Wedding or engagement ring shopping is daunting.
It’s a large and very personal investment, and many of us (definitely me) have little or no understanding of the processing of choosing the “perfect ring.”
In my opinion, Holden makes this process easier, more inclusive, and more, well, special. Holden has done an excellent job of removing the “cons” from the typical engagement ring/wedding ring shopping experience.
With Holden, there’s…
✅ No hassle
✅ No crazy marked-up prices
✅ No concerns about the ethics or sustainability of the ring you’ll be wearing on your finger forever.
Annie (my wife and the co-founder of Grow Ensemble) and I decided to go with a Holden ring for my wedding band. We’re super happy we did.
In this post, we’re diving into an honest Holden Rings review so you can get a sense of who they are, what they offer, and why they are now one of our favorite recommendations for couples tying the knot.
A new kind of wedding ring company — Holden creates custom, affordable wedding rings made to order using eco-friendly materials like recycled precious metals and lab-grown diamonds. With sustainability, inclusivity, and accessibility at its core, Holden celebrates love, people, and the planet with each handcrafted ring.
Complete Holden Rings Review
Holden, which is based in New York City, was founded in 2018 by Simon Zhang and Andrew Lim as a consequence of their previous experience in the jewelry industry. They had been running MUJO, an online jewelry company, which led them to repeated encounters with couples who:
(1) couldn’t find the kind of wedding ring they liked, and
(2) felt excluded, exhausted, and frustrated with the treatment they received from jewelers and the jewelry industry.
This experience is in alignment with how Annie and I felt when seeking out a ring for me. Her ring, a family heirloom, was special, meaningful, and everything we could want. My ring was a different story.
We wanted something that was good quality, but we didn’t want the price to be the thing that made the ring special. We wanted to make a purchase we felt confident was supporting a good company that has sustainability and ethics in mind. We wanted my band to be unique and more personalized than the dime-a-dozen rings we could pick up at the closest jewelry store.
Luckily, in some of our partnership work for Grow Ensemble, we came across Holden and we were quickly “on board” with the way their approach flipped the customer experience in this industry on its head.
From Holden themselves…
“We’re a team of designers, jewelry makers, and hopeless romantics rallying around the idea that the one thing you wear every day should stand for something more. That’s why we’re making custom, personalized wedding rings accessible and affordable #ForAllCouples.”
Let’s dive into how Holden’s process differentiates itself from what’s been the “norm.”
Get started with Holden by grabbing one of their free ring sizing kits. While you wait for that to ship, browse their selection, dive deeper into our review, and start to get some ideas of what type of ring might be the best fit for you.
What Stands Out About Holden?
No Hassle Shopping Experience
Shopping online for your custom ring is easy. You can decide on a ring and consider the pricing at your leisure, avoiding awkward experiences with salespeople in a store.
After receiving a sizing kit, Annie and I were ready and able to select my band, customize it, and add an engraving all within a few minutes from the Holden website. All of the excitement without any discomfort.
Holden has made the commitment to be a “wedding ring company for all couples.” They’ve made a particular effort to be accessible to all customers, free from the judgment or exclusion on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation that may be encountered in a store.
Holden wants the ring-buying experience to be about nothing but love for any and all couples. They back this up with a commitment to donate 1% of sales (with a minimum annual donation of $25,000) to The Trevor Project, which is the world’s largest organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth.
Quality Customizable Wedding Rings, Accessible Prices
Their principle of “inclusivity” is not limited to social barriers but includes financial barriers as well.
When Annie and I first considered Holden for my band, I was really relieved to see how reasonable their pricing was as compared to other jewelry brands and companies. We hated the idea of the price of the ring being the thing that made it special.
Turns out, Holden is with us on that point.
They are able to offer what they call “Direct-to-You Pricing.” Apparently, traditional jewelry retail markups are eight to ten times the cost of production!
Because Holden partners with local New York workshops and cuts out retail by delivering directly to your doorstep, they are able to offer their custom rings for a dramatically lower price.
I think this graphic on the right from HiHolden.com gives you a good idea of the cost reductions.
Seriously! You can get a custom-made, quality ring, for under $300.
Committed to Ethically and Sustainably Made Rings: Diamond or Metal
First off, Holden will be the first to tell you they are cautious to refer to themselves as a necessarily “sustainable ring company.” But they will say they are committed to full transparency and to pushing themselves to be as sustainable as they can be.
It’s extremely difficult to ensure that mined diamonds are both environmentally sustainable or conflict-free. That’s why Holden uses lab-grown diamonds. While it still takes energy to create the final product, lab-grown diamonds emit over five times less carbon dioxide in their production than naturally-mined diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds are also completely traceable, so Holden can ensure that they are in fact conflict free.
As for their metals, Holden uses 100% SCS-certified recycled gold, and 90% recycled platinum, with the goal of becoming 100%. While recycling metals does still consume energy, giving many of these materials a second life is a more eco-friendly decision.
Holden also produces their rings “made-to-order”, so they aren’t holding or wasting any excess inventory. That means your ring is made just for you. In addition, if rings are ever returned, they melt those materials down to use in future rings.
