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Metal vs. Wood Rings: Why Materials Matter


Specialized Jewelry

When it comes time to celebrate a treasured life event, an equally meaningful representation is in order. At Simply Wood Rings, we practice a craft that has been revered through the ages, further infused with a very special story… yours.

Rings and other forms of jewelry have been ornamenting the human body since prehistoric times. The first known examples were fashioned from the talons of majestic birds, and date back a staggering 135,000 years. Other ancient materials used in ring and jewelry making included snail shells, egg shells, stone, and of course, wood.

Past civilizations that helped create gold’s popularity include the Varna civilization (Eastern Bulgaria), the Mesopotamian, and and the Egyptian culture. With various adaptions in jewelry design, these civilizations shaped the current perspective of gold around the world.

In a literal sense, one can say that metal jewelry is one of the “newer” fads in personal adornment.

Metal vs. Wood Rings

These days, many people believe that metal jewelry is the only option available, influenced by a multi-billion dollar advertising industry. The purveyors of precious metals insist that their product holds the singular language for expressing an amorous emotion. They also aim to sell a symbol standing for something that does not actually exist: permanence.

But obviously, love speaks in all tongues. At Simply Wood Rings, we believe that the best way to tell a love story is to tell your own. An artisan-crafted wood rings creates an alternative to the antiquated and impersonal metal rings.

Through our exclusive use of salvaged and repurposed woods that tell a tale of their own, we are receptive to life’s continuing cycle, while acknowledging the sanctity of the present moment. This values the immediacy of the now, instead of pointing to the past or the future. Our wood rings show off your extraordinary style with a beautiful, natural aesthetic, and an option to incorporate some of your own personal items in the piece itself. In your ring, you will discover much more than a mere accessory. It will hold a precious part of your story, captured with love.

All materials have obstacles, but purchasing precious metals could have serious repercussions. The process required to extract gold and platinum, along with the industry’s detrimental socio-economic impact, has an adverse effect on our global community.

We’ve got a list of things to consider before purchasing precious metals:

  • Consider what’s entailed in mining for gold. For many, a sunny image of pickaxes and river streams may come to mind. But long gone are the days of the California Gold Rush. In fact, so much gold has been taken from the Earth that it is now only found in relatively small concentrations, demanding entirely different techniques. Modern extraction methods for gold include violent blasting operations and treatment with toxic chemicals, like cyanide. The cyanide can then leach into soil and groundwater, posing a significant risk to people, livestock, and wildlife.
  • Platinum mining also accounts for numerous concerns. The process creates excessive air pollution in the form of dust and sulfur dioxide, massive energy and water consumption, and toxic chemical runoff. Society is deeply affected as local farmlands are often taken over by mining companies, who prioritize economic interests over the production of food.
  • The effects of mining are still affecting marginalized communities throughout the world, from South Africa to Myanmar to Peru.

An eco-friendly Simply Wood Ring is constructed of organic salvaged or repurposed wood. In some cases, we’ve given fallen trees from the surrounding area a second life. Other woods are sourced from like-minded organizations who would rather not see valuable wood get misused, or sent to a landfill. Wherever its roots may originate, our materials are always non-toxic and responsibly sourced. From start to finish, we employ natural methods that don’t harm the Earth or its creatures.

The Better Choice

We hope that you understand your purchasing decisions matter. While Simply Wood Ring is not perfect, we are offering a kinder, friendlier, and a consciously curated solution to the traditional metal rings influencing everyone today. Your ring is sure to inspire others, as they will undoubtedly express a natural curiosity about this unusually attractive piece. Your story, along with how the ring came to be, will plant the seeds for the next person to grow.

Simply Wood Rings are the leader in beautifully unique, highly personalized wooden rings. We provide you with unequaled customer care to create an exclusive and elegant piece of wearable art that tells your own personal story. Handcrafted in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, our rings are prized not only for their distinctive aesthetic and narrative but for the kind and globally conscious process by which they are made. We bring our respect and reverence for the Earth, for life and for tradition into each and every piece.

For more about Simply Wood Rings, contact us today!

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Simply Wood Rings: What We Do

The Ever-Present Moment

Have you ever had a trusty keepsake to remind you of a fleeting moment from the distant past? Something that had the power to return you instantly to the present moment you are in right here, right now?

Perhaps it is a lucky coin or a pressed flower, or a river-smoothed rock you keep in your pocket. Maybe it’s something that has stayed with you for a very long time, marked and changed right along with the flow of life’s events. Perhaps this object brings you back to yourself, as you take note of the tiny changes it has endured over a certain span of time.

Simply Wood Rings is a leader in artisan crafted wooden rings, proudly made in Chicago, Illinois. We create custom artisan-made, deeply meaningful, and uniquely personalized rings for both special and everyday occasions. Our treasured wooden jewelry offers not only symbolic beauty and style but also makes a direct positive contribution to our world and its inhabitants.

