Like pearl earrings or tennis bracelets, cocktail rings have become a must-have in the modern woman’s jewellery collection. Meant to be uplifting, vivacious and fun, the idea of the cocktail ring was actually introduced during the 1920s, when women were finally starting to overcome some of the conservative ideas regarding their role in society.
Fittingly, the term also came about just as cocktails themselves were invented as a way of making poor quality liquor more palatable during the Prohibition era in the United States. All during the Art Deco period, the post-WWI era was laden with glamorous parties where undercover alcohol was flowing and women were eager to show off their new shorter hemlines, haircuts and yes—luxurious jewels. The best way to do so? Forget about a tedious engagement and wear your best gems as a head-turning “cocktail” ring to the season’s best and most exclusive parties, featuring the latest boozy and bootlegged concoctions.
More ostentatious by their very nature, cocktail rings are traditionally colourful and/or flush with glittering Diamonds in the form of halo or cluster designs. While Art Deco designs are classic, retro looks are also a fabulous choice. The style enjoyed another peak in popularity in the 50s and 60s when swanky dinner parties and hosting at home became the height of fashion. Once again, this post-WWII era was a reflection of some materials and gemstones still being scarce, and designers reacted by introducing cheerful pieces in cluster styles and larger pieces in easier to source gems, including Citrine, Amethyst and Aquamarine.
While cocktail rings are still designed to be the life of any party, they’ve become incredibly versatile and truly anything goes (and the more fun the better.) Enjoy mixing and matching colours, gem shapes and sizes and precious metals, which will add interest to any outfit—regardless if it’s a swanky formal affair or you just want to add a little interest to your weekend jeans and a tee. Cocktail rings are also a great way to celebrate certain colours or gemstones that speak to your personality and tell a story that your other jewels may not be able to. In any style, these feel-good pieces are sure to become one of your most treasured since they can be worn with nearly everything and simultaneously feel light-hearted and luxurious.