Stacking rings have been enjoying something of a renaissance recently. It could be something to do with the charm bead revolution.
Last Christmas I was doing some last minute Christmas shopping (this is normal because I’m always frantically making jewellery right up to the last minute) and I noticed a long line of bored men snaking down the middle of the shopping precinct. It turns out that it was the queue for Pandora. They were letting one in and one out in order to cope with demand.
What’s all the fuss about?
Well, part of it is definitely the herding instinct that’s intrinsic to social animals. The average dog will jump off a cliff if you chuck a stick over it. We’re not so different. We have the ability to hurl ourselves off financial cliffs in pursuit of a popular brand. “It must be good: everyone’s buying it.”
But there’s more to it that that. The charm bead phenomenon has several things going for it.
Firstly it’s a collecting thing.
We went to Iceland a few years back. Those people will collect anything. (Long dark winters maybe?)
Petra Sveinsdóttir’s filled her house and garden with rocks and minerals (I mean filled) and then turned to … well, ball point pens. There was a shed full of them. There were other instances. I’ll leave you to check out this one on your own.
It seems that there’s something in the human psyche that likes to amass treasure (however that’s defined) and the charm bead thing plays into that. One little jewel at a time.
Next we have choice.
You can choose which beads to wear and what combination will suit your mood or outfit each day. Personally, I don’t know anyone who has the time in the morning to indulge this privileged and my hunch is that the beads go on in a certain order and there they stay, but undoubtedly there’s someone somewhere who goes to bed planning the configuration for the next day.
Lastly there’s cost, or more accurately, ‘availability of income’.
Add the beads up and they represent hundreds of pounds. We’re resistant to large purchases but we’ll spend vast amounts of money in small increments.
I heard a guy on Radio 4 talking about the very exclusive tea he was selling. Twelve tea bags for something like £3.50. “It will cause you physical pain to buy them,” he said, “and yet you’ll then go down to Costa Coffee (other purveyors of coffee are available) and spend the same amount on one drink.”
How much do we spend on coffee over a year and would we be prepared to part with that sum up-front for a year’s supply?
So, back to stacking rings
After noting all of the above, stacking rings have a further benefit. Wide rings are uncomfortable to wear. They get gummed up with soap when you wash your hands and they dig into you when you form a fist or grab onto the hand rail of the rollacoster as you plummet towards certain death. Slim stacking rings can give the same visual effect as a wide ring but they move with your fingers and this makes them much more comfortable to wear. They are also a lot more easy to move around and vary than the beads on a 20-bead bracelet.
These fine beaded stacking rings are new to my collection. They come in silver and yellow, white and rose gold. You can add them in to other sets and in fact I use one as the centre piece in the Rose Twist ring. They also look great on their own if you just want a fine, understated band or a wedding ring with a difference.