15 Modern, Ethical, and Beautiful Wedding Rings Under $500

Aide-mémoire creates beautiful, environmentally friendly rings that won't break the bank

row of gold wedding rings
By the time you’re shopping for rings, you’ve probably learned—possibly the hard way—that wedding planning takes lots of compromise. Sometimes the exhausting, “I never want to make another decision ever again” kind of compromise. Which is why we do a little dance at our desks every time we see a vendor like Seattle-based Aide-mémoire Jewelry, which will make your rings one area of planning that requires exactly zero compromise—from design, to materials, to customer service, to price.

gold and diamond wedding bands Aide-memoire

Founder and designer Aran Galligan’s work is inspired by modern design—clean lines, function over form, and staying true to the materials used. They are classic and timeless, but with a subtle handmade feel that makes them more unique than a standard band from a big-box jewelry store.

Every Aide-mémoire ring is custom made by hand using techniques that combine traditional metalworking with computer-aided design technology, and partnerships with local master stone setters and engravers to ensure the highest quality.

rose gold diamond engagement ring Aide-memoire

And when Aide-mémoire uses the terms “ethical” and “eco-friendly,” they really mean it. Committed to maintaining integrity in everything they do, Aide-mémoire carefully researches materials and suppliers, and uses one hundred percent recycled precious metals, and recycled and lab-grown diamonds and gemstones in a low-impact studio environment. (All packing materials are reused and reusable, recyclable, and compostable, with minimal use of plastic.)

Plus, Aide-mémoire also makes monthly donations to a selection of nonprofits, including Lambda LegalDirect Relief, The Hunger ProjectHuman Rights Campaign and Ethical Metalsmiths.

gold and diamond engagement ring aide-memoire

Remember what I said about not compromising? Yup, not even over price. Aran is a big proponent of choosing gold over sterling silver due to its durability, and Aide-mémoire’s selection of gold bands is incredibly reasonable, starting at just $100. See for yourself:

gold wedding band aide-memoire

Stone Texture Hand-Carved Classic Band, $450

diamond and white gold wedding band aide-memoire

Flush Set Square Diamond Ring, $430


Dot Ancient Texture Ring, $225


Women’s Wood Textured Square Band, $125

1.5x.75mm_Flat_Palladium wedding band

Women’s Slim & Skinny Flat Band, $100

rose gold wedding band aide-memoire

Women’s Edgeless Band, $265

diamond and yellow gold wedding band aide-memoire

Square Solitaire Engagement Ring, $420


Men’s Light Weight Flat Simple Band, $390

3mm_Slim_Flat_Textured_14k_Rose_Gold wedding ring

Light Weight Hammer Texture Flat Simple Band, $250

14g_rustic_14k_yellow_womens wedding ring

Women’s Rustic Textured Round Ring, $95


Delicate & Subtle Engagement Ring, $420

2mm_Classic_14k_Rose_Gold wedding ring

Women’s Classic Simple Band, $225

10k_Yellow_Gold_3mm_Classic_Ancient_Band wedding

3mm Women’s Classic Ancient Band, $280

Oblique_Square_Solitaire_-_10k_Yellow_Gold_Moissanite wedding ring

Oblique Square Solitaire Engagement Ring, $420

concrete texture gold wedding band aide-memoire

Women’s Concrete Band, $485

NEW: While you’re shopping, don’t forget to check out Aide-mémoire’s selection of attendant gifts that will actually be used well beyond your wedding day, featuring handmade and/or eco-friendly items by makers like Alchemy Goods, Forge & Nail, Italic Home, and Steel Toe Studios.

wedding attendant gifts

And if you’re in the Seattle area, you can shop for an Aide-mémoire ring in person at their adorable Wallingford work studio and salon. Book a free half-hour consultation here to visit and view samples, discuss options, and work on finding the perfect piece—whether that’s a wedding band, engagement ring, or ethical stone. Not going to be in Seattle, but still have questions? You can also book a Skype session here.

AIDE-Mémoire Jewelry specializes in CREATING future heirlooms that Won’t desTROY the environment or your BUDGET. VISIT THEIR ONLINE STORE FOR MORE BEAUTIFUL, ETHICAL, AND AFFORDABLE DESIGNS TODAY. 

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