The Fashion Evolution from Wedding Bands to Independence Rings with Divorce Attorney Holly J. Moore

Wedding and engagement rings have been around for centuries. Privately, they symbolize commitment, and publicly, they broadcast exciting news. But there’s a new — and unexpected — trend in the jewelry world. Holly J. Moore, divorce attorney and founder of Moore Family Law Group, dives into this development.

According to Moore, the new trend is “independence rings” or “divorce rings.” It’s been popularized by celebrities and embraced by women from all walks of life.

An independence ring is a commemorative ring, much like an engagement or wedding ring. The only difference is that instead of celebrating an engagement or wedding, the ring celebrates the decision to leave an untenable relationship.

Some women choose to create or purchase an entirely new ring for the occasion. However, others opt to take their original engagement ring and refashion it into two separate rings. This tactic works especially well with toi et moi rings, or two-stone rings with an individual stone representing each partner.

So, what’s the thinking behind these independence rings? Are they merely meant to show confidence in being independent or do they mask other motives?

As someone who’s helped countless clients navigate divorce in her nearly 20 years as a practicing attorney, Moore has witnessed the blossoming of the new jewelry trend firsthand.

“I think it can be a symbolic gesture for the person doing it and help with the recognition that this last chapter of someone’s life is over, and they are beginning a new one,” she said. “Many women are doing this with pinky rings as they symbolize confidence and a woman’s independence. I think the gesture of taking off the wedding ring and replacing it with something else can also help with closure. Usually, people will continue to wear their wedding ring long after they know the marriage is over. It’s usually the last thing to go.”

For some women, wearing a wedding ring after divorce is a sign of a reluctance to let go. But when it comes to independence rings, many women adopt them as a symbol of connection with themselves. It’s not uncommon for someone who’s just gone through a bitter divorce to be content with staying single for a bit.

Other women might choose a divorce ring or independence ring to send a signal that they’re ready to start another relationship — or just find a post-divorce fling.

“I suppose it depends on which finger you’re wearing it,” said Moore. “I think some women do wear a ring on their wedding finger to try and deter possible suitors. So, if you want to continue wearing a ring on your wedding ring finger, of course you can choose to do that whether you’re married or not. If you are wearing it on a finger other than your ring finger, then maybe the hidden motive is to symbolize that you are single and open to being approached.”

Traditionally, divorcees haven’t been something to celebrate. From her work at Moore Family Law Group, Moore can tell you that it’s a stressful and challenging ordeal for clients and attorneys alike.

But the rise in post-divorce rings indicates that, at least for some people, the implications of divorce have begun to shift. Many people would say that a divorce is the result of a failed marriage. But for women who have embraced the post-divorce ring trend, it simply means both spouses have decided it’s time for a fresh start.

In what may come as surprising news to some, divorce rates have declined over the past decade. But for some jewelry makers, requests for post-breakup rings have risen astronomically. One North Carolina jeweler noticed that since 2023, he has seen a 300 percent increase in clients seeking independence rings.

There’s certainly an element of social contagion involved — the demand for independence rings comes after many celebrities have flaunted them on social media. The jeweler mentioned above saw the spike in demand after she shared photos of her custom rings.

From a more cynical viewpoint, it might seem like independence rings are nothing more than a cash grab for jewelers.

That may or may not be the case, but often, post-divorce rings are custom reworkings of engagement or wedding rings — and custom jewelry is expensive. The aforementioned jeweler’s customized post-breakup rings start at the steep price of $2,600.

No matter your opinion on independence rings, one thing is true — they aren’t going away anytime soon.

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