Are Divorce Rings About To Take Off?

By Ellie Smith

3 months ago

Emily Ratajkowski has repurposed her wedding jewellery to mark a new chapter


Back in 2018, Emily Ratajkowski went viral after sharing a picture of her sparkling double-diamond engagement ring. Known as a toi et moi ring (meaning ‘you and me’ in French), and designed to represent both people in the relationship, the trend has since soared in popularity. But now it looks like the model and actress could be at the helm of a new jewellery trend: the divorce ring.

Repurposed Engagement Rings Are Trending

Following her split from husband Sebastian Bear-McClard in July 2022, Ratajkowski has decided to repurpose her gems, creating a new design which she’s coining the ‘divorce ring’. She posted an image of the transformed ring on Instagram on Tuesday, which has been split into two: one square diamond ring on her left ring finger, and a pear diamond on her left pinky finger. ‘I don’t think a woman should be stripped of her diamonds just because she’s losing a man,’ Ratajkowski told Vogue. ‘The rings represent my own personal evolution.’

 

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The rings were redesigned by Alison Chemla, the name behind the original ring, who also shared a snap on Instagram with the caption: ‘We made the original two stone engagement ring that set the trend…Here we go again @emrata Divorce Rings™️’.

Ratajkowski was inspired by an essay by Stephanie Danler in The Paris Review, in which the writer’s grandmother has a ring made of stones from her previous marriages. ‘I loved the idea of a ring unabashedly representing the many lives a woman has lived,’ she said. 

So what has the remodelling involved? ‘Emily’s original ring featured two stones but when redesigning her engagement ring, she split the diamonds and recast them into new pieces, perfectly signifying the separation with her partner,’ says Nilesh Rakholia, jeweller and founder at Abelini. ‘While the ring still incorporates the original stones, mixing the two metals used for claw settings on the separate rings has helped to give the two rings different identities, giving them a completely new feel and meaning. The new rings feature the same pear-shaped diamond, now mounted on a yellow-gold band as a signet ring, while the princess diamond is positioned on either side of the two trapezoid stones.’

 

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So: could the divorce ring take off in the same vein as the toi et moi? Etsy’s Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson thinks so. ‘There are a tonne of “traditional” celebratory moments in the UK calendar that usually call for festivities – like birthdays, engagement parties, and baby showers, all of which often come with a party and gifts. 

‘But there are other milestone moments that can happen in life that some might find comfort in “marking” in some way – with moving on after a divorce being one of them. Life after a big break-up can be seen as something to celebrate and look forward to, and we’re clearly seeing a rise of these attitudes through our search data here at Etsy.’

Given the fact that around 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, lots of people will end up with beautiful engagement rings they don’t know what to do with. Should you sell it? Return it? Hide it away? Ratajkowski has found a different solution: instead of leaving your ring sadly sparkling away in a drawer, repurposing it could be a positive – and environmentally-friendly – way to mark a new era.

‘Divorce rings can be any shape or size and worn on your ring or next to your ring finger,’ says The Diamond Store. ‘However, symbolic designs like trilogy, initial and wishbone rings are popular because of their special meaning to the wearer. A divorce ring symbolises three things. Firstly, your love and commitment to yourself. Secondly, the beginning of a new life. Finally, it represents the fun and independence associated with being single.’

While Ratajkowski has split hers in two, there are lots of ways you could repurpose an engagement ring. ‘Add coloured gemstones or a mix of coloured gold and mixed metals to give it a completely new look,’ suggests Rakholia. ‘Alternatively, you can remodel the stones into a pendant or reuse the diamonds to make stud earrings, helping to mark a fresh start.’

Jewellers are already familiar with remodelling engagement rings, and so-called divorce rings are really just new strand of that. But with a trendsetter like Ratajkowski giving them a chic new rebrand, no doubt many others will soon be following suit.