Anyone Fancy a Cocktail...Ring?

From: 23rd May 2022

Cocktail Rings to Impress

 Rings, glorious rings, we can’t get enough of them. Rings are one if our best sellers especially our silver and cubic zirconia rings. Mainly because they look so good! With wonderful quality they are handmade in sterling silver and set with AAA* quality cubic zirconia stones. They are almost indistinguishable from fine gem jewellery but at a price that is affordable to everyone. We have every kind of cubic zirconia ring from solitaires for affordable engagement rings, to stacking rings, delicate band rings and of course the cocktail ring. My absolute favourite – what is there to dislike about a cocktail ring? Perfect for any season, they make every hand look dainty, they make the owner instantly interesting and effortlessly elevate your look with their bold statement style.

So what is a Cocktail Ring?

A cocktail ring is a bold and majestic ring, large in size and usually set with a large centrepiece colourful stone which is enhanced with smaller stones set around it.  Cocktail rings have been around since the 1920s and have been in and out of fashion ever since. They are ostentatious, can be expensive if set with real gems or affordable with replicas, and, most importantly, they are linked to a sense of fun and personality.  Over the decades, cocktail rings have been made in all shapes and sizes and today any statement ring can be classed as a cocktail ring. Choose from bold, large centre stones or more subtle statement rings with sparkling micro-set pavé stones.

What isn't a Cocktail Ring? 

As I said, there aren’t any real rules in place when it comes to cocktail rings. So here are a few things which mean your ring is definitely not a cocktail ring!

  • If the ring doesn’t have any stones, but is just silver or gold.
  • Solitaire rings  with a single diamond or other gemstone in the centre are engagement rings, not cocktail rings.
  • If its just not big enough. It needs to really stand out on the finger, ready to be noticed and talked about.

History of Cocktail Rings

Cocktail rings first became popular in the 1920's during Prohibition and were in effect the original bling. This was a time when alcohol had been banned in the US and illegal parties were very popular. Rather than creating a chaste and sober society, prohibition resulted in people drinking in secret and women behaving in ways thought to be unspeakable in the past.

Speakeasies,’ or secret bars, opened everywhere during prohibition and became a fashionable place to be seen, especially among the wealthy, as people flocked there for fun and cocktails.

Cocktails themselves were invented at this time to disguise alcohol and make low-quality concoctions drinkable. Anti-prohibition parties were a magnet for the upper-class. They were associated with socialising and illicit drinking – particularly glamorous qualities. Colourful cocktails were specifically marketed to women, as they not only disguised the taste of alcohol but also looked flashy.

During this period of women’s suffrage, many things began to change. In many countries, women gained the right to vote and their role in both the household and society began to change. With these new rights came a new attitude. Hair got shorter, as did dresses, and women began to go to cocktail parties, accompanied or alone. They could smoke, drink, and have as good a time as any man could. Along with the short hair and skirts, cocktail rings were a public display of independence and rebellion.

Whilst Art Deco design was based on smooth geometric shapes and sharp lines; fashion was all about the glamour. Cocktail rings displayed the decadence of the era’s style, with cocktail rings, the bigger the better. The brighter the ring, the more interesting the wearer was perceived to be.

They remained jewellery fashion darlings throughout the 40s and 50s, slowly becoming more about status and wealth rather than rebellion. They reached their peak of popularity in the 1950's which was an age of more conspicuous consumerism with people buying homes, cars and household appliances. People then wanted to entertain and the dinner party and cocktail parties became more popular than ever, as did the rings to accompany them.

They saw a decline in popularity with the modern geometric fashion of the 60s, and even more so in the eclectic style of the 70s. However, the vibrance of the 80s, a decade of excess and glamour was the perfect setting for the comeback of the cocktail ring matching the shoulder pads and big hair of Dallas and Dynasty 80’s fame and they have remained extremely popular ever since.

What did the First Cocktail Rings Look Like?

The original cocktail ring was over-sized, with a large diamond in the centre and smaller diamonds surrounding it. Other precious gemstones were soon used too. 

Initially, cocktail rings were made of platinum, and in the 1920s starred huge jewels like diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies and aquamarines. Over time, the classic cocktail ring has stayed the same in many respects, but since the 50s includes a wider variety of designs, becoming more intricate but maintaining their over-the-top showiness.

Most statement rings are still the classic design: a large stone, bordered by other stones. There has never been a definition of what was or wasn’t a cocktail ring when they were invented in the 1920s. Then, and now, anything goes.

How to Wear a Cocktail Ring

Originally designed to be the life of the party, these rings were traditionally only worn for special occasions, a big night our and extravagant parties but today, we tend to wear whatever we fancy – mixing the big and bold with small and delicate, the formal with casual. You should wear jewellery whenever and however you’d like, so if you want to wear it every day – go for it. They look equally fabulous as a standout piece with a little black dress or worn with a classic white shirt and some skinny jeans.

A simple cocktail ring design, such as this distinct ascot ring, can look fabulous no matter the outfit. And why restrict yourself to just one ring? If your bank account and your hand can take it – why not wear one on every finger. Try mixing colours, styles and sizes to create your own unique look.

Cocktail rings are traditionally worn on the right hand, so as not to confuse them with engagement rings or wedding bands. This also allows them to live up to their full, eye-catching potential. (it’s said ladies in the 20’s used to wave their right hand to get the bartender’s attention for another cocktail and showing the ring off in all its glory at the same time) They are also usually worn on the ring finger, but many people also like to wear them on their middle finger too. Again, anything goes! 

Which Ring to Wear When 

Although I’ve just said you can take your pick and wear your cocktail ring however and whenever you want, I just though I’d give you a few ideas to get started. 

Special Occasions

 For special occasions and elegant evenings, the cocktail ring makes the perfect addition to your stylish dress. For a classic signature look – wear just the one cocktail ring as it will add an edgy but graceful touch to your look without being over the top. Our  ruby red laurel ring would be perfect – a beautiful colour contrast especially if worn again a single colour – maybe your little black dress.  If you like a little more jewellery – why not add a delicate silver bracelet such as our fine cuff bangle set with just a few ruby cubic zirconia for that extra matching sparkle. 

Summer Days

For your summer romantic looks, you can also go for cocktail rings. Our pastel colours of pink diamond, citrine and aquamarine are perfect for a cute summer outfit with a similar colour palette and out vintage style ring is available on all three colours. We also have matching earrings and necklaces to complete your look. 

Make a Statement Every Day

Add a touch of effortless style to your everyday look with the addition of one of our cocktail rings – my absolute favourite is our aquamarine ring which I wear every day with everything from jeans and a T shirt to summer dresses or woolly jumpers. A touch of colour and sparkle that makes me happy when I catch sight of it.

All Things Vintage

Many of our cocktail rings have a distinctive vintage look and are perfect as a gift for someone who loves all things vintage. (including yourself!) With designs true to original pieces, they are beautiful replicas which are made to be treasured. Our sapphire colour Victoria ring is stunning – lovely worn together with our Art Deco bracelet and maybe some simple cubic zirconia solitaire earrings.

Glam Nights Call for a Cocktail Ring

So – the big glam events in life – wedding, prom, 18th or 50th birthday – all deserve the height of glamour and a cocktail ring or two are perfect. The main purpose of the cocktail ring is to attend parties where you can take a glass of wine and show your sparkling hand candy. A statement ring is a must have for your glam look and you can always amplify the effect by stacking a couple of other rings with your cocktail ring too. Why not start with our pink diamond cubic zirconia ring?