Style varies dramatically when you look back through the decades and jewellery is no exception to the rule. You can clearly associate engagement rings with the era in which they were designed. Here we look back at some of the clearly defined fashions of the times, starting with 1930 (to see pre 1930s, check out our Edwardian blog post).
1930s Engagement rings
As the pre 1930s engagement ring styles began to emerge into the well loved Art Deco period, we start to see more geometric designs. Early 1930s designs still feature hints of the earlier styles, with use of pattern and detailing and begin to move towards the art deco styles most people are familiar with. Art deco engagement rings feature geometry and echo architecture and bold clean lines. Favourite combinations of metals and stones were platinum, diamonds and sapphires. The images below show this transition.
1940s Engagement rings
The engagement rings from the 1940s, despite the hardship of WW2, were quite big and bold, yet also used feminine shapes and motifs, like bows and soft sculpted shapes. 1940s engagement rings were usually created with gold, as platinum was reserved for the war. Synthetic precious stones, such as rubies and sapphires, were used alongside diamonds.
1950s Engagement rings
The 1950s saw the trend towards mixing metals and stacking rings, in addition to bold and experimental designs. We get all sorts of styles starting to appear during this decade! Stacking wedding rings offers a great way to build up ‘mile markers’ during your life together, for example, the engagement ring, the wedding ring, a first child and a major anniversary! This is why precious stacking rings remain fine, so that, as they are added to, you create a fuller ring set. You can mix metals for a beautiful warmth, or you can keep to one metal colour and play with diamonds and plain areas.
1960s Engagement rings
This decades strongest influence was Elizabeth Taylor’s huge diamond engagement ring! We also had Jackie Kennedy’s emerald engagement ring and the style continued in it’s experimental designs using large stones.
1970s Engagement rings
The 70s saw engagement rings continue with experimental styles and there were a variety of designs and shapes that were used. There was the more bohemian style engagement rings, which were softer and a bit more ‘earthy’ and then we had the ‘power’ styling that began to emerge, with bolder and sharper styles, such as the use of princess cut and radiant cut diamonds and gemstones.
1980s Engagement rings
This decade saw the stunning sapphire engagement ring given to Princess Diana (and then subsequently to Kate Middleton). This created a major trend towards the beautiful sapphire.
1990s to present day engagement rings
Things are very different now with engagement and wedding ring styles, because we have the internet and a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips to look at all the variety of styles, designs and looks that you can possibly imagine! We use ‘vintage’ style rings and ‘contemporary’ style engagement rings and we can mix and match the two by incorporating elements of vintage design into modern cuts or lines. We can combine any era with any design style we like to create our perfect engagement and wedding ring sets.