Jewelry should be fun and stress-free. Even more so when it comes for a momentous occasion, like weddings and engagements. There’s enough to stress about already when it comes to marriage! A lifelong commitment, combining finances, a discussion about kids, living situations, taxes and the list goes on.
Jewelry? Definitely doesn’t have to be one of them.
There are so many guidelines about what your wedding and engagement rings should be. But if you ask me, there’s only one ‘rule’; it should always speak to you.
The Ring (yes, with a capital R!) is a piece of jewelry that you’ll wear for a long time. It's the one piece of jewelry you need to be super comfortable with. Not your mother in law or that friend who tells you what your wedding or engagement ring should look like.
So let’s go through some ‘rules’, and let me tell you why you don’t need to stress over them. Here's the big wedding band myth debunk!
MYTH #1: X TIMES YOUR SALARY
Sapphires are a popular stone for wedding and engagement rings. Imagine saying yes to this gorgeous Blue Sapphire Ring in Ethical Gold!
There’s nothing wrong with splurging for a ring. But if the cornerstone of your engagement or wedding ring purchase is the price point, we need to talk.
This is, and has always been, a marketing ploy.
Did you know the first campaign to state that an engagement ring’s value should be two months of your salary only started in the 1980’s? Yes, it’s a fairly recent ‘demand’ that was part of a marketing campaign by a well-known luxury jewelry brand to increase sales.
How crazy is that? Before that it was perfectly normal to pick out a ring that wasn’t a diamond ring worth at least twice your salary!
A price point that isn’t on the higher end doesn’t take away from a ring’s true value.
The choice of metal and choice of gemstones will impact a ring’s numerical value.
It has no bearing on its sentimental value.
An open discussion with your partner about your combined likes and dislikes will reveal more about your dream wedding or engagement ring than a fixed price point.
MYTH #2: WEDDING RINGS SHOULD ALWAYS BE GOLD
A friend who’s a ceramic artist made the most gorgeous ceramic wedding rings for her wedding. It was just wow! She loved the philosophy behind Kintsugi (the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer and gold dust), and she looked forward to the day her ring broke.
Another friend hunted down a pair of meteorite rings because they were both avid stargazers.
Wedding and engagement rings don’t always have to be gold!
Maybe you don’t like the warmer tones that gold is famous for. Maybe you don’t like its weight. Maybe you just don’t want a gold ring. What then? There are a ton of options. You can explore material that's special to you and your partner, like the friends I mentioned above.
Left to Right: Wabi Sabi Band in Black Silver, Faceted Wedding Band in Silver, and the Stardust Wedding Band.
Another option is silver. It’s not as durable as gold, but a fun one to check out if you’re a fan of textures and metal colors.
One thing to remember is that silver is softer than gold, and more malleable. A decade of daily wear or anything high impact may bend the ring. After nearly 3 decades of marriage, the silver wedding bands my parents wore broke in half. A thinner silver ring will have issues sooner than a thicker, wider silver ring.
Stones set in silver may eventually come loose as the silver loosens. A silver wedding or engagement ring is a great option if you see yourself replacing your ring when you've paid off that mortgage, or if you’re not planning on having any stones set in the ring.
Silver can be polished to an incredible shine, but it can also be given a layer of patina or matte oxidization to emphasize patterns and textures. This is something you don’t really see with gold. Silver also builds up a natural patina over time that some people actually prefer to a highly polished shine.
MYTH #3: DIAMONDS ARE THE ONLY STONE YOU SHOULD BE THINKING OF
My love affair with diamonds has been well documented in this blog. I love them raw, sliced, or polished. I love them clear, or with inclusions. But there's one thing to remember. Diamonds aren't the be all and end all of wedding and engagement rings.
Diamonds are not the be all and end all of wedding and engagement rings.
This Custom Borneo Sapphire Ring is part of our newly launched Borneo Gems collection. The sapphire is ethically sourced from indigenous miners in Kalimantan.
Diamonds are practical for wedding and engagement rings because of how durable and tough they are. But there are other gemstones that you can pick too!
Your ring doesn’t even have to have a gemstone. Not everyone is a fan of having gemstones on their jewelry, and that’s perfectly fine. Stone-less metal bands are just as great.
Annisa, the co-founder Gardens of the Sun, wears an engagement ring with a diamond shape made out of gold.
I was lucky enough to make the engagement ring for one of my best friends. Her now-husband found the topaz, called Killiecrankie diamond, for her ring on his home island Flinders. It was way more meaningful than a diamond.
And then there’s textures.
With textures you can create a whole different look and feel to any engagement ring or wedding band.
For instance, we have the Wabi Sabi band in gold and silver. They give off completely different vibes.
The silver looks chic and modern, while the gold has a subtle hint of mischief. Like a person in a fancy restaurant, winking at you while they steal dessert off their dinner partner’s plate.
Each Wabi Sabi Wedding Band features an organic pattern made with traditional metal smithing techniques.
MYTH #4: A WEDDING RING IS A FOREVER RING
One wedding and engagement ring trend I'm definitely on board with is the ‘placeholder ring’. As I mentioned earlier, the stress that comes with wedding prep can be sky high. Add to that the stress of spending a good chunk of change on jewelry that's the physical manifestation of your commitment – it’s a lot.
It’s so heavy that this is a rule that I want to debunk, twice!
#1 The Ring doesn’t need to be found straightaway!
The placeholder ring trend is one that comes from the engaged couple agreeing to put aside the stress of jewelry shopping for now.
Sometimes it’s cashflow, sometimes it’s just because it’s hard to find the perfect ring within a set timeframe, and sometimes it’s just because they decided to prioritize something else. So many clients shared that they wanted to buy a house before investing in a ring.
A placeholder ring doesn’t have to be costly, and it definitely doesn’t have to be gold!
I’ve had clients ask me if it was appropriate to pick out a ready made silver ring, to which I say of course! Whatever feels right to you.
Ready made and adorned with a stone with a stone, or plain, or even a custom birthstone silver ring - you and your partner should pick out something that you are both comfortable with.
#2 The Ring doesn’t need to stay The Ring forevermore!
Many rings will eventually need a ‘touch up’. Whether it’s a quick polish, strengthening the prongs, another round of plating, or a resize. On the regular, I’m asked to modify these rings to better suit the couples in their current state.
Sometimes it’s a tiny change, like putting in an additional stone to signify a milestone or adding another band for a new baby. Others I’ve completely redesigned.
All these changes are perfectly normal and perfectly fine. Life is a journey that takes you down roads expected and unexpected. Change should be embraced.
As Pema Chodron says, “Although we have the potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the small and fearful cocoon of ego.”
Rules are made to be broken.
Especially arbitrary rules that don’t really make sense in this age of personal exploration and the celebration of creative freedom. More so, when it comes to the creation of something as personal as a wedding or engagement ring.
Which of these rules has always bothered you? Or have you heard of rules that you think need to be argued against?
If you have any questions or concerns about wedding and engagement rings, you could always drop us a line! We'll be more than happy to have a chat.