In an earlier extract from our Ethical Wedding & Commitment Ring Buyer’s Guide we delved into the budgeting side of things to help you figure out how much you need to set aside for your wedding ring/s.

Working out your budget is always an important first step, but it’s nowhere near as much fun as actually designing and choosing the ring you want.

Once you have a budget, what are the other practical considerations?

As much as we’d love to start showing you a bunch of pretty pictures, we still have a few (what some might call boring) practical things to think about first. Below you’ll find the second extract from our Ethical Wedding & Commitment Ring Buyer’s Guide. It’s the second and third of seven important design considerations – all about choosing a design that you will be happy to live with.

Over the coming weeks we’ll continue to publish more extracts from the Guide so you can judge for yourself whether it’s worth getting your own copy. (Of course, if you don’t want to wait you can always download your free copy here.)




~ Extract from ~

The Ethical Jewellery Buyer’s Guide to
Wedding & Commitment Rings




The 7 Key Design Considerations:

Consideration #2 – The aesthetic you’re trying to create

In this sense, we tend to group people in three ways …

  1. Those for whom a wedding or commitment ring is largely functional. Like a stop sign at an intersection it serves only one purpose and that’s to indicate to others that the wearer is in a committed relationship. Certainly this person will want their ring to look nice, but comfort and robustness are their priorities. Often times it’s the person’s occupation that determines their choices;
  2. Those who embrace symbolism. This can mean anything from creating a highly designed ring that might reflect a person’s love for their heritage, some special event in their life or some other quirky interest – perhaps science fiction? Or it might mean their ring features symbolic engraving or particular precious or semi-precious stones that have a certain meaning to them and their partner1; and
  3. Those whose ring design is determined by an existing piece of jewellery. For example, the ring needs to complement or even enhance their engagement ring.

Image of a recycled gold Celtic-inspired ring with white gold diamond eternity bands either side is stunning - but was very complicated (and costly) to manufacture.

This Celtic-inspired ring with diamond eternity bands either side is stunning – but was very complicated (and costly) to manufacture.

In other words, wedding and commitment rings can range from the very plain and simple to the wildly creative.

That said, sometimes you have to be practical.

The more creative you get, the more things tend to cost and, potentially, the more fragile they become.

That’s why we need to look at the bigger picture.


  1. Birth stones are a popular as a choice for embellishing wedding and commitment bands. In Appendix B of the complete Guide you can find out which birthstone you and your partner are. You’ll also find a list of ring-suitable gemstones by colour.


Consideration #3: Your interests and occupation

Lifestyle and occupation can greatly influence what you can and can’t have when designing or buying your ring.

Risk of injury (to you and others)

The harsh reality is there are some occupations and activities that aren’t very friendly towards ring-wearers.

In some workplaces – such as factory environments – employees are not allowed to wear rings as they may catch on some piece of machinery and cause serious harm to the wearer.

Likewise, some sporting codes prohibit the wearing of rings during training and competition.

People in this situation will need to size their ring so it’s easy to take on and off regularly and perhaps design it so it can be worn comfortably on a chain around their neck.2

Similarly, if you’re in an occupation where your hands are in regular contact with other people – perhaps in nursing, aged care or a similar hands-on occupation) – then your ring design might need to be such that you minimise the risk of scratching or otherwise harming the people you care for.


Another consideration is how easy it will be to keep the ring clean.

Complicated rings that are difficult to keep clean might harbour bacteria and other nasties that could be transferred to food. Otherwise, cleaning products and other chemicals might get caught up which could result in uncomfortable skin reactions.

Risk of damage (to the ring)

Activities like gardening and landscaping, rock climbing, building and renovation work, bike riding, bush walking or even building sand castles with the kids all put the ring you wear at risk of damage.

Sometimes it’s best to take your ring off if there’s a very high risk of knocking it around, but there are more convenient ways to reduce the likelihood of scratching, denting or chipping or even breaking the gemstones in your ring – and that’s to design-out some of the risk.

Designing out the risk

By that we mean make design decisions that improve the robustness of your ring.

For example, platinum is a tougher metal than gold, so it will take more punishment before losing its shape or breaking.

Similarly, diamonds are more scratch-resistant than most other gemstones, so prefer them if you expect your wedding or commitment ring to have a tough life.

And in the same vein, avoid more fragile gemstones (like emerald) and settings (like claw settings) that leave a gemstone more exposed to the risk of damage.

Photo of four different textured ring designs. These are great for people who will be rough on their jewellery. The texture helps to hide the inevitable scratches and scrapes.

Textured designs like these are great for people who will be rough on their jewellery. The texture helps to hide the inevitable scratches and scrapes.

Designing a ring to suit a hard life doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful, but it’s an important consideration if you want your ring to last the distance.


  1. If you’re in a situation where there’s a relatively high risk that you might lose your ring (people who enjoy surfing for example), you might choose a ring design that’s fairly low cost so it won’t break the bank if it does get lost.
~ Click the button below to request your free copy of ~

The Ethical Jewellery Buyer’s Guide to
Wedding & Commitment Rings


About EJA

Ethical Jewellery Australia is an online engagement, wedding ring specialist and bespoke jewellery specialist. Every piece we do is custom designed and made to order (with the exception of simple wedding and commitment rings that are offered in a range of simple, popular designs).

We take our customers through the whole process from design to sourcing and finally to manufacturing.

All rings are handmade in Australia with recycled metals. (We can also supply Fair Trade gold if requested.)

Likewise, we only every use ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones. You can choose from Argyle, recycled, vintage and lab-grown diamonds, Australian, US, Fair Trade, recycled and lab-grown coloured gemstones.

By the way, we offer an Australia-wide service.

About the Author: Benn Harvey-Walker

Benn is a Co-founder of Ethical Jewellery Australia and a keen student of ethical and sustainability issues in the jewellery world. He has a long history in sales and marketing and began working with EJA full time in early 2018.

Benn co-authored the original Engagement Ring Design Guide in 2014 and edited the 2nd Edition in 2018. He is also the principal author of our Wedding and Commitment Ring Design Guide.

His main responsibilities at EJA are business development and sales process management.  Benn also creates technical drawings for our ring designs.