They also consider the packaging and transport of all materials and, ultimately, your ring. That’s one reason that Holden works locally in New York to produce the rings—the finished rings are delivered by hand.
Finally, when the ring is headed to your doorstep, Holden uses packaging made with recycled materials, biodegradable adhesives, recyclable tape, and compostable packing peanuts.
They’ve also maintained a continued commitment to making their shipping process as low impact as possible.
Til’ Death Guarantee
Holden offers a free 14-day return policy in case you are not satisfied with your ring; and they provide complimentary resizing for life, a limited lifetime warranty, and a promise to take responsibility for any manufacturing or material defects.
These assurances are nice to have with a purchase that is so important. You’re going to be wearing your ring EVERY DAY, FOREVER, right?
Let’s get on to what sort of options you can find in Holden’s ring selection.
Holden’s Customization Options:
For almost every style of Holden Ring, you’ll be able to customize the following options…
Width: 1.5mm, 3mm, 4.5mm, 6mm
Metal: Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, White Gold, Platinum
Karat: 10k, 14k, 18k
Finish: Matte or Mirror
Engraving (Free!): Add up to 20 characters, free!
And of course, if you don’t see an option you’re looking for, you are often encouraged on Holden’s site to reach out to their support and see if they can customize even further!
Holden’s Selection of Wedding Rings & Bands
Here are a few different types and ring styles that Holden currently offers. See their website for the latest in designs and customization options.
Holden’s Classic Rings
Annie and I picked out one of Holden’s classic rings, the Domed, for me. Each of these rings can have customized widths, yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, or platinum for the metal, and the choice of karat count and finish.
Here are a few options (including mine), but there are, of course, even more to choose from.
Holden’s Diamond Rings
Holden’s Certified Conflict-Free, Lab-Grown Diamond Rings come in a variety of styles and options for customization. Again, you can choose your width, metal, karat count, and in a few instances the finish: mirror or matte
Holden’s Curved Rings
Holden also offers some uniquely designed curved rings, with or without diamonds, and many of the same customizations.
How long does it take to get your ring?
Holden asks that you allow “up to three weeks for production once your order has been placed.” However, they do say you can email support for potential rush orders.
What if I get the wrong size? Is resizing easy?
Ha! We did…even with the ring sizing kit.
Do try to get the right size because every time a ring is resized it loses material. We had to get my ring resized, but the process was painless. I just had to part with my ring for a couple of weeks. I was bummed to send it off, but it came back better than before.
Just reach out to Holden’s support—they send you a prepaid shipping label, you just have to print it out and send it. They’ll have it back to you about two weeks after you ship it out. They did with mine.
How do returns work? Do they have a return policy?
Holden offers free 14-day returns for U.S. customers. They do say the products must be in “their original, unworn condition to be accepted.”
International orders are available for return with their discretion.
For more, feel free to familiarize yourself with Holden’s own FAQ…
The Word: Other Holden Online Reviews… 💬
Reviews for Holden elsewhere on the web seem overwhelmingly positive. The only shortcoming seems to be the difficulty of knowing “exactly what your ring will be like” in an online shopping experience.
This is a good reason for their 14-day return policy.
Alternatives to Holden to Explore… 🤔
If you aren’t sold on Holden, here are a few other options you might be interested to explore that could offer you some similar ring choices.
With a mission to “cultivate a more transparent, sustainable, and compassionate jewelry industry,” Brilliant Earth says they go “Beyond Conflict Free™” with sustainably sourced materials and a business model that gives back.
A Certified B Corp, Miadonna is committed to ethical and sustainable ring making and material sourcing. They’ve been awarded the Green America Seal of Approval, have carbon-neutral shipments, and take many other environmental precautions.
Definitely more of a “digging process,” you can use Etsy to reach out directly to ring-makers who use sustainable and ethical materials. This is what I did with Annie’s engagement ring before we knew she’d get a family ring.
Conclusion: Hold on to Holden
Overall, I think Holden offers some wonderful wedding ring and band options. I’m grateful that Annie and I came across them, and I imagine other couples will be too.
They make a point of making ring shopping accessible—from the purchasing price, to buyer know how, and even societal expectation.
Purchasing my band was stress free. Working with support to get it resized was a breeze, and now my ring is a perfect fit, comfortable, and something I’m proud to wear every day.
I’ll be curious to follow how this company advances both its sustainable practices and social mission—but all in all, Holden was there to make this important purchase in our lives, well…meaningful.
As it should be!
Questions about Holden, or an experience of your own to share? Let me know in the comments below.
Co-Founder & CEO, Grow Ensemble
Cory is the host of The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast, where he’s interviewed well over 150 leaders in the space of better business, social impact, and innovation. Prior to Grow Ensemble, Cory was the CEO of a digital marketing agency, a position he earned at the age of 22. There, he became an expert on all things digital marketing & SEO.
Cory Co-Founded Grow Ensemble as a vehicle to raise awareness of and inspire action around some of the world’s biggest problems and problem solvers.
He blogs, podcasts, and publishes video on all things leaving the world a better, more just, equitable, and habitable place for all.