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I'm going to Canada on vacation with my significant other. I have an engagement ring and want to propose while there. We are both US citizens and I bought the ring in the US.

I'm concerned that I won't be able to bring the ring through customs at the border without alerting my significant other.

I have two questions:

1. Do I need to declare the ring?

I read the E311 declaration form page, and two places sound like the answer is "yes", but I'd like to make sure:

  • Duty-free allowance only applies to gifts (excludes alcohol and tobacco) valued at no more than CAN$60 each.

    Does the ring qualify as a gift, even though it's for someone traveling with me?

  • Each traveller is responsible for reporting currency and/or monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more that are in his or her actual possession or baggage.

    Does the ring count as a "monetary instrument"? Its appraised value is over $10,000 CAN.

2. If I do declare the ring, will it obviously alert my significant other? In other words, would I likely need to discuss the ring with a customs officer, show appraisal paperwork, etc. in front of my significant other?

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