Tracing the Evolution of Engagement Ring Styles

 A Journey Through Time

An engagement ring is more than just a piece of jewelry adorning your finger. It's a profound symbol of love and commitment between you and your partner, and choosing one involves a great deal of thought. We all dream of the day we get engaged and the ring we'll wear, but with a plethora of styles, stones, and colors to choose from, it's not an easy decision!

Engagement ring styles have evolved significantly over the years, with certain styles defining decades and others making numerous comebacks. So, let's delve into the history of engagement ring trends and explore whether diamonds have always been a girl's best friend or if other stones have had their moments in the spotlight.

1940 - 1960: The Shift from Platinum to Gold Before the 40s, platinum was the go-to metal for engagement rings. However, due to the scarcity of platinum during World War II, gold, particularly yellow gold, became the preferred choice for ring settings and bands.

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During these challenging times, affordable engagement rings featuring synthetic gemstones or diamonds re-set from older pieces were popular. Rings often featured intricate designs like leaves and flowers to create a bold statement, even if the stone was small. The late 40s saw a surge in diamond engagement rings' popularity, thanks to the De Beers 'A diamond is forever' campaign in 1947. This iconic slogan still resonates today, and post this campaign, diamond popularity skyrocketed, with solitaire, cushion cut diamonds becoming the ultimate preference.

As we transitioned into the 50s, baguette cuts gradually became the go-to shape, with emerald engagement rings also gaining popularity after John Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline with an emerald engagement ring in 1952. Celebrities have always influenced the popularity of certain engagement ring styles.

1960 - 1980: The Era of Shapes and Cluster Rings The 60s saw the rise of pear-shaped diamonds, largely influenced by the engagement of Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow. The trend of princess cut diamond rings began in the 60s but truly took off in the 70s. This was followed by the craze for cluster-style rings, where the main stone was surrounded by an array of smaller stones for a dazzling look.

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The 70s also saw the rise of bridal sets, with couples choosing matching wedding sets for both the bride and groom. As time passed, the size of the ring became less important, with the uniqueness of the design taking precedence. This led to the popularity of angular and geometric rings.

1980 - 2000: The Resurgence of Coloured Gemstones The 80s are synonymous with the iconic engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, which brought us one of the most famous engagement rings of all time. Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana in 1981 with an oval-shaped sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds, sparking a massive comeback of coloured gemstones.

Although yellow gold was the most common metal in the 80s, white gold and platinum were gaining popularity. The 80s engagement rings were all about extravagance, but the 90s saw a shift towards minimal styles like a simple round solitaire.

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2000 - Present: The Era of Diamond Halo Rings and Bridal Sets The 2000s saw the trend of diamond halo rings emerge. Simple solitaires were transformed when pavé bands became stylish in 2005, leading to engagement rings frequently featuring cushion cut diamonds surrounded by a halo of pavé diamonds.

The minimalistic approach remained popular, with white gold and platinum being the go-to metals. Just like in the 70s, there was a rise in bridal sets in the 2010s. There was also another rise in coloured gemstones, mainly influenced by celebrity engagements. Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his mother’s sapphire engagement ring in 2010, which played a huge role in this comeback.

Now that you're familiar with the history of engagement ring styles, you can see that we tend to follow patterns and trends, especially with influencing factors such as celebrities. If you're planning to propose, you might already have some engagement ring ideas in mind, or you might already have your dream ring figured out, whether it's a traditional engagement ring or something more unique. With Jollyre, you can find the perfect ring that aligns with your style and the ongoing trends.