Wearing cocktail rings dates back to the 1920's, the time of the Jazz Age.
The sudden freedom from corsets and long dresses, wearing shorter bob style hairstyles and makeup - the 'flapper style', was a new freedom for women.
To further emphasize their new freedom, they flaunted not just their new style and dress, but also wearing large rings on their right hand as a symbol for this new freedom, while holding their cocktail glasses .In the 1920s, the most valuable cocktail rings showcased large diamonds or other precious gemstones such as emeralds and sapphires set in platinum or gold and surrounded by pave diamonds. More interesting designs used colorful gemstones such as opal, or novel and abstract shapes.
But the rings saw their real boom in the years following World War II, when women seized upon economic independence, inspiration from film stars, and America’s love affair with cocktail culture to buy their own oversize (often costume) pieces. Cocktail rings were originally dramatic rings that had large center stones and were accented with pavé diamonds. While some jewellery lovers may consider the cocktail ring to be somewhat flashy, others enjoy this as the whole point of cocktail rings. In fact, the bigger and more ostentatious, the better when it comes to cocktail rings.
Even the royals want in on the speakeasy: HRH Prince Harry offered his mother’s aquamarine cocktail ring to Meghan Markle on their wedding day. We'll happily raise a glass to that!