What is a cocktail ring, you may have thought. These extravagant rings often have a large center stone and are associated with fun in general. Cocktail rings are a great way to flaunt your individuality and sense of fashion.
What Is A Cocktail Ring?
The cocktail ring is a customarily substantial, flamboyant, and prominent item of jewelry worn on the right middle or fourth finger. Sometimes called a “cluster ring” or “dinner ring,” this style of ring stands out from the finger’s surface rather than sitting flush like a wedding band or eternity band. Cocktail rings, also commonly referred to as statement rings, are much larger than standard fashion rings and often include a large gemstone or diamond. Many also feature an impressive metal design.
These rings are bold, exaggerate, and have a statement-making design. However, because of their color, size, and shape, they are typically worn from “cocktail hour” onward.
Cocktail rings traditionally featured a large, central stone encircled by a coronet of lesser stones. Modern designs do not follow this logic; for cocktail rings, anything exuberant and vivid is acceptable!
History of Cocktail Rings
Cocktail rings are inextricably tied to the 1920s US Prohibition era, when speakeasy bars became hotspots for mingling and illegal drinking.
Significant change occurred during this time, especially for women.
The 1920s, a prosperous decade that gave rise to feminism who were starting to challenge their assigned role in the household and the society. Their freedoms increased, not the least of which was the ability to vote. Lower hair, shorter hemlines, and flapper outfits were ways that this newly discovered freedom was displayed. They liked to smoke and went to speakeasies for drinks.
Flapper girls, who were known for their provocation at the period, often attended illegal parties dressed in elaborate gowns and flashy accessories. There was a secret signal for ordering drinks: they would raise their right hand at the bar and show the bartender a huge ring on their little finger.
They are typically worn on the right hand because of this, which is also where the term “cocktail ring” derives from. However, it is not forbidden to wear multiple rings at once or to wear them on the left hand.
During this time, cocktail rings were frequently set in platinum and contained diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and occasionally aquamarines. It is not surprising that white gold became increasingly popular at this time as a cheaper substitute for platinum.
Despite the fact that the Art Deco era is typically linked with streamlined form, the jewelry was made to match the extravagant and glamorous dress code. The better the ring, the more colorful the character, and the bigger the better. They are intended to draw attention. This is the pinnacle of statement jewelry.
The Great Depression, which began late in the decade and continued into the 1930s, put the end to the hedonistic, carefree decadence that had been prevalent throughout the decade.
Cocktail rings first appeared in the 1920s, but their peak was announced in the 1950s. More conspicuous consumerism in the form of automobiles, property ownership, and household appliances emerged as middle class affluence increased. A sense of pride in the home was created by this significant improvement in quality of life, which in turn sparked a surge of home entertaining that unavoidably included cocktail parties.
Cocktail rings' appeal reemerged and persisted until a precipitous decrease in the 1960s.
Like all art, jewelry reflects social, economic, and cultural circumstances, and the extravagant, glitzy rings were incongruous with the way of life in the 1960s and 1970s.
The theatrical excess of the 1980s, on the other hand (remember Dynasty!! ), welcomed all things “big,” including huge jewelry, big shoulder pads, and big hair. Therefore, it came as no surprise when colorful cocktail rings returned to fashion and have done so ever since.
Cocktail rings are commonly worn on the right hand’s ring finger, however wearing them on the index finger is also fairly common (of either hand). Reference to art rapidly dispels the myth that this is a more contemporary understanding of how to wear them. The Wedding Portrait of Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laen, a magnificent Frans Hals picture, depicts the happy couple from the 17th century, and she is seen with a big ring on her right index finger. At the time, it was believed that a vein connected the index finger to the heart directly.
Today’s plethora of beautiful and eye-catching semi-precious stones makes it feasible, with a little thought, to create show-stopping pieces without breaking the bank.
Nowadays, the majority of statement rings with huge center stones are referred known as cocktail rings. Unfortunately, they are often misunderstood and worn only sometimes. Big rings are designed to draw attention and make a bold statement. So they go as well with a little black dress, an evening gown, or jeans and a white linen shirt. Simply put, attitude is everything, and they have tons of attitude. A cocktail ring ought to be a mainstay of your jewelry collection if you like the flexibility of wearing high- or low-fashion. Wear these amazing knuckle busters day and night if you adore them.
