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Are there any Halachic issues with giving a girl a ring while asking her to marry him? Are there any sources that discuss the sha'alah of safek Kiddushin, etc?

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Are there witnesses? –  Double AA May 25 at 15:15
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either way - where can I find mekorot for this? –  user5303 May 25 at 15:25
    
I heard somewhere that it's safest to have in mind that it's not for Kiddushin, just in case. Don't remember where I heard this, sorry. –  Shmuel May 25 at 17:40
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From my notes: One should not offer a ring and say “will you marry me” whiled dating as a joke, because the women might need a get mi’safek. One should also be careful when getting engaged not to say “will you marry me” and hand over a ring in front of witnesses. Rema – We look at the action. If it looks like a marriage, it is. –  Shmuel May 25 at 17:55
    
As I found while asking this question, apparently it's a dispute between the Bavli and the Yerushalmi (look in the end, item כ"ד). –  Avram Levitt May 25 at 19:50

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The Lubavitcher Rebbe specifically discouraged giving a ring at any time during the engagement. (The practice in Chabad is to give the diamond ring* in the Cheder HaYichud after the Chuppa, and even other gifts are not given directly, or at least not with witnesses).

This is apparently explained at length in a Sicha of Nasso 5741, but I couldn't find it in the online transcript.

*As far as I know, this idea was an invention of De Beers

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Eliezer gave gifts to Rivka? –  C. Ben Yosef May 26 at 13:19
    
@c.benyosef, as far as I know that is called kiddusin in some places. –  Yishai May 26 at 13:29

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