My name is Natalie Manifold and I own SeragaEngland, a jewellery brand on the south coast of England. I am here to share some thoughts on how to choose jewellery for your wedding.
The main things to consider when choosing bridal jewellery starts around what your own values are.
Think about the things that are important to you. For me, these would be:
- Colour Scheme
- Family Traditions
Sustainability can mean many things and I’ll talk through each of them.
Recycling – many British jewellers these days use recycled metals, so there are now plenty of options for modern brides and grooms. There are also jewellers who will take your own family gold to make into a new piece for you which offers a really lovely way to reuse gold, at the same time as honouring your ancestors.
Will I get wear out of it? You might see something that catches your eye and think ‘yes, this goes with my theme,’ but what happened after that? Will you sell it or wear it again? If it’s not something you think you will wear again, maybe this isn’t the right piece for you. Anything we can do to avoid jewels languishing in jewellery boxes can only be a good thing. It’s worth looking that bit harder to find something that you really love and will cherish. Sometimes that means spending a bit more or even borrowing an heirloom.
Is it made fairly? If it’s hand made in the UK, it’s relatively safe to assume that it is made fairly. The only exception to this might be the stones in your jewellery. Ask the jeweller if the stones are responsibly sourced. If they are, they will be only to happy to share. If they are reluctant to say ‘yes’, then be sceptical. It means they either don’t know or have not factored this into their designs.
For my own wedding, I allowed a significant portion of my budget for jewellery (including rings) because it is something you will wear every day for a long time.
As part of this, you also need to consider which stones you will choose. Diamonds are 10 on the moth scale, which is the industry standard for measuring hardness of a gem stone. However, diamonds aren’t always affordable, but there are equally suitable and less expensive stones that are more affordable. Rubies and Sapphires, which come in a rainbow of colours, are 9 on the moh scale.
Colour Scheme. I personally think you can make your jewellery fit any colour scheme. It doesn’t have to match at all.
Family Traditions. If this is important to you, try to think of ways you can incorporate heirlooms into your day. You can wear the jewellery as is, incorporate elements of older pieces into a new piece or have them completely remodelled.
Safety. I’ve left the most important till last. Please do look for jewellery that is made in the UK using precious metals from a reputable supplier. Buying from abroad can be cheaper but it is risky. The US also has no hallmarking requirement, so you cannot be certain that what you buy is genuinely gold or silver. If buying jewellery at the lower end of the market from China or India, there is the added risk of toxic metals such as cadmium in your jewellery. There are no laws in these countries to guarantee your safety.