I don’t know what it is, but lately I have been obsessed with large, vintage cluster style dinner rings - also sometimes called cocktail rings. Perhaps it’s because they have kept appearing in my path in recent weeks, both in my social media news feeds and in the jewelry shop where I work part time. I jokingly say that it’s “a sign” that I need to add a few to my personal collection! But, there are so many to choose from that the choices just become overwhelming!
|This stunning diamond & white gold cluster ring is currently available at Setterberg Jewelers, $900.|
Cocktail rings have a bit of 'roaring' and rebellious history. They first became all the rage during the Prohibition Era in 1920s and are typically defined as a ring with a large center stone surrounded smaller diamonds. The cocktail ring originally derived their name from the cocktails that were developed during the prohibition era in the United States.
The 'roaring 20s' was a time of great change and rebellion for women in the United States. Women earned the right to vote. Fashion changed to short hair styles, flapper dresses and the suit pant. It was a time that showcased female independence. It also coincided with the arrival of the cocktails drink.
|This antique ruby, diamond & white gold 1960s cluster ring from Elibouge is a |
stunning representation of a cocktail ring, $1,299.99.
The strong-tasting, low quality alcohol that was manufactured during prohibition led to the development of creative cocktail concoctions, which rendered the drinks more palatable. The illegal, bootlegged alcohol was smuggled into these underground establishments called "speakeasies" where cocktail parties took place.
It was a match made in heaven; cocktail parties, fabulous fashion and of course show stopping rings. The bigger and brighter the cocktails became, the rings also became bigger and brighter to match. They became a sign of wealth as well as a personality measure. A bright, eye-catching cocktail ring was a way to say, "Let's party!"
|This vintage diamond & emerald cluster ring from Jagalex0867 on eBay has such a spring-like feel, $495.|
However, in the 1930s when prohibition was lifted, a change in the rings occurred as well. Cocktail parties became known as 'dinner parties.' Hence the arrival of the ‘dinner ring.'
Due to a decrease in the amount of large gemstones available, cocktail rings evolved into the cluster style rings which have been popping up so frequently in my pay lately. These rings have smaller stones set together in elaborate ways such as a floral pattern.
|This truly amazing 4.37ctw antique cushion cut cluster ring from Jewels by Grace is truly a Bucket List piece of jewelry, $18,500.|
These cluster style rings hit their height of popularity in the 1940-50s. They then went out of fashion in the 1960-70s but made a massive come back in the 1980s. This popularity has carried through to current day. They are now seen on the red carpet at the Emmys and Golden Globes on the hands of celebrities.
Whether you call them a 'cocktail ring' or a 'dinner ring,' there was a traditional etiquette when it came to how to wear your ring. Traditionally these rings are to be worn on the ring or index finger of the right hand. But today you can wear them on any finger you desire.
|A more traditional style cocktail ring with a large gemstone, in this case a 7-carat opal, surrounded by |
diamonds from Alpha and Omega Jewelry on Ruby Lane., $3,400.
So whatever your pleasure is - cocktail party or dinner party - be sure and show off your "Let's party!" style with a well-placed cocktail/dinner ring!