Did you know a cocktail ring signifies social change? I certainly didn’t, nor did I know that a “speakeasy” was first recorded in a little-known Silver-Lead mining area of Boro Creek, NSW, in 1837, as a “sly grog shop.”
The Art Deco period saw significant changes that liberated women from the strict Edwardian lifestyle & the effects of WW1. It was the first time that women rebelled. Such wild & decadent behaviour was not for the faint hearted, applying makeup from their Nécessaire or Minaudiève & glamorously smoking in public, wearing their hair short to match their flamboyant fashion, going to bars with the rise of the speakeasy. The oversized cocktail ring first appeared in America. A larger-than-life accessory often bought by women using their own money, it symbolised wealth, newfound liberty & freedoms.
Worn to attract attention, showing off these large ornamental jewels were worn on the index or ring finger on the right hand, the same hand that sported an illegal cocktail or smouldering cigarette. Cin cin!
Thankfully, these pioneering women opened the door for a century of great social change. Jewellery, like all art forms, reflects society & consumerism. Popularity of the cocktail ring waxed & waned through the great depression & the War years, re-emerged in the halcyon 50’s, declined in the 60’s & 70’s, (but not in the designer world of Peter Minturn or Andrew Grima & the like!), swung back into action in the 1980’s where they have remained a staple ever since.
For today’s jewellery lovers a cocktail ring is not a traditional ring, it’s a catchall phrase for large dress