From Frodo’s quest to Mount Doom, the interlinking 5 of the Olympics, Beyonce’s catchy tune and finally the important one on the fourth finger, we are a culture obsessed with rings.
In the USA, the engagement and wedding jewellery market is worth over $11 billion annually and in the UK, men are ‘expected’ to spend at least a month’s salary on the ring of their choice with the average spend around £1,800.
Just like our conscientious readers, this January the Ethical Weddings team explore the concept of the wedding ring, which symbolizes much more than enduring love or a gateway to the unknown. We will trace the origin of rings back 4,800 years when ancient Egyptians twisted and braided rushes, reeds, papyrus and sedges into rings to adorn a lady’s finger.
Our team will examine the traditions of other cultures, why we wear rings in the first place and what we must consider when we choose an engagement or wedding ring.
A decision shared
It’s no longer the sole responsibility of the groom to choose the ring as according to a survey of 10,000 couples, 65% of brides are at least somewhat involved in the ring selection, with 31% of these ‘very involved’ – that is they shopped for and / or purchased the ring with their groom.
We will also speak to couples who rejected the ring, find out why, and what they did instead.
But as much as we will challenge the ideals of a wedding band, we will also be celebrating beautiful ring designs from vintage to contemporary, and from the traditional gold to alternatives such as wooden, ceramic and tattooed rings. Our expert ethical designers are on hand to share their top trends and tantalise you with their picks for 2013.
Where is Kimberley now?
We can’t discuss jewellery without understanding the ethical implications of our choices. How far have we come since the Kimberley Process was set up in 2003 to prevent diamond trade from funding illegitimate conflict? Find out what jewellers really think about the processes that are now in place and the best ways to ensure that the diamond on your finger also brought happiness into the lives of others.
If you have an opinion or a story to share about ethical engagement and wedding rings, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
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