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Everything You Want to Know About Cocktail Dress Rings

Pardon the pun, but it’s time to ring in the new year with a fabulous dress ring! Whether you are lusting after the zingy tones of an Emerald dress ring or the fiery flash of a natural Opal, nothing says party season like a glass of bubbles and a bunch of bling! 

What is a cocktail ring?

Born in the roaring twenties, the Art Deco era (1920-1939) saw the arrival of glittering cocktail dress rings. These rings signified the dawn of a new era, mirroring the joy, excess and extravagance of the 1920s. These rings were the perfect time to experiment with new materials, new and large gemstone cuts and high profile designs. As they weren’t designed to be worn everyday, jewellers took liberation and had some fun. Soft and hard gemstones were mixed together, shaped into panel rings, fan designs and high profile clusters. The advent of synthetic gemstones meant that these gems were more easily available and in bigger carat weights too.



But why were they called cocktail rings? It is believed that a woman wore these dress rings on their right ring finger, the exact opposite of their art deco diamond engagement ring, to not only create a further blingy look, but also to show their individuality. In the 1920s, a large art deco opal ring had the same calibre and impression of the mini skirt! During the prohibition period, women wore these huge rings to secret cocktail bars or venues where they were serving alcohol illegally. Once the woman was stood at the bar, the subtle raising of the right ring finger, with the often giant dazzling ring on top, was a covert suggestion that they wanted a tipple or two!

After the second world war in the 1960s, the new economic boom saw mid-century vintage dress rings take on a new lease of life. These rings had the look and feel of elaborate Victorian and Edwardian cluster rings, mixing coloured synthetic gemstones with foliate details, playful galleries and high-profile settings. At this point in history, women had far more independence than they did 40 years previously, but it never lost their statement of freedom, fun and fanfare.

So, a ladies dress ring was the sign of the times, a sign of her blossoming independence and a sign for the barman to get her another drink!

We often get asked, what rings do you wear on each finger? Of course, we all know that engagement rings are worn on the left hand, with the vagus nerve connecting to the heart. But you will happy to know that you can wear fancy cocktail rings wherever you would like! Of course, we like the idea that you can wear these rings on the right ring finger, just like our fashionable flapper girl ancestors.

What makes an unusual Diamond dress ring or fancy ring?

Of course, what is deemed as "unusual" is in the eye of the beholder, but in our opinion antique rings, vintage rings and the most favoured Art Deco rings are a great choice to make a sustainable stylish statement. By shopping antique and vintage, you have a wealth of different styles at your fingertips. No matter the shape or gemstone combination, old cut Diamond rings are the perfect unusual diamond dress ring. The rarity and scintillation of old cut Diamonds make these beautiful gemstones brim with character. From the romantic flair of a rose cut diamond ring to a chubby old mine cut, you can be positive that no one else in your inner circle will have Diamond rings just as fiery and unique as these. Plus, if you want to catch the attention of a bar man, their eye-catching sparkle in all lighting conditions it not to be underestimated.

From Diamond dress rings to Gold Opal rings, your party outfit inspiration is sorted!

It is no secret that we have a bevvy of sparkly cocktail rings for all occasions! The scintillation of old cut Diamonds look perfectly festive under the glow of Christmas fairy lights, and with these lovely ladies on your finger - you will be the best-dressed woman in the room!

We have put together some superb sparklers that truly encapsulates the feeling and spirit of cocktail rings. This zingy synthetic spinel ring is just like the “green fairy” herself and the sunshine chunky Citrine Paste ring is akin to a shot of cointreau. Of course, we couldn’t forget the flair and fancy of these old cut Diamond rings too. We have an array of antique and vintage engagement rings that would also make for a glamorous cockail ring. Our two Emerald and Diamond navette rings are certainly worthy for the dancefloor as an Emerald dress ring, but also that stunning Sapphire and Diamond cluster is both an engagement and Sapphire dress ring you can’t refuse!

These rings are perfect for the party. In our opinion, the best thing about cocktail rings and dress rings is that you can experiment with gemstone combinations and colours. There is nothing more magical than a Victorian Turquoise Diamond combo or perhaps pay homage to the latest celebrity engagement ring trend, as well as the dress ring’s Art Deco history, with our early 20th century Pearl Diamond ring! Of course, we often don’t recommend these rings for engagements, but their beauty deserves to be worn and enjoyed every now and again that extends beyond New Year’s Eve and the advent of Christmas party season.


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Molly Chatterton