The cocktail ring has been a hot trend for a very long time, especially over the last century. The beauty of a cocktail ring is that its only criteria is that it just needs to be eye catching, making them a great way to flaunt your style and express your individuality. Cocktail rings are generally much larger than normal rings, are three dimensional and designed with many colored gems and/or smaller diamonds. They often contain an oversized gemstone as the centerpiece that stand out with striking colors and cuts.
Statement jewels like no other, it seems fitting that cocktail rings started out as a sign of rebellion against the Prohibition that swept across America almost a century ago.The 1920s were a period filled with tension between traditional values rooted in pre-war nostalgia and the dramatic social and political changes taking place. Frequently referred to as the ‘Roaring 20s’ or the ‘Jazz Age’, this was the decade when women not only gained the right to vote but also increasingly worked outside the home. Clothing also changed as women abandoned restrictive corsets and long dresses in favour of shorter hemlines and trousers. The term ‘flapper’ was coined to describe a new breed of young women, both in the United States and Europe, who cut their hair into a bob, wore make-up, smoked, drank and danced with abandon to the latest jazz music.Alcohol was banned, but this didn’t stop partygoers from seeking out hidden speakeasies, often run by gangsters, where entry could only be gained via a secret code word. Flamboyant flappers on the underground cocktail scene would don oversized rings to draw attention to the fact that they were sipping illicit alcoholic beverages. In fact, the cocktail culture that endured long after the 1920s was spurred on by the Prohibition as the contraband alcohol tasted so bad that it had to be mixed with other ingredients to make it drinkable.
In the 1950s and 60s, the cocktail ring became the standard dress-up accessory for women heading to - you guessed it - a cocktail party, restaurant or night at the opera. It briefly went out of fashion in the 1960s and 70s only to return even bigger and bolder in the power-dressing 80s, when women wore oversized rings during the day and night.
The cocktail ring is now a firm fixture in most jewellery brands’ collections .That may be too much for anyone but the most colourful extrovert, so play it safe, but not boring, with one bold ring and keep the rest of your jewellery more minimal.
With a high setting designed to give extra sparkle and brilliance, traditionally cocktail rings would be set with faceted stones, although cabochon gems and pearls are also commonplace these days. The options are virtually endless so choose a design that suits your personal style.