Korea has an enormous couple culture. It’s all about your significant other in Korea. There’s matching couple outfits, shoes, couple apps, rings, and the list goes on and on. According to Aaron, a ring means you’re officially a couple. I thought we were a couple when he asked me, but I think he means a ring is an official way to state it. You can get couple rings whenever, but the 100 day mark is when many couples decide to take the leap and get one. Unfortunately, Aaron and I were apart during that special anniversary, but better late than never, right?
What are couple rings? I get this question a lot. It’s a declaration of love to the world. It means you have a significant other and rings are a flashy way to be like, “This is MINE.” I originally wanted to wear mine on my middle finger because I’m vulgar like that, but Aaron insisted we be proper and wear them on our left ring fingers. In the west, a ring on your special left finger means engagement or marriage, but in Korea, it’s hard to tell if the couple is dating or married. I noticed many older couples don’t wear wedding bands and the younger couples wear rings.
Rings, rings, rings. Those are seen as a sign of eternal commitment in Western countries. I don’t know many Westerners who do (besides Simon and Martina at Eat Your Kimchi when they were dating). I’ve been asked if I was engaged/married, but I’m not. I’m just slowly turning Korean!
Where To Go
The most popular place is the Jogno 3-ga Jewlery District in Seoul. They have a HUGE selection of wholesale jewelers. It’s super popular amongst couples looking for rings and foreign tourists looking for jewelery at low prices. They have rings for about 30-40% cheaper than most jewelery outlets in Korea. One of the great parts about Korea is they are fantastic copycats. As soon as the newest designs of jewelery come out from top brands like Tiffany&Co nearly identical pieces will be featured in the shops. I couldn’t take pictures, but I did see some amazing copies better than the originals.
The answer is yes. Bring a native speaker with you because they’re much better at negotiating seeing as they have communication in the native language on their side. One of the great parts of shopping for couple rings in Korea is you can bargain for the price you want. It’s a buyer’s market as there are 700-1,000 shops located in a one kilometer proximity. We visited 4 shops and looked at many different designs. Each shop offers something unique like putting in shinier gems, engraving your initials, or designing your own ring.
You have to take price, quality and design into account when shopping for your rings. Some shops were giving us huge discounts but the quality wasn’t as good. Other stores offered to replace gems with shinier crystals. The salesmen and women play a hard game to make the sale so don’t be persuaded by their smiles and charm. Look at the jewelry and make sure it’s in your price range and exactly what you want. Since we were just looking at couple rings, the stones in our rings are not real. What you’re paying for is the quality of the metal. Of course they offer rings with diamonds in them but they are more pricey.
It’s no secret western fingers are larger than Asian ones. If you’re shopping for couple rings, wedding rings, engagement rings, allow at least one week to resize the ring. Believe me, it’s worth the wait.
Couple rings can cost anywhere from 270,000 won to 500,000 won. It depends on the metal, gems, and quality you choose. Aaron and I chose 14k white gold and our rings were about 340,000 with our names engraved on the inside. Since it takes two to tango we split the cost of our rings between the two of us.
I personally love shiny and sparkly things. My ring has gems on the side and a small gem in the middle. I love the knot design. In my opinion, there’s something special about it that means forever. Our rings are 18k white gold with our initials engraved inside. Koreans like simplicity for their rings, but we are a special case. We both have our own style and march to the beat of our own drums. I think our rings are lovely and express our unique relationship.
How To Get There
Get off at Jogno 3 Station or Jongak Station. It’s off of lines 1,3,5. Take exit (exit number here). As soon as you get outside you’ll see plenty of jewelry shops. Pick one that works for you and start looking!