If you’re getting engaged soon, or at least are hoping to, you may be thinking about rings. Maybe you’re considering wedding traditions in general - which ones you want to take part in, which you don’t, which are just tootraditional for you, and how to make this exciting time of being a bride your own.
Honestly, even as a jewellery brand writing this, we think there are too many things a bride is supposed to do and buy, and too many companies that encourage this idea. So if you are partaking in the engagement/wedding ring tradition, here are three things to consider when buying it (and NO, we’re not talking cut, carat and clarity.)
There’s good and there’s bad in the history of wedding jewellery - the worst of it is possibly the use of rings to signify the transfer of property (i.e., a woman) from father to husband in Roman times. Of course, not every culture had this belief, and it was reportedly Ancient Egyptians who came up with that now disproven myth about a vein in your left fourth finger leading directly to the heart. They also viewed rings as representing unbroken love, because circles have no beginning or end.
Then (much later) came the De Beers famous “Diamonds are Forever” campaign in 1948, which essentially changed the engagement ring game completely. Engagement rings and other wedding jewellery alike became about the groom’s wallet, with the general rule being “the bigger the diamond, the better.”
And even recently, women have been encouraged to “leave hints” about what kind of ring they want, or just be completely surprised, instead of being directly involved in the conversation about the jewellery they’re supposed to wear for the duration of their marriage.
Nowadays, times are thankfully changing. Couples increasingly pick out and pay for their rings together. Proposers come with their future fiancées or they come with explicit instructions. Millennials are spending less on rings as they’re saving for house deposits and paying off student loans. Plus, people now place more value on experiences than things, and spending money on venues and bands has become more important than purchasing expensive rings and dresses.
In rings, alternative stones are gaining popularity, and lots of brides are seeking unique designs that don’t look like they’ve come from a chain store in a shopping mall. Diamonds are no longer expected, nor are precious metals, leaving couples free to pick what they like, what they can afford, and what means the most to them.
So, there’s no longer any reason to wear a classic ring unless you love a classic ring. There are other stones to choose from besides a solitaire diamond - rough diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and semi-precious stones like onyx have all been growing in popularity in engagement rings lately. We’ve also seen sterling silver bands instead of platinum or gold. The possibilities are endless.
It’s also easier now to purchase something vintage on the internet, or reach out to a jewellery brand directly to collaborate on a bespoke design. Companies like us are thrilled to take an idea and turn it into something meaningful and unique, utilising our wealth of suppliers and a bit of creative direction when needed.
We should encourage this new sense of independence in both the jewellery and wedding worlds. Brides are taking control, and we love it. We also love seeing some of our more unconventional as well as our more traditional piecesstyled with bridal wear, because presenting women with choice and promoting independence is one our brand values.
We want to see more women embracing ownership of their jewellery collections. If you want to design your own engagement ring, design it. Don’t want to wear any jewellery to your wedding at all? Don’t. Or maybe you want to pick out a few select favourites, and in that case you definitely should… and if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, it wouldn’t hurt to browseHeidiCo.com for ideas.😉
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