About Our Cocktail Rings Collection
How to Wear a Cocktail Ring
Historically, cocktail rings were designed as a statement jewelry piece for formal occasions. With origins steeped in World War II and Postwar Retro-era traditions, they were known for their colorful and attention-getting design, making a powerful and unmissably chic look. Today, you can wear cocktail rings as the dazzling piece for casual occasions, making them a truly flexible jewelry item.
Cocktail rings are now best known for their incandescent ability to dress up any outfit and bring a vintage style to a modern ensemble. From deep ruby hues to sparkling onyx, these rings span the spectrum of colors, making them a classic pièce de résistance for everything from a classy dress to a breezy summer piece.
Dover Jewelry & Diamonds' Collection of Diamond Cocktail Rings
The History of Cocktail Rings
The term "cocktail ring" was first adopted and applied to a certain category of rings during the Postwar Retro era. The 1940s engagement rings were often big and bold, featuring flamboyant curves and feminine motifs such as ribbons, bows and flowers.
In contemporary times, the term "cocktail ring" is intertwined with the bold and colorful design of the Retro era and the styles introduced during the postwar era. Dover Jewelry's vividly colored antique cocktail ring collection from the 1940s to the 1990s offers a varied choice of unusual motifs. These rings are adorned with a selection of fine colored gemstones, surrounded by diamonds or set with exotic angel skin corals as an assemblage of flower heads.
Our later style (1990s) vintage cocktail rings show strong inspiration by the styles of the Art Nouveau era.
A Phenomenon of Social Change in the 20th Century
Cocktail rings as we know them today first made their appearance in the late 1920s, an era of social change taking place in every sphere of women's life. Among the many new freedoms women enjoyed were frequent social encounters that became known as cocktail parties. The "cocktail rings" in vogue at the time had large center stones, complemented and enhanced by pavé diamonds. They were worn on any finger except the ring finger.
During cocktail parties, modern women of the jazz age would wear their often oversized cocktail rings, most of which showcased large diamond center stones, emeralds or sapphires set on a platinum base. The more modest categories, also referred to as cocktail rings, used colorful semi-precious gemstones such as opals and were created with more abstract shapes.
The vintage cocktail rings of the 1940s Retro era were distinct in several ways. The war years had rendered both precious stones and platinum scarce and almost inaccessible to jewelry makers, resulting in the limited use of semi-precious substitutes — such as quartz, tourmaline, blue topaz, and citrine — based not on platinum but on gold in all available colors instead of platinum. Diamond cocktail rings of the late 1940s and the 1950s showed more variety in design and in the size of gemstones used.
Explore Dover Jewelry & Diamonds' Collection of Cocktail Rings
Explore Dover Jewelry & Diamonds' unique collection of cocktail diamond rings, which includes all designs and styles from the 1920s Art Deco cocktail ring era to the quintessential Retro period depicting bold and opulent features.
The advantage of cocktail rings lies in their sophisticated and opulent aesthetic, with an antique flair reviving the nostalgia of the Postwar Retro era. This category of finger ornament adds to the attraction of a cocktail outfit and lends a purely classic elegance to the appearance of its wearer.Learn More from Our Gemologists