Many of our materials are sourced from personally significant items provided by our customers themselves, as well as salvaged and repurposed objects. This allows us to practice sustainability and tell your unique story at the same time.

Ethical Materials Are More Than the Sum of Their Parts

We invite our customers to contribute an object that is sentimental to them, coupled with the wood of their choice. Personal items incorporated into our jewelry may include part of a family heirloom, a meaningful rock, or petals from a person’s wedding bouquet. There was once a couple that walked into our store with a chili pepper and we turned a simple vegetable into a stunning piece of jewelry. This physical representation of an aspect of the personal experience is then inlaid into a new piece of wearable, sustainable, one-of-a-kind handmade wooden art, manifesting as a gorgeous wooden ring.

Our handcrafted custom rings are a way for you to keep a part of your special wedding day close to you at all times. These rings offer our customers a way to make that one memorial day never die, where a woman can basically be a bride forever.

The central components of our craft are the unique and mindfully chosen objects themselves, which carry an expressiveness and symbology directly personal to the person wearing the handmade design. The personal nature of each piece allows it to share its own narrative, and it’s likely that your beautiful eco-friendly wooden ring will invite the opportunity for questions from curious friends, nosy coworkers, and acquaintances. However, it’s up to you how much of your tale you choose to tell.

Telling an Individual Story

We would feel honored to collaborate with you on your unique Simply Wood ring, whether it is celebrating a union between people, a birthday, a milestone, or another special occasion. We work closely with you to understand your particular sensibilities and aesthetic. Essentially, we aim to foster a sense of reverence and honor for the ephemeral nature of these particular objects and woods. On a fundamental level, these types of materials remind us of the present moment and the idea of impermanence. We like to make sure that our philosophy is in friendly contrast with traditional jewelers, whose works specifically indicate the past and the future, denying the only moment we actually ever have, which is right now.

The Importance of Sustainability

Along with our customers, we place great value on our ongoing commitment to sustainable practices in our woodcraft. When in search of a ring to celebrate and represent something special, many people are led to believe that metal is the only choice. This, of course, is not the case. Some people are actually allergic to metal, and sourcing it is extremely hard on our environment. Working responsibly with wood and other environmentally friendly materials gives us a wonderful opportunity to practice our philosophy.

At Simply Wood Rings, we love the process of helping tell a story with each exclusive piece. We are serious about our role in honoring life’s most cherished moments. This professional attitude, coupled with our clients’ passion and the special nature of the objects, creates a finished product that is nothing short of magical. Your Simply Wood Ring will move with you through life in a beautifully ephemeral way, as life moves through you.

For more about Simply Wood Rings and our ring design process, please contact us today!

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A Simple Start- The Beginning of Simply Wood Rings

In 2005, my wife helped me realize that all questions have an answer. 

She asked, “Can you make a wood wedding ring?”
My answer was “Yes.. but…”

In woodworking, you, as the woodworker, will be the only one that knows where your mistakes lie, in any given creation. The mentality that there is only one way of doing something is what kept me from seeing the wonderfully simple beauty in the question “Can you make a wood ring?”.

First, there is the question of durability that needs an answer. As a woodworker, you have a learned that “the world is flat” quite literally, thanks to the industrial revolution. You cut, drill, plane, sand or otherwise abuse this very natural material that we call wood. It is all done in the name of speed and efficiency all the while killing the spirit and soul of the woodworker in the process. 

So when my wife asked me, can I make a wood wedding ring, I quickly dismissed the notion. I wasn’t listening to my wife; she didn’t ask if it would be strong, or if people would like it. She wasn’t asking if people would fall in love with these little wooden rings that manifest human emotion, or if we would post the first wooden ring on Etsy. She didn’t ask if it would end up cutting a groove so deep that hundreds of “would-be woodworkers” would be able to give the world and alternative to the traditional wedding ring. She wasn’t asking to create a wood wedding ring that would connect us with thousands of the best customers the world has to offer.

Provided wood from our customers
Gus & Juanita

She simply asked… “Can you make a wood ring?”

As simple as, I like to say, my wife’s question was, she understood that to answer life’s most straightforward questions was enough, beyond that, we are filling life with things we believe are essential and only work to obscure what is truly wonderful about life.

After all these years, I continue to find peace and purpose in life, telling customer’s stories with these little wood wedding rings. After I had dismissed the idea, my wife asked again, “Can you bend wood?”, I finally knew the answer to the question. She was a fan of Ames bentwood furniture, so I told her that wood would bend within limitations, but not thick enough to be durable to be worn every day. She let me sit a few days then showed me a piece of paper rolled itself, and that’s the moment it clicked. The world was round! 

We have not looked back since that moment, and after our woodworking journey spans more than 20 years and still going, Simply Wood Rings will continue giving the world an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wedding rings. “Can you make a wood ring?” is a simple question that gets me out of bed every morning excited to try and answer. 

Thank you to my wife, Juanita, for that simple question and all the fantastic customers that understand life exists in the wonderfully simple parts!