Wearing a Cocktail Ring? Is There Any Rules?
In most cases, you won’t find any fixed regulations. Many people, however, continue to wear cocktail rings on the right hand so that they don’t compete with, or be confused with, their engagement ring. Keeping with tradition is highly recommended if your engagement ring is a bold statement piece or features a lot of vivid colors.
The best way to avoid a tangled mess when wearing statement jewelry is to give each piece some breathing room, especially if you plan on wearing them on the same hand. Always keep your statement rings separate.
Elleroses also gets a lot of inquiries regarding whether or not the color of your jewelry should complement the rest of your ensemble. When it comes to matching your rings to your outfit, there are, once again, no hard and fast rules. Some people feel more at ease wearing matching accessories, such as our Blue and White Cocktail Ring and a green, blue, or turquoise dress. Some people enjoy experimenting with color combinations, such as wearing orange with purple cocktail jewelry. It’s up to you to decide how to accessorize your cocktail ring, as long as it’s a dramatic and statement-making design.
The last issue is whether or not to wear a cocktail ring. These ornaments have traditionally been reserved for evening wear, such as cocktail parties, formal dinners, and black-tie affairs. Thankfully, this custom has faded over the years, and today many people take advantage of the freedom that a cocktail ring gives them during the day. A good rock on the finger is the missing ingredient to a denim and white shirt ensemble.
Daytime cocktail rings, in our opinion, should be bold and eye-catching without being over the top. Instead than focusing on the number of carats, it should focus on the design. A ring fashioned of neutral-toned stones (such white agate, black onyx, jade, rock crystal, blue sapphire, or pearl) is far more appealing to the eye and simpler to wear on a daily basis than anything particularly diamond-heavy or showy. It’s practical, fashionable, and a great deal because it goes with so many different looks.
Our collections contain some excellent examples of cocktail rings. These rings below make a statement without being overbearing.
Best Cocktail Ring Designs in 2022
14K Gold Cocktail Ring Prong-Set Cushion Swiss Blue Topaz Wedding Ring
This stunning cushion-cut Swiss blue topaz is put in a classic prong setting. The polished minimalism of the band exudes an impression of cool sophistication. Elegance best describes this solitaire ring made of 14-karat gold and Swiss blue topaz.
14K Gold Round London Blue Topaz Cocktail Ring with Diamond Halo Diamond Cocktail Rings
This stunning cocktail ring features a round London blue topaz with a checkerboard cut prong-set in a halo of smaller stones. A halo of smaller, round diamonds surrounds it, adding sparkle. The 14k rose gold ring is complemented by the shank’s unique reverse taper.
Sterling Silver Cocktail Rings Emerald-Cut Prasiolite and Peridot Wedding Ring
The dazzling emerald-cut prasiolite, weighing in at 11.00 carats, is the focal point of this ring, which features a polished sterling silver shank set with two triangle-cut peridots weighing a total 1.40 carats. A cocktail ring of beautiful greenery, suitable for innumerable special events.
14K Gold Ring Cocktail Classic Solitaire Cushion Garnet Cocktail Ring
The cushion-cut, claw-set garnet glows alluringly in its deep red setting. The 14k gold band of this cocktail ring features intricate scrollwork and adds to the band’s beauty.
14K White Gold Aquamarine Cocktail Ring Cushion-Cut Aquamarine Diamond Halo Cocktail Ring
This cocktail ring is made of 14k white gold and features a cushion-cut aquamarine in the center surrounded by pavé-set diamonds. This is a simple way to upgrade your current accessory collection.
What Metal Is Right For A Cocktail Ring?
Silver, platinum, 9 carat rose gold, 18 carat yellow gold vermeil, and gold-plated cocktail rings are just some of the metal options available for these accessories. Since there is such a wide variety, it is wise to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option before making a final purchase of a cocktail ring.
The first thing to think about is the metal color, as this will typically cut the wearer’s choices in half. You can choose which metal tone (rose, yellow, or silver) looks best with your skin tone by trying on a silver ring, a rose gold ring, and a yellow gold ring in turn. What does good work is often obvious to some people.
