Jewelry Guide

What’s a Journey Ring and Why Wear One?

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Jewelry is typically worn as much for its symbolism as for its beauty. If you’re after a meaningful ring that’s also equally beautiful, look no further than the journey ring.

Perfect for couples who wish to represent the growth of their relationship, journey rings make for excellent promise, engagement, wedding or anniversary rings.

Here’s a quick look at what a journey ring is and how to choose and wear one.

What are Journey Rings?

A journey ring symbolizes the progress or ‘journey’ of a couple’s relationship. It’s a visual representation of how this journey has advanced and grown from small to big things.

Diamond journey ring

Quintessential diamond journey ring. Notice the graduation of the diamonds. See it here.

Journey rings come in a variety of designs, but the most common features a series of diamonds or other gemstone graduating in size. Starting with a small stone, with each subsequent stone growing larger, the design symbolizes this journey from weak to strong, small to big and friendship to deep love.

However, there are other designs that journey rings come in, which also symbolize the same concepts.

Journey Ring Designs

While the graduated stone design is the most popular as it symbolizes the journey in a linear fashion, some other popular journey ring design styles include:

  1. Two Journeys, One Story – This unique style is heavy with meaning as it showcases two rows of diamonds held together by a single metal swirl. The two rows could represent the individual journeys of the couple and the swirl represents their love that binds the two stories together. There are many variations to this design, with the overall concept being the same. Two journeys, one story.

Two journeys one story

Double diamond row vintage journey ring. See it here.

  1. Reaching Upwards – This is a variation of the single line graduated stone design. Here, the stones graduate upwards, which adds an added layer of meaning. The couple together are reaching upwards, growing in strength and achievements together.

upwards graduated diamond design journey ring

Upwards graduated ring design. See it here.

  1. The Eternal Journey – Eternity rings are known for their symbolism, but they can also be adopted into the category of journey rings. After all, from now until eternity is what these rings symbolize and that is the quintessential journey that couples undertake.

Eternity journey ring

The eternity ring symbolizes a forever journey together. See this here.

  1. Bumps and Twists – Most journey rings feature designs where the gemstones are set in a swirling or curved line. This represents the ups and downs that occur along the way as a couple progress together. The ring serves as a reminder that no matter the good or the bad that comes, the couple will weather it together and grow stronger for it.

ups and downs journey ring

Weathering ups and downs together. See it here.

Perfect Occasions for a Journey Ring

The symbolism of a journey ring suits a range of occasions. Here are some:

  1. Wedding – This is an excellent occasion to mark with a journey ring, as a wedding marks the start of a new life together. Eternity journey rings are most commonly chosen for this occasion, while diamonds, platinum or gold are the most popular materials.
  2. Engagement – Yet another milestone, proposing with a journey ring is romantic and meaningful. However, ensure that your fiancé is happy with this as they might have their heart set on a traditional ring design, like a diamond solitaire.
  3. New Mom – A journey ring is a considerate gift for a new mom as the family embarks on one of the most exciting journeys there is. It’s a symbol of growing together as a family and facing the challenges and excitement that comes with it.
  4. Renewal of Vows – It may not be the beginning, but a renewal of vows is symbolic of the continuation of the journey. This is still an excellent occasion to give or receive one of these meaningful rings.
  5. To Oneself – A journey doesn’t always have to have two people. Sometimes, you might have chosen to travel alone, or you might want to celebrate your growth as a person. A journey ring is a celebration of you and your journey in life, so buying one can be a meaningful gift to yourself.

Journey Ring vs. Promise Ring

Couple holding hands

A journey ring isn’t a promise ring, as one represents a continuing path together while the other represents a future promise. Promise rings are typically given pre-engagement and are a symbol of commitment.

The meanings of these two rings are somewhat different, which is why they shouldn’t be confused as being the same.

For promise ring ideas, read our complete guide here.

Where to Find a Journey Ring

If you’re looking for a journey ring, make sure you purchase from an experienced and trusted seller. Consider your budget and purpose of buying the ring to help you filter through the options.

For diamond rings, check out James Allen and Blue Nile for a range of high-quality products, excellent customer service, track record and reasonable prices.

For everything else (as well as diamonds) check out Etsy. You’ll also find a range of estate journey rings here.

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