Rings That Say… I Love You
by Amy Newson
Ring in the season of autumn weddings with this handy guide to all you need to know about these special symbols of love.
Rings, glorious rings. Engagement, wedding and eternity, these rings all have one thing in common- love. Read on to find out more about their stories, trends and meaning.
Engagements are usually sealed with a ring, and in the past 100 years or so that would have typically been with a diamond solitaire. Nowadays it’s becoming more and more popular to suit individual style and choose something that’s more unique and personal to the wearer. This important piece of jewellery symbolises love, commitment and your forthcoming union, and as you will most likely be wearing it for the rest of your life, it needs to be something you not just like, but love.
It’s not just the world of clothes that changes from season to season, jewellery does too. For engagement rings this season, there is an abundance to choose from and while the classics, like the solitaire, are likely to always remain in style there’s no reason why you can’t explore other options and find something that is really ‘you’.
With engagement rings no longer being confined to clear diamonds, different gemstones with exciting colour accents can be explored. Opals are a dreamy alternative to diamonds, their mystical qualities and play with rainbow hues make them a beautiful, but less durable choice. Another stone to consider is the romantic red ruby, also known as ‘the gem of the heart’. This symbolises passion and adds a vintage sensibility and antique appeal to any look. Black diamonds have become hugely popular and add a real edge to your ensemble, which is why so many nontraditional brides are drawn to this dark stone.
Vintage rings have also emerged as an engagement favourite. Edwardian inspired rings give a lovely intricacy and femininity. Explore navette shapes in white gold and platinum, with diamonds and coloured gems for a charming touch. Handcrafted antiques and vintage-inspired designs alike are easy to come across.
Traditionally, wedding rings are often a band of precious metal. The first example of this was found in Ancient Egypt, where braided rings of hemp, reeds, silver or gold where exchanged between wedded couples. This was worn on the third finger of the left hand, which many believed was directly connected to the heart by the ‘vena amoris’.
For many the wedding band is an afterthought of the engagement ring, into which a lot of time and consideration is put. Until recently the material and style of the wedding band would be dictated by what the engagement ring was made from and what it looked like. For centuries yellow gold was the traditional metal that was used, for both men and women’s wedding bands. But over the past decade or so, white gold and rose gold as well as platinum have become more contemporary and popular choices of material.
Today it’s all down to personal taste and style. You no longer have to match your wedding band to your engagement ring, it’s fine to mix and match as you like. There are some lovely rings that interlock with your engagement ring instead of being worn alongside it. The romantic notion of these intertwined bands represent the soon to-be husband and wife being forever ‘entangled in love’ – this on-trend design is symbolic and stunning.
Men’s bands are perhaps not considered as much as women’s. They were never as intricate or stunning, but traditionally simple, gold bands. This style is slowly becoming less and less popular and ‘the one fits all’ idea is no longer applicable.
Platinum is now becoming an increasingly popular choice, especially with a subdued matte finish. Rose gold is also a favourite and other more unusual combinations, such as cobalt and wood are making their way onto many-a groom’s hand.
The other significant ring in the world of love and commitment is the eternity ring. This ring is usually given by the husband to his wife to mark a significant anniversary and to symbolise never-ending love. Traditionally the stones go all the way around the band, but half-eternity rings are also popular as they provide a more comfortable wear.
So there you have our guide to the world of rings, symbolising eternal love. It’s an important choice to make, so take your time to explore the wealth of rings on offer – and to find the perfect ones for you both.