Rings in rose gold, for instance, are not a good choice for hands that are already a natural reddish or pink hue, as the rose color in the metal will only accentuate the red tones of the skin; conversely, those with very pale skin should wear warm, gold-toned jewelry on their hands rather than colder, silver-toned jewelry to help tone down any skin whiteness. Metal preference for those who are able to wear all three types need only be based on durability and appearance.
Some metals are noticeably more sturdy than others when it comes to withstanding the test of time. To protect your jewelry investment, stay away from 24ct gold, which is too delicate for use in ornamentation. Any cocktail ring might be bent out of shape with a swift slap of the hand. Instead, if you can afford it, try to build or buy an 18-carat gold cocktail ring. This is the best carat weight of gold and is perfect for constructing long-lasting rings.
Indeed, 9-carat gold cocktail rings are a popular accessory (9ct gold being less expensive than the purer 18ct gold). While 9 carat gold is physically harder than 18 carat gold, it is also more fragile and, over time, less resistant to small knocks and scratches. However, in our experience, a 9-carat gold ring that receives routine maintenance will stand the test of time.
Platinum is the most long-lasting of the metals with a silvery sheen. In contrast to white gold, this precious metal can stand on its own in terms of color and durability, making it the material of choice for diamond cocktail rings when funds permit. Although not as common in the fine jewelry market as white gold and platinum cocktail rings, silver is another white-toned metal that can be utilized for cocktail rings. Because of its softness and susceptibility to tarnishing without proper care, silver is not a material of choice for cocktail rings.
Last but not least, vermeil or gold-plated cocktail rings are definitely best avoided, unless worn very occasionally. Vermeil and gold plating wear off over time, revealing the underlying metal in jewelry. Sterling silver and gold-plated rings are more likely to show signs of wear than sterling silver earrings or gold-plated necklaces. Stick to pure metals like gold, platinum, and even brass or bronze, as they won’t lose their color unless you’re willing to re-plate your vermeil cocktail ring occasionally (and pay the fees that come with doing so).
Do You Recommend Any Other Metals Or Finishes?
Many novel materials have been discovered in recent decades and found application in the jewelry business. Several ‘old’ ones have also had a rebirth in favor, largely due to the efforts of a few prominent jewelers.
One of the newcomers is titanium. This metal’s capacity to transfer statement designs into wearable art has made it a favorite among several haute-joiallerie houses. Titanium’s biggest drawback is its inability to be bent or molded into any form, and it also cannot be resized, making it a challenging metal to work with for creating rings. When anodized, it comes in a narrow range of color changes.
All or part of a cocktail ring can have a bold, colored finish achieved by applying a ceramic compound coating to a precious metal basis.
While ceramic can have a stunning appearance similar to enamel, it is not recommended to be used near the bottom of the band or ring shank, as this is where the metal is most likely to make touch with other objects. It is quite difficult to repair ceramic or enamel coatings once they have chipped or cracked.
The fine jewelry industry has seen a rebound in the appeal of many traditional metals, such as copper and bronze. Again, this is mostly due to the work of a select few jewelry designers, such as Hemmerle, whose stone-set bronze and copper cocktail rings are highly valuable and in high demand. If you’re looking for a unique, statement ring, copper or bronze are both wonderful possibilities if you like the color and finish. Naturally, not everyone appreciates their rusty, antiquated style.
What Should You Look Out For When Buying a Cocktail Ring?
There are a lot of factors besides the metal to think about while shopping for a cocktail ring. Different factors listed below will be of greater or lesser importance depending on the individual customer.
Especially when it comes to bold cocktail rings, it’s important to keep your own personal style in mind when accessories.
When you’re looking to buy or customize a ring, it’s crucial to consider your budget. Elleroses recommends splurging on one exceptional gemstone cocktail ring rather than settling for a set of three mediocre ones. If this is your first time buying fine jewelry, spend as much as you can afford on a piece that you will cherish forever and that meets all of your needs. If you’d rather have a cocktail ring that is understated and can withstand daily wear, then there’s no reason to spend your money on an emerald one. This emerald cocktail ring is not only the wrong color, but also the inappropriate stone for wearing all day. If you haven’t found “the one” yet, it’s best to keep seeking.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a diamond cocktail ring to wear sometimes and primarily at night, then the longevity of the stone is less of a priority.
To avoid being duped into buying a fake piece of fine jewelry, it is crucial to always deal with reputed jewelers, auction houses, and dealers. Inquire about the certifications for each gemstone in a ring you’re considering buying. Paperwork is always included.
Scale is another important consideration. Cocktail rings are typically bold and visible on the finger because that is their intended purpose. As the need for larger fashion statements has increased, some cocktail rings have ballooned to the size of small animals, now spanning the width of three or four fingers.
Even if the ring is only meant to be worn on a single finger, it is still important to consider scale because a three-finger knuckleduster is not for the uninitiated. Cocktail rings that are on the smaller side may be more flattering and easier to wear for those with smaller hands and thinner fingers because they don’t overwhelm the hand visually or cause discomfort.
On the other side, those who have larger fingers or hands should opt for the chunky to maintain a sense of proportion. In the end, it doesn’t matter how big or small your finger is, nothing will be more frustrating than a gemstone cocktail ring that looks puny when worn. Be brave and do your best.
Our customers frequently consult with us regarding which gemstones they should purchase. Your gemstone(s) selection should take into account both aesthetics (what you find aesthetically pleasing) and practicality (how long they will last), as mentioned above.
Caring for a Cocktail Ring
The stunning cocktail ring is no different than any other piece of jewelry in that it requires maintenance every once in a while.
If you wear your cocktail ring frequently, you should have it professionally cleaned and checked at least once a year. If you wear your ring less frequently, you can get away with having it checked every two years or so. The purpose of these examinations is to detect and fix any structural or setting issues with the cocktail ring before they cause serious damage.
A thinning metal band can snap if hit, resulting in the ruin of the entire ring, just as fragile claws can cause gemstone damage or fall. Additionally, routine exams will enable a professional cleaning of your modern cocktail ring or antique cocktail ring.
Wear and tear can diminish the shine of both the metal and the gemstone in a ring due to the accumulation of dirt, dust, and grime in the ring’s many crevices. After a thorough cleaning, a diamond cocktail ring can look like new.
You should take care of your cocktail ring on a daily basis, both when putting it away and when you’re wearing it. Keep your jewelry in a cool, dry place out of the reach of direct sunlight and any other environmental hazards. Cocktail rings are delicate, therefore it’s not a good idea to keep them near or next to radiators, windowsills, or in spaces with high moisture (like a wet room or bathroom).
Particularly prone to tarnishing is silver. Silver cocktail rings can be protected from unfavorable atmospheric conditions by being stored in tightly closed tupperware containers or airtight plastic bags.
To avoid colliding with other cocktail rings or jewelry, cocktail rings should always be stored in their own pouch or box. One cocktail ring can readily scratch another when two or more meet, especially if diamond cocktail rings are stacked with other cocktail rings that contain softer stones (like turquoise or pearl).
In general, skin and hair care products should stay away from all jewelry, including cocktail rings. Especially those that are vermeil or gold plated or contain softer, more delicate stones, precious metals and gemstones can be harmed by the chemicals in perfumes, body creams, lotions, hairspray, and cleansers.
Additionally, it’s crucial to keep cocktail rings away from cleaning and polishing agents like bleach, which can permanently harm some metals, coatings, and gemstones. Remove your rings or put on gloves if you’re unsure.
It is also advised to take off cocktail rings before engaging in any physically demanding or labor-intensive activities, such as gardening or trekking, as certain styles of rings do not work well with such activities as action sports or hard exercise. In order to prevent them from getting into touch with harmful chemicals, we advise you to take off all cocktail rings from your fingers before going to bed, taking a bath or shower, or swimming in a pool.
Elleroses frequently offers assistance with the maintenance and restoration of all jewelry, including cocktail rings that are both vintage and contemporary. Please email email@example.com if you have any questions. We would be happy to reply.
Elleroses has chosen the ideal cocktail ring matching earrings for those of you who are thinking about purchasing or already own a cocktail ring.