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Hate the Hallmark-fuelled, heart-emblazoned, cotton candy sweetness of Valentine’s Day, but love love? Want to celebrate your significant other without all the heavy, obligatory expectations the day has come to signify? Luckily, you’re in good company — and I’ve discovered the perfect gift for hopeless romantics and distrustful cynics alike: the exquisitely crafted, matching gold and silver ring sets from indie British designer Rachel Entwistle Jewellery.
From solid bands intricately carved with the phases of the moon to delicate serpents circling the finger, each is imbued with the subtle symbolism of endless adoration. And — in this writer’s humble opinion — they are designed to be so much more timeless than an often tacky, sparkly heart charm or infinity sign ring. These won’t end up languishing in a jewellery box for much of the year, gathering dust; they’re made to be worn and treasured every day, whoever you are shopping for, whether that’s a decade-long friendship that’s seen you through thick and thin, a cherished sibling, or a romantic partner (because the loves of your life come in all guises).
And not the least because Rachel Entwistle prioritises quality, craftsmanship and slow practices. They work across a small, in-house team of jewellers at their workshop in Shoreditch, artisans in Hatton Garden, London’s jewellery quarter, and ethical makers in Jaipur with limited design runs, a policy of making only to order and pre-order, recycled materials, in-house repairs and resizes so you can love the same pieces for life. Even better, you can make a saving on the pair — Rachel Entwistle is currently offering 15% off their matching items, excluding solid gold jewellery (applied automatically at checkout). Something else catches your eye? Once the brand heard how much of a fan I was, they also treated R29 readers to an exclusive discount (also 15%) with the code REFINERY15. You can use this sitewide, so not just on a matching piece, but again, not on any solid gold items (the offers are not cumulative, however).
Suitably curious? Read on for my top choices and what each design symbolises. You can impress your loved one with all your expert knowledge as they unwrap their gift.
Rachel Entwistle Jewellery Moon Phases Band Ring Silver, £100 & Moon Phases Band Ring Gold, £120
Etched onto certified recycled silver sterling or 18ct gold vermeil plating over recycled sterling silver, the phases of the moon typically represent the stages of growth or the process of manifestation. Perfect for honouring how you and your loved one have grown together, building a shared life of hopes and dreams, rises and falls, fights and reconciliations, mistakes and lessons learned. A reminder that, within any relationship, progress is not linear but a constant cycle, much like the moon.
Likewise, the moon is a source of light in the dark, illuminating the path to tread, insight and guidance. This pair of gold-plated and silver rings is a poetic homage to the way our beloveds help us through our darkest moments. After all, we all know that the moon has always been a friend to poets and artists, yearners and romantics alike.
The Ouroboros symbol (a snake or dragon devouring its own tail) is one of our oldest motifs, dating back to the ancient Egyptians and adopted by the Greeks. Over time, it’s been used to depict different things, from the repetition of time (Egypt) to the divine and earthly realms existing in union (Gnostic belief), but today, it’s widely acknowledged to signify the cyclicality of nature, of life and death, and the eternal cycle of time. Sounds like a riot, I know, but depicted like this — as ultra-fine, delicately carved bands that can easily be stacked (with a wedding band perhaps?) — they’re a subtle, secretive way to tell your lover that you are meant to be together in all lifetimes, no matter what you face. That your love transcends the very cycles of time, life and death, and nature. Now that’s incredibly romantic.
These fine bands are engraved with the alchemical symbols of the four elements (fire, air, earth and water). To the untrained eye, these just look like various triangle shapes, but together like this they are used to depict the equality of all four elements; that, together, you and your partner balance the energy, passion and power of fire, intellect and mental clarity of air, the grounding and connection of earth, and emotional release and inner reflection of water.
Whirlpools and the patterns of trees when cut, weather patterns and our galaxy, seashells and the double helix of our very own DNA. The spiral is an ancient, universal symbol seen across the natural world, long associated with cyclical forces beyond our control — with rebirth and the cycle of life. Are you seeing the pattern here? Yes, Rachel Entwistle is looking to organic, archaic, ingrained hieroglyphs that have lived long before us to commemorate the never-dying nature of love. For this design, they’ve also been inspired by teardrops (hence the shape). In doing so, they touch on water’s duality: both its cleansing, healing and rejuvenating properties and the constant movement that is strong, powerful and adaptive. Either way you read it, it’s a chic, modernist take that any minimalism lovers will adore.
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