Recent legislation in the US, Australia and many other countries allows same-sex couples to be legally married. This means that they can enjoy the same rights that other couples have been entitled to for hundreds of years. Now, around 23 countries worldwide have legalized same-sex marriage.
With modern marriage comes equality and this has sparked a new trend in engagement and wedding rings; equality rings. Traditional wedding rings are simple bands, but some are clearly masculine or feminine. Wedding bands are often sold as "his and hers" sets, which are not necessarily applicable when it comes to same-sex marriage. For example, an all male couple may want "his and his" rings and two women may prefer "hers and hers" engagement-style rings, wedding bands, or indeed both. With regard to engagement rings, some modern couples do not feel the need for this and simply wear wedding bands.
Some jewelers may feel like they're losing out with less traditional bridal jewelry sales. However, others may notice that couples who may not have bought bridal jewelry previously are now in the market for wedding rings, thus expanding the sales possibilities. Also, far as jewelry traders are concerned, an all-female couple shopping for bridal jewelry may spend more than the average Mr and Mrs Smith, since they may require double the gemstones. In a similar vein, an all-men couple may treat themselves to jewel-encrusted wedding bands if they are not planning to exchange engagement rings. But of course, all couples are different and generalization does not really work. The most important thing is that jewelers should be prepared to cater for and embrace all couples and not only interested in stocking "his and hers" bridal sets.
Like any wedding ring, same-sex wedding rings may be very simple or jewel-encrusted show-stoppers. Many of the sets marketed by jewelers are two similar or identical ring designs in two different colored metals. Others may have LGBT pride motifs, such as a rainbow of colored gemstones to represent the flag made by Gilbert Baker that first flew in San Francisco's Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978. The colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. They represent life, healing, sunlight, nature, serenity and spirit, respectively. Mars or Venus gender symbols are also popular motifs. Other options are birthstones or motifs that have a special significance for the happy couple.
As well as same-sex couples, those in support of same-sex marriage sometimes also wear equality rings to show their support. Several jewelers produced unisex rings to raise awareness for marriage equality. In the US, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) champions the rights of LGBT people in America. Their slogan is "love conquers hate" and their logo is simply an equal sign, which has been used by the organization since 1995. This sign appears on some equality rings. The logo and campaign has received a lot of positive publicity in recent years.
Whether you are an LGBT couple or simply wish to show your support for equality, you can do this by wearing an equality ring. Diversity creates the necessity for tolerance. Tolerance makes way for understanding and enables love to conquer all. In the modern world with an ever-increasing global population, human harmony is more crucial than ever. United we stand, divided we fall.
- First Published: July-08-2016
- Last Updated: April-26-2017
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