This article is part of our What's Your Inspiration series, where we explore the personal touches and sources of inspiration our customers bring to their engagement rings.
We don't know what it is about sea turtles that evokes love and romance, but it's consistently been a very popular wildlife theme in our engagement rings. Over and over, we've heard from customers that their significant other absolutely loves turtles. One Hawaiian couple told us they see turtles every day and nothing would feel quite as right as having them in their ring's design. Another couple asked us to capture their shared love for deep sea diving adventures by referencing the turtles they've seen on their dives.
Whatever it is that makes this seemingly unusual choice so popular, our artists absolutely love designing turtle-themed engagement rings. Here are a few of our favorites!
This ring brings together the wearer's love for sea turtles and music. We took these inspirations and created a bold look, with a pear cut black opal set as the turtle's shell. Turning the turtle allows a bypass-style setting to curve into the unique shape of the center setting. But the design uses plenty of open space around the delicate filigree details to keep the look light. So, where does the music come in? Well, the band is made up of braided, textured wires that unspool into the center setting — wires that represent guitar strings.
This ring, too, draws together several thematic threads. Taking a more understated approach to the turtle details, the ring's design starts from a classic three-stone setting. Instead of simple side stones, we flanked the sapphire center stone with white-opal-shelled turtles, and used a mixed metal detail to highlight the turtle detail just a bit more.
Like the previous design, this ring builds its turtles into the side stones of a three-stone engagement ring. Here the theme is made even more subtle. We wouldn't be surprised if most people missed the sea turtles at first glance — there's plenty to catch the eye with the rich colors of the amethyst center stone, its diamond halo, and the pink sapphire side stones. But take that closer look and you'll see the pink sapphires are the shells of two little turtles, swimming elegantly in the wave curves of the white gold band.
After a few bold looks, how about a more minimal take on the turtle theme? This ring's design is sleek and modern, setting the sculpted turtle across an elegantly curved band. An oval diamond sparkles as the turtle's shell. The slightly asymmetrical curves of the band perfectly frame the sea turtle, like water flowing around it.
By this point in the list, you're probably starting to realize that a turtle's shell is pretty much the perfect place to set a center stone — and man does it look good with a whole range of shapes and gemstones! But we're particularly partial to a pear cut, and the green tsavorite garnet in this ring does not disappoint. This ring was designed for the woman with a pet turtle in her home and a turtle tattoo on her skin, so of course we had to include her favorite animal in the design. He asked us to include a couple accent colors to complement the green center stone, so a topaz and garnet make the look even more vibrant.
This ring takes the most understated approach to the turtle theme. A first and even second glance at the vintage-inspired white gold setting likely won't reveal what's tucked on each side of the ring and hidden by her other fingers. But once you turn your eyes away from the sparkling cushion-cut diamond and give the ring a little twist, these pretty little sea turtles swim into view.
We've focused mostly on women's engagement rings, but we can't help but include one of our favorite men's turtle wedding bands in this roundup. The band's design shows a sea turtle rising from the surface of the band, sending a few ripples in front of it. The blend of yellow and white gold highlights the turtle's features, while the shell disappears under the surface of the band.
We had a really hard time narrowing down the designs to include in this list. It started as a "top 5" and, as you can see, we snuck in a couple extras. At this point, it seems silly to just stop at 7. 😅
So... let's make it an even 10! We looked through our design sketches and found three more great turtle ring sketches. These didn't get picked by the customers we made them for, but we still love them! And someone's runner-up design might just be a look you love as much as we do.
This design offers a very different take on the turtle design, bringing in modern, angular details to partner with the bold sea turtle setting.
An east-west setting for a pear cut creates a captivating, asymmetrical look. In this design, that setting hides a turtle swimming into a current of filigree eddies, with a wedding band that echoes the wave and perfectly accentuates the lack of symmetry.
If you're bringing children to the marriage, the symbolism of this ring is sure to bring a tear to your eye. A couple baby turtles swim beside the mother turtle, cutting across the sapphire-lined waves intertwining around the band.