Is an engagement ring a gift or a contract? That's the question is at the heart of a claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court by a Vancouver man who wants his ring back after his fiancée left him.

The man bought the engagement ring filled with sapphires and diamonds for $16,500, expecting it would mark the beginning of their forever after.

But in notice of civil claim Charlie Zampieri says his fiancée Jessica Bennett left him and took the ring with her and now the Vancouver man wants his ring back, or its retail equivalent in cash.

His fiancée told the CBC she has the right to keep the ring, but Zampieri doesn't see things that way.

The pair met on the dating website Plenty of Fish and got engaged three weeks later.

As part of his claim he points to a Facebook posting where Bennett allegedly showed off the ring in a post in which Zampieri was tagged, "Now all I need to do is get married."

Engagement rings have been the subject of lawsuits before and the courts appear divided on whether a ring is a gift or symbolic of a contract to get married.

In his claim Zampieri claims the law is on his side, even if love isn't, and the engagement ring should be returned to the purchaser.