If you haven’t been in tune with the world of wedding ring trends lately, allow us to introduce you to your next favorite find. The stacked ring is all the rage, and its popularity stretches across every jewelry demographic. Whether you’re flaunting some bangles on your arms or layering a perfectly balanced selection of necklaces, stackable jewelry is definitely a smart move.
When it comes to wedding rings, the area can get a bit foggier. Most people like to stick to what they know in the realm of wedding bands and engagement rings, particularly because they don’t want to mess around with what works. Since wedding and engagement rings are so precious, collectors might wonder how to add to that sentimental mix. Who wants to distract from the most important piece of jewelry you own?
The beauty of wedding ring stacks is that, if done correctly, they actually just accentuate the importance of your wedding rings. However, there are a few tips to make sure this is how the stack is perceived.
We’re here to teach you everything you need to know about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of stackable bands — and exactly which styles you have to try.
Wedding Jewelry: History
There is perhaps nothing more traditional than wedding rings — or so it seems. Both engagement rings and wedding bands have a lengthy history (to Ancient Egypt!), but it may not stretch back equally for all partners.
Rings are a wonderful way to show commitment and represent eternity (hence the consistent and never-ending circle they create around your finger). However, the practice of exchanging them specifically to celebrate a marriage is only a few centuries old.
The murky origin of engagement rings given during marriage proposals can be traced to 1477. When the Archduke Maximilian of Austria decided that he wanted to wed Mary of Burgundy, he sealed the deal with a diamond ring. Thus, the practice of gifting a band with this precious stone was born.
In the past, generally, only women wore engagement rings. Nowadays, the gender roles of jewelry have begun to break. The men’s rings of today can be simple and sleek or mimic the masculine styles of yesteryear. Stackable rings are perfect for men as well as they are for women.
The history of wedding bands is a bit more straightforward, especially when it comes to male wedding bands. Prior to WWII, only brides were given wedding rings during their marriage ceremony. These were made to accompany the famed diamond ring for engagement.
Once the Second World War hit, men started to sport wedding bands to keep their beloved symbolically close no matter the war took them. While they were away, the wedding band signaled that they were in a committed marriage. The rings also reminded them of the family and love they had back home.
Define the Design
Before you jump into selecting which rings you want to stack together and the order they should go in, take inventory of your jewelry collection. What metals do you own? Do you have any rings with fun or interesting shapes? Are your rings a cohesive gemstone variety, or do they come in all different colors?
This is good to know before you begin pairings because it gives you a roadmap. As we get into specific styles, refer to your charts or lists of what you own. This will help you keep your goals and designs seamless. It may also signal which rings you’re missing and which ones you may want to add later to complement your wedding rings.
Why Wear Stacks?
There are numerous reasons why stacked rings can be beneficial to anyone’s daily wardrobe. Ring stacks add diversity, versatility, and a more complex design to your look. They also allow you to double up on what you wear and show off more of your fine jewelry collection. For some people, this is the perfect way to share your love in the form of rings with the world.
Modernity Meets Timelessness
By incorporating your wedding rings with other pieces from your collection, you are able to play between what is old and new. As your marriage blossoms and your time with your partner develops, you may be gifted more rings for anniversaries or holidays.
One of the best ways to tie your future into your past is by adding birthstones to a ring in your stack. Each month has a stone or two associated with it; for example, Paraiba Tourmaline is October’s birthstone. If you have children, this is a great place to put their birthstones in. That way, the fullness of the life you’ve lived with your partner can be worn side by side.
Ring Stack Styles
Now that we’ve given you a bit of background on the traditions that wedding rings bring, let’s dive into the best styles of stacks. Keep in mind that all of these examples can be tailored to your own liking. They can also even be worn at the same time!
Shift the Perspective
For most people, an engagement ring is the piece they want to stand out. Even in a swarm of other diamond jewelry, the carat (regardless of size) on their fourth finger is what matters most.
Some might prefer another alternative: While an engagement ring is beautiful, it doesn’t always have to be your focal point.
Play around with different combinations on the hand where you wear this piece. Try to place other gemstone rings beside it and see how they fare. Do the other colors dim the light of your diamond, or do they simply brighten up its beauty?
Why not throw in a precious gem? By placing your pop of color at the center of your ring stack, you’re removing all of the unevenness of placing it above or below your wedding pieces.
This role reversal might take the attention away from your wedding rings, but sometimes rotation is necessary. This is especially true if you just received a fine gem as a recent gift.
The best way to keep fine gems from not being too visually overwhelming in stacks is by making sure they keep to the same color palette. If you go with a deep green emerald, maybe try a blue tourmaline on your other hand’s stack or on another finger.
Add the Bombe
Cocktail rings are not just a thing of the past. At Mark Henry, we’re actually rooting for the Bombe ring renaissance. Consider adding in a dome-shaped piece to complement the simplicity of a plain metal wedding band. It can elevate the layers you have going on, adding a much-needed dimension to the entire look.
Since you have a list of what type of metal jewelry you own, let’s use that to our advantage. Place all of your rings in categories by metal and see how well they blend. If you like this monochromatic look, try mixing up the stack in some other way (either with shapes, patterns, or gemstones).
If you’re feeling adventurous, try to add one metal of each into a stack. For example, a silver ring might work well beneath your wedding band if a rose gold ring is at the top.
Spread It Out
While most people in the United States tend to wear their wedding and engagement rings on their left hands, this isn’t a universal practice. It is common to find these rings on the right hand if you travel Eastern Europe as well as places like Spain or India. These stereotypes are made to be broken, so why not spread them out?
Place your wedding band on one hand and your engagement ring on the other for an aesthetically pleasing balance. Stack your rings on both hands accordingly. Sometimes less is more, and you can try the stacked trend by actually wearing a unique ring on each finger of a single hand, too. This deconstructed look is just as striking.
Male Wedding Band Stacks
While women tend to have wedding bands that come in rose or white gold, there is certainly much more to the story. Men usually have more traditionally colored wedding bands made of stainless steel or sterling silver. However, tungsten and even silicone wedding bands are trendy and far cheaper options.
Plain metals, or even an inscribed class ring, would complement traditional metals strikingly. Men also tend to wear signet rings, which can easily be a cool geometric (or bombe-inspired) staple piece to place beside their wedding band.
Men’s rings can be subtle and strong or eye-catching and shimmering.
With bridal sets moving into the forefront of 2022 ring stylings, it's safe to say the stacked ring look isn’t going anywhere. In fact, you can start your journey by proposing with a beautiful, complementary set of two engagement rings. No matter what rings you choose, you can find sets (or stacks) as unique and beautiful as your love story.