Diamonds are a girl’s best friends, but sometimes they’re not the ultimate surprise for women who love the appeal of dark romanticism and gothic styles. Previously associated with rebellion and morbidity, the skull motif is becoming an unusual choice in engagement rings. Here’s how it gained popularity in jewelry designs, and how to choose the perfect skull engagement ring.
- Skull Engagement Ring Designs
- Why Are Skull Engagement Rings Popular?
- Skull Engagement Ring Meaning
- How to Choose the Perfect Skull Engagement Ring
- Pros and Cons of Skull Engagement Rings
- A Brief History of Skull Design in Fashion
- Wrapping Up
Skull Engagement Ring Designs
From romantics to goths and rocker chicks, there’s a perfect skull engagement ring for everyone. We have rounded up some of the most unique designs that you and your soon-to-be fiancée will love:
Marquise Skull Ring
Garnet Skull Ring by Jewellery4Less. Check price here.
Classy and elegant, this skull engagement ring will make her feel like a heroine in a gothic novel. It’s not tacky or too loud, with the skulls beautifully blending into the ring design. The garnet has quite an oversized appearance and adds a touch of color to the ring. Choose from white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold for the band.
Skull Band Solitaire Ring
Red Queen Ring by Bellum France. Check price here.
If you love dark romanticism and everything gothic, this is the perfect one for you. Crafted in sterling silver, the solitaire ring features a ruby stone and is decorated with skulls on the band for an intricate and darkly stunning design.
Filigree Skull Ring
Helena Ring by Grace Alchemy. Check price here.
Are you looking for a vintage-inspired piece with a slightly darker touch? Decorated with scrollwork patterns and filigree designs, this skull engagement ring will take you on a journey back into the Edwardian times. If you want something luxurious, you can also have it in platinum. The beauty of this ring is that the skull designs are on the side, making for a more subtle, not-so-in-our-face design.
Floral Skull Ring
Skull Engagement Ring by Alien Forms Jewelry. Check price here.
Who says a floral ring can’t have a dash of spooky surprises? Sweet and delicate, this skull engagement ring is crafted in sterling silver and black zircon stones. If you like, you can also have it in 14k gold with black diamonds for a more valuable version.
Whimsical Skull Ring
Queen of Hearts Ring by Grace Alchemy. Check price here.
Made for a royal, this skull engagement ring reminds us of the queens in gothic fantasies. Glamorous and elegant, it features red garnets and black diamond set in gold—or even in platinum. The skulls are symmetrically placed on either side of the band, with a line of dark stones running down the sides of the band.
“Queen of Skull” Ring
Skull Engagement Ring by Ooza Jewelry. Check price here.
It doesn’t get more stunning and eye-catching than this. This engagement ring gives a nod to the memento mori jewelry of the past. The skull is crowned with diamonds, and holds another diamond in its mouth, making for a truly statement-making engagement ring. We loved the double band style that works as an all-in-one-ring too.
Fantasy-Inspired Skull Ring
Bat Wing Ring by All Things Geek Chic. Check price here.
Mystical and otherworldly, this skull engagement ring is ideal for someone with chubby fingers due to its wide design. It’s crafted from 14k white gold and adorned with blood red garnet and black sapphires, its stunning skull design and bat wings are just perfect for a Victorian gothic love story.
Luxurious Skull Ring
Unique Heart Engagement Ring by Shiv Jewel Creations. Check price here.
If she loves heavy embroidery, black lace and Italian fashion style, this skull engagement ring is perfect for her. Opulent and romantic, it features heart-shaped ruby stone, accented with gold skulls and white diamonds.
Skull and Bone Ring
Gothic Skull Ring by The Fine Jewels. Check price here.
The perfect blend of darkness and romance, this engagement ring is made of 14k gold, with the skull and bones neatly embedded into the shank. This isn’t the ring for you if you’re after a subtle design.
Avant-Garde Skull Ring
Victorian Skull Ring by Metal Wendler. Check price here.
Extravagant and artistic, this skull engagement ring is a work of art. The perfect choice for channeling her inner goddess, it features a moissanite stone set in white gold and adorned with Victorian motifs.
Why Are Skull Engagement Rings Popular?
- Strength and Independence – Skull jewelry first became a trend for men, as it speaks to their tough and brave nature. Nowadays, the design is gaining popularity as an engagement ring design for women, likely because many women want to show the world that they’re strong and independent too.
- Memento Mori – Skull engagement rings capture the perfect balance between the gothic and the romantic. For some, it’s a unique way of saying, “till death do us part.” Sometimes, it’s also seen as a sort of memento mori jewelry, which is a reminder that all things come to an end.
- Life After Death – Some prefer the skull design as a testament to their belief in life after death, as well as for celebrating their life and transformation.
- A Statement Choice – Skull rings are statement making on their own, not to mention they’re full of hidden meanings and symbolisms personal to the wearer.
- Gothic – For the fashion conscious, these rings can also be a reflection of dark gothic aesthetic, which fascinates many brides-to-be.
- Eternal Love – Some perceive skull rings as representations of eternal love and lifelong commitment, making skull engagement rings the symbol of the next stage in lives of a couple.
Skull Engagement Ring Meaning
A skull symbol is closely linked to death, but for an engagement ring it represents the couple’s lifelong commitment—and even the vow of “Till death do us part”. For some, death isn’t even the end, but the start of something new in the afterlife, which makes a skull engagement ring a symbol of life and eternal love.
The celebration of Día de los Muertos in Mexico and Spain also brings the skull symbolism a positive note. In fact, the holiday is observed with happiness and merry making, with colorful sugar skulls as decorations. In this sense, a skull engagement ring can also represent the celebration of life and rebirth.
For centuries, the skull symbol has long been associated with bravery. If the two of you have fought for your love and relationship, symbolizing it with a skull engagement ring would be ideal. After all, it’s more unconventional and expressive than the traditional romantic motifs of hearts, angels and cupids.
For some goth brides-to-be, it can also represent a new beginning since getting engaged means they’ll soon embark on a new journey together. As we have seen, the skull engagement ring can signify a lot of things, and it’s up for the couple to make them unique and personal.
How to Choose the Perfect Skull Engagement Ring
Selecting the perfect engagement ring with a macabre design is tricky, as you want something that will represent your love and commitment without going overboard or comical. While everything lies to one’s personal style and preferences, here are the things you should remember when choosing a skull engagement ring:
1- Take her personal style into consideration.
You want to pick a ring that captures her style and personality perfectly, and you can’t go wrong if you buy something similar to what she already has. Does she wear any skull motif in her jewelry and fashion pieces? Maybe she likes the appeal of dark romanticism in gothic novels, instead of the dark, macabre vibe of the skull symbol itself.
Her personal style is a great indication whether you should go for something subtle or more macabre. If she wears simple, understated pieces but likes a gothic twist, think of engagement rings with skull engravings but look classic at the same time. On the other hand, more elaborate and statement-making skull designs suit someone with an edgy, unapologetic nature.
2- Choose precious metals for the band.
When picking the metal, opt for something durable for everyday wear. Paying tribute to gothic styles, many jewelry designers create skull engagement rings in silver, white gold, rhodium-plated gold and platinum. In recent years, rose gold and black gold have emerged as a fresh, modern alternative.
While oxidized silver looks appealing with a skull motif, you would want to go for something more durable and scratch resistant. Platinum is the strongest metal and doesn’t cause allergic reactions. Also, 18k and 14k gold are great options for skull engagement rings.
Keep in mind that platinum dulls faster than gold, while the latter wears down quickly. You may also consider what type of metal she wears a lot. Does she prefer the classic appeal of yellow gold, or rose gold is more her thing? This can guide your choice.
3- Choose your gemstones.
The skull isn’t necessarily the main design of the engagement ring. For a classic solitaire ring, it comes with a single stone at the center that can be complemented with a skull design on the sides or on the band. Diamonds are a traditional option, but there are also red rubies and garnets that go well with the gothic-inspired theme. You can opt for birthstones or other meaningful gems.
With the macabre motif, you can go for darker colored stones like black onyx, spinel, or even black diamonds. Instead of a three-stone ring design, place the skull at the center to be the star of the show, with the gemstones on its sides. To offset the grotesque vibe of the skull ring, add a pop of color with sapphires, amethysts, emeralds and tourmalines. Really, the sky is the limit when it comes to the right skull engagement ring design.
4- Make everything personal.
There are many details and finishing touches to make a skull engagement ring unique and special. Think of message inscriptions, commemorative symbols, and other motifs that are meaningful to both of you. Apart from the skull design, you can add crosses, hearts, wings, and other symbols on the metal band.
5- Consider how the skull engagement ring will look with the wedding band.
While it’s easy to get caught up searching for the perfect engagement ring, it’s only half of the equation. You don’t have to go for a designed-to-match set, but always consider how the wedding ring will fit with the engagement ring. This is especially true if it has an elaborate skull design, a different metal color, or an irregular shaped metal band.
Pros and Cons of Skull Engagement Rings
If you’re still on fence whether going for a skull engagement ring or not, here are some of its pros and cons:
- Skull engagement rings are non-traditional and impactful, so she’ll definitely make a bold statement with it. This is ideal for a girl who likes to stand out and do things her way.
- The skull design will never go out of style. In fact, it’s one of the most consistent symbols in fashion, transcending seasons and style trends.
- A skull engagement ring is the most creative and unexpected way to say, “Till death do us part.”
- When it comes to engagement rings, skull motifs are something unusual, startling and macabre.
- The spooky skull design tends to look comical and costume-y, reminding some of the Halloween season, instead of the celebration of love and life. This is especially the case if the ring hasn’t been crafted properly.
- There are only a few jewelers creating skull engagement rings, so you might have limited options.
A Brief History of Skull Design in Fashion
Casa Batlló featuring skull-like balconies
During the Victorian era, people began adorning themselves with memento mori jewelry that reminded them of mortality. The term translates as remember you must die, so the popular motifs were skulls, bones and skeletons. In time, the symbolism they carried influenced art, fashion and jewelry trends.
By the 1900s, architect Antoni Gaudí translated the beauty of skulls and bones into stunning architecture. One of his masterpieces was the Casa Batlló—a structure in Barcelona with a skeletal appeal, featuring balconies that remind us of skulls and fermur-inspired window mullions.
If Gaudí made the skulls a work of art, fashion designer Alexander McQueen made them fashionable. In fact, he is credited for bringing the macabre motif into mainstream fashion with his collections. It’s also said that popular subcultures, grunge and rock bands, and bikers made the skull motif hip and trendy.
The Pirates of the Caribbean film series made skulls and pirate-inspired fashion look cool. Many people find pirates fascinating because of their rebellious character. The appeal of skulls is showing no signs of decline—so it’s not surprising that they also have become popular in engagement rings.
A skull engagement ring isn’t for the faint-hearted and not everyone is going to love this design. Before you choose a skull ring, consider longevity – is the skull ring something you’ll love forever? After all, your engagement ring should be something that you will cherish and love hopefully for all time. Ideally, you want a design that you’ll still love down the track. But if this ring design represents your ideals, values and personalities, then it’s the best choice to opt for.