Eternally Yours – the Wedding Ring

The exchange of wedding rings as a sign of the marriage union has been practised for thousands of years. Among the earliest indications of the custom can be found in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs that depict the wearing of wedding rings, but it is impossible to be certain when or where the practice really originated.

The ring is highly symbolic. Today it represents eternal love and commitment but in ancient cultures the meaning was much deeper. The ring was a symbol of eternity and reflected the constancy of the motion of the heavens and the never-ending cycle of the seasons. The ring also represented the passage of the sun and moon (as seen in the numerous stone circles made by the ancients and in their art). The sun and moon represent the male and female aspects of the cosmos, and this was represented in the preference of giving one spouse a gold band (associated with the sun) and the other a silver one (associated with the moon).

Even today, there is some paranormal significance attached to the wedding ring. In many religious marriage ceremonies, the ring is blessed to protect the wearer and to signify that the marriage is sanctified in the eyes of God. And, the customary wearing of the ring on the third finger of the left hand also has mystical connotations.

The Romans, and possibly even the Egyptians, believed that the ring finger, as it has become known, contained a vein – the vena amoris – that ran directly from the finger to the heart. Even though there is no evidence that such a vein exists the practice of wearing the wedding ring on that finger is still almost universal in the Western world.

But there are other schools of thought. One is that each finger is astrologically linked to a heavenly body and the ring finger of the left hand is associated with the sun; hence the wearing of gold – the traditional metal of the sun – on that finger. The finger is also associated with the Greek god Apollo who, among other attributes, was said to be the god of light and the sun.

Traditional wedding rings take the form of a simple gold band and these are still enormously popular. They have an enduring beauty and elegance that is hard to resist. Some modern couples, however, prefer to move away from the traditional and often like to incorporate gemstones like diamonds in their rings. Also becoming more popular are rings of Celtic design. These stunning rings have an open geometric pattern that is a stylised depiction of vines and other flora so often found in traditional Celtic art.

Whatever the ancient or traditional meanings of the wedding ring, it is today a token of love, given freely as a symbol of the eternal bonding of two people in marriage. It is a public statement of commitment to another and a personal reminder of that commitment. It should be worn with love and pride.

Why not start browsing online for your ideal ring – Goldsmiths have a great collection.

Innovative Jewellery Designs That Make a Statement (Sometimes Literally)

 Jewellery is wearable art, a way to make a statement to the world without saying a word. So, how are today’s jewellery designers innovating to create new pieces that speak to us in this day and age? Here are some of the most innovative jewellery designs in the world.

Recycled Jewellery
With everyone thinking green, jewellery created from recycled materials is increasingly popular. The trend goes way beyond incorporating recycled-glass beads into a design or re-moulding salvaged metals into new bits of Bling. Pieces of bicycle chains, musical instruments and electronics are all finding their ways into today’s jewellery designs. Rubber, plastic, cardboard—nothing is trash in the hands of today’s most creative jewellery designers. Holly Anne Mitchell creates crafty pieces out of recycled paper, including sweetener packets, and Eleanor Salazar works with retired pool balls to create unique earrings and interesting numbered rings.


Jewellery Gone Wild
If recycled typewriter keys and bike parts aren’t unusual enough, how about jewellery made from non-traditional materials from nature? There’s no law that says all that glitters must be made of gold and diamonds. How about something carved out of stone or shell or made out of beautiful feathers? NOVICA, in association with National Geographic, offers a gorgeous hand-carved emerald and ebony sunflower ring from India. For those who aren’t too squeamish, some designers are also creating jewellery out of human and animal bones. Bracelets made of tiny animal vertebrae, earrings that showcase a pair of animal claws, and asteampunk-inspired ring made out of watch gears and the skull of a Pipistrelle Bat are just some of the designs for sale by Murder Jewellery.

(Sunflower Ring: )

Jewellery in the Raw
Some jewellery designers are leaving their stones raw for an edgy-yet-earthy vibe. These stones tend to be much bigger than their cut and polished counterparts, making for some true statement pieces like the big, show-stopping rough stone necklaces from Meira T, or another diamond in the rough: her unique rough diamond ring. To accompany today’s modern gold rush, shiny gold nuggets are also being used in their natural form in many jewellery designs, showing up in everything from necklaces to bracelets to watch bands. These natural beauties have even been artfully incorporated into rings from Alaska Jewellery. The uniqueness of rough stones and nuggets means that no two creations will ever be alike.

(Alaska Jewellery Ring:
Electronic Jewellery
While recycled jewellery is making everything old new again, some jewellery designers are concentrating on creating pieces that look like they arrived here from the distant future via time machine. These tech-obsessed forward-thinkers are creating electronic jewellery. Now jewellery design doesn’t have to be static, like a frozen, unchanging traditional gold-and-gemstone ring. Innovative designs like the eJoux wristband from Biju Neyyan at Yanko Design can be changed at will, displaying electronic text or images of the wearer’s choice. Made of one continuous, flexible screen, these Bluetooth devices can even be connected to other electronic devices, so they can, for example, display the name of the track being listened to on an MP3 player. Another version of intelligent jewellery is the SKINtile electronic sensing jewellery being developed by Phillips. An electronic update to the mood ring, this flexible, adhesive jewellery senses changes in the wearer’s body and modifies its look based on its perception of the wearer’s mood.

(eJoux Wristband:
Functional Design
In an age where everyone feels some pressure to be all things to all people, some designers are demanding the same from their jewellery. No longer just an accessory, some of these innovative designs incorporate household items or other helpful gadgets. The creators of the Pilo Pilo Mini Cushion Ring, for example, noticed that people like to lean their faces against their fists and that sharp jewellery makes doing so impractical. Hence, they created a ring with a real, albeit tiny, pillow attached to it that makes it the perfect accessory for naps on the go. Ken Goldman’s jewellery is funny as well as practical. A ring made from a meat tenderizer might just keep the wearer out of a fistfight. A tiny serving platter ring is perfect for holding “finger foods” while the wearer mingles at a party. No shopper should go without the Ring Me Up receipt-holding ring, and survivalists everywhere will love the flint and steel ring duo that’s actually capable of sparking a blaze.

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Practically since the dawn of time, humankind has been adorning itself with jewellery. In essence, jewellery hasn’t changed radically since then; it’s still a status symbol and a form of expression. But imagine the look on primitive man’s face if he was confronted with an electronic bracelet! It’s quite clear that today’s innovative jewellery designers have taken wearable art to the next level.

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