The Divorce Ring: One local jewelry designer turns heartbreak into a symbol of strength
Narberth jewelry designer Stacey Kennealy Fay has the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for women to give themselves: divorce rings. Why would women want to be reminded of their ex-husbands? “It’s not about him. It’s about you,” Fay clarifies. “The divorce ring is like a badge of courage. The ability to get through pain can become one of your greatest strengths.”
Inspired by the difficult divorce of one of her clients, Fay designed the signet ring with a star on its outer face. It represents the North Star, which for many of Fay’s clients, is their children. To further that symbolism, Fay’s clients have their children’s birthstones set into the ring. The inside of the ring has an engraved horse – and not just any horse. This one has all four hooves firmly on the ground. Fay came up with that idea while listening to her client’s divorce story. “Someone told her that, in tough times, she was the horse they bet on,” Fay says. “It’s on the inside of the ring so only the woman sees it, but it’s there when she needs it.”
Fay designed the first divorce ring eight months ago. Each is custom made by Philadelphia artisans and available in silver or gold. The rings start at $245 and have proven so popular that Fay did a pendant version that can be worn as a necklace.
The pieces are part of Fay’s memoir line, which includes pendants for women who have had miscarriages and rings bearing the phrase, “There is a light that never goes out.” Fay created it to honor the spirit of her sister, Donna, who died at age 31 of injuries sustained from a car accident. “I wear my ring stacked between my engagement ring and wedding band,” Fay says. “It is with the rings that have the most symbolism to me.”
To some, they may sound morbid, but the pieces are inspired by Victorian era mourning jewelry. Fay says there is still a need for these kinds of mementos. “In our culture, grief can get pushed under the rug. There can be a big gaping hole in your life and if you don’t talk about it, it doesn’t heal.”
That healing can take a long time, Fay acknowledges, and holidays like Valentine’s Day can be difficult for people who are divorced. “But sometimes, your greatest struggles become your greatest strengths,” Fay says. “The ring is a talisman to remember and honor that part of yourself.”
Originally published in Main Line Today, written by Melissa Jacobs.