he was dating other women. You can say that’s what I signed up for, but it’s still real life and it’s still hard.”
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