Engagement rings have had all sorts of different trends over the years. Although most people are always looking for fashionable, cheap engagement rings, the go-to trend is always shifting. Below, we explore the evolution of the engagement ring and how they’ve changed over the years.
The 20s were dominated by an interest in emeralds. Consumers were looking for intriguing geometric shapes and would often go for an emerald or a diamond as the gem in the middle.
Following the Great Depression, engagement rings experienced a more frugal turn. Single stones became popular, and they were usually framed in a basic, minimalist ring.
The 40s took the trends of the 30s further. Platinum became difficult to source during the war with rose and yellow gold becoming popular settings instead. At the same time, a famous De Beers’ commercial inspired many consumers to opt for a round gem.
The 50s became a more opulent time for engagement rings. By this point, De Beers’ “Diamonds are forever” commercial had totally popularised the extensive use of diamonds on rings. Meanwhile, Audrey Hepburn’s famous ring with three different types of gold brought stackable rings into fashion.
In the 60s, coloured gems became fashionable once more. And again, it was after a celebrity ring caught the imagination. Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring from John F. Kennedy was the inspiration this time around.
The 70s saw more experimentation with rings. Abstract styles became popular with asymmetric designs becoming a fashionable choice.
Princess Diana’s engagement ring from Prince Charles became incredibly popular, with huge numbers of people hoping for a replica. It featured 14 cut diamonds surrounding a large centre gem in the middle and this style immediately dominated the decade.
The rise of grunge in the 90s even influence engagement rings. The rings suddenly became sharper and bolder, reflecting the loud image of grunge.
The 2000s followed on from the 90s by popularising rings that were louder than ever before. Most people wanted as much bling as possible and large, vibrant rings became the trend.
Princess Diana’s ring returned to fashion once more when Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with it. This signalled a turn towards large, coloured gems again.
Today, consumers are more concerned with sustainability than ever before. Rather than buying new rings, there’s been a turn towards antique ones. This has led to a range of diverse settings creating a more eclectic set of rings in fashion.
The trends surrounding engagement rings slide in and out of fashion cyclically. From the interest in emeralds in the 20s, to today’s rise in vintage rings, the market is always changing.