Vintage dress rings or cocktail rings, were born in the 'Roaring Twenties’, a golden age for jewellery. Following the revolution of women's fashion during WWI, jewellery also evolved in style. There was a noticeable contrast to the pre-war years when jewellery was a display of wealth, sentimentality and femininity.
The emancipated women of the 1920’s did not veer towards the sentimental designs of the past, but instead opting to showcase bold new styles. Shorter bobbed hairstyles were in fashion and led to a surge in the popularity of drop earrings. Plunging necklines called for long necklaces and short sleeve dresses allowed an array of bracelets to be displayed all up the arm. Bold dress rings were worn for attention when women were drinking cocktails in speakeasies during prohibition. They consequently became known as cocktail rings. From the late 1930’s platinum was requested for the war effort and gold returned as the metal of choice for jewellers. Throughout the Art Deco period and into the 1940s, jewellers started to make rings with larger stones in geometric designs. Gemstones such as rock crystal, quartz, onyx and aquamarine were commonly set into dress rings.
Moving into the 1950’s and 1960’s, post-war optimism impacted the jewellery industry and design. Cocktail rings became a popular accessory for every social event. The unique design of the rings broke the rules and traditions that had come before, and were viewed as wearable art. In the 1970’s, designers like Andrew Grima and Fred of Paris brought new forms that were both structural and organic into cocktail ring design. Bigger and bolder gold dress rings were back in fashion in the 1980’s after a short hiatus. The design of the dress ring has continually transformed since the 1920’s, with style and fashion always at the forefront.
Our collection of vintage dress rings has some truly rare and exceptional examples. Explore gold and diamond dress rings perfect for special occasions. You’ll find our collection dates back as far as the Ancient Egyptian era and is complemented by our retro fashions from the 1940’s & 1950’s.
Dress rings are striking and eye-catching rings that in the past, were typically worn to parties as a style statement. Vintage dress rings tend to feature an array of different gemstones, often of an impressive size. Vintage dress rings were often seen as wearable art, meaning they became more fashionable and unique than ever before.
These beautiful vintage dress rings are still available today, and showcase a range of styles, from more simple gold dress rings to the bold and extravagant. There is something to suit all modern consumers.
To find unusual dress rings, you should go to a jeweller who specialises in antique and vintage pieces. Vintage dress rings are amongst the most unusual out there, and there is sure to be something to suit every style!
The uniqueness associated with dress rings means that it is rare to find a dress ring design that is consistent across the decades. This means you can find something utterly unique to you.
When it comes to diamond dress rings more specifically, large diamond cluster rings are particularly popular. Gold dress rings quite often feature other gemstones, such as emerald and rubies, which are beautifully complimented by the warmth of the gold.
Types of dress rings have evolved over time. A common theme of all dress rings is that they are striking and exceptionally beautiful.
Vintage dress rings can come in either gold or platinum, and whilst diamonds are popular, the appearance of coloured gemstones such as sapphires and emeralds is also very common.