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Big, bold and colourful: the cocktail ring has long been a fabulous accessory for women all over the world.Most cultures at some point or another have used jewellery for adornment, and in Western cultures extravagant jewellery has been enjoyed for many years. What better way to do this than with a cocktail ring? They really are show stoppers of incredible beauty and usually exquisitely designed.Traditionally worn on the fourth finger on the right hand, from the Diamond trading slogans ‘Your left hand says “we” and your right hand says “me”’, and, ‘Your left hand rocks the cradle and your right hand rocks the world’, they are also known as right hand rings and Dinner Rings.Cocktail rings gained popularity in the 1920s at the start of the Art Deco period, when dazzling jewellery was produced in stark contrast to other periods. The fashion for women was to have short hair, and they wore clothes such as flapper dresses. The jewellery fashion of this period was alluring and luxurious. It was the done thing to listen to jazz and be a free spirit, and the flamboyant jewellery complemented the playful and decadent attitude of the time. In America, where illegal cocktail parties were held during the prohibition period (1920 – 1933), it was thought of as daring and controversial to be seen at the parties wearing these bright dazzling cocktail rings. Women would show their defiance of the law and flaunt their wealth and style at these soirees.They can be absolutely breathtaking and allow the wearer to step into a world of high-class glamour and delight. They are unquestionably stylish, stunning and sexy; ostentatious yet graceful. A cocktail ring generally has one exciting gemstone that is the main focus of the ring, although it may have other gemstones that will complement it, while not distracting from the focal piece. They can also feature pearls, especially black pearls, as well as cabochon cut gemstones. A cocktail ring gemstone normally starts at around 3 carats in size. Cocktail rings are an excellent way to spice up any outfit. Today, celebrities are often seen at film premieres and openings wearing cocktail rings. Whether it be Sarah Jessica Parker from “Sex and the City”, who wore a huge, knuckle-sized cocktail ring for the final episode party of the show or Angelina Jolie who has worn huge Emerald cocktail rings in the past, the stars of today seem to have the same love affair with these rings as their predecessors, inspiring a whole new generation to start wearing them. From Madonna to royalty, it seems the cocktail ring is enjoyed and celebrated by all.Boodles, Graff, Chopard, Lorique and Bulgari are all making exquisite pieces, often in restricted numbers. Mixing old school glamour with witty design is one of the best ways of wearing the cocktail ring. Coco Channel herself, with her renowned avant-garde taste, was often seen wearing cocktail rings.
These Cocktail rings above
are from the 2009 Sarah Bennett
GIA qualified Gemmologists
Members of the British Jewellery Association
Members of the Coloured Gemstone Assocation