“Ornament doesn’t need to mean excess,” says jewelry designer Jess Hannah. For anyone engagement ring shopping, that statement may seem contradictory at first. But Hannah, along with business partner Chelsea Nicholson, is out to change that. The duo’s newly launched brand, Ceremony, aims not to change the way we think about engagement rings but to finally bring what they consider an outdated industry up to speed.
“Relationships are becoming less concerned with the traditional, and we want to move away from the idea that an ‘engagement’ ring company needs to signify a specific lifestyle,” notes Nicholson via email interview. “Instead, we simply create rings that signify love—whatever that means to you.”
The result is a collection of 19 commitment rings, ranging in price from $500 to $17,000, all of which aim to touch on a growing mindset among those shopping for rings as a couple, pieces that are unique, more emotionally driven, and socially conscious. While the duo notes that in the past, a shopper might have focused on the largest diamond at the lowest price, they have personally found that as more couples choose to shop for rings together, there is a larger focus on design.
“We try to stay away from ‘trends,’” they write, “and instead build an evolved brand that really means something to us, a brand that we ourselves want to stand behind in the long run.”
Among the changes they’ve established to set their brand apart? “We’ve worked very hard to source excellent recycled diamonds, offering an ethical selection at a fair price since it’s directly to the customer,” says Hannah. In addition, she notes that she’s tried to avoid overtly “feminine” rings or branding. “We do have several styles that are gender neutral and a few that are more typically ‘feminine,’ but across the board, we try to avoid the semantics of design that would gender our pieces, by paring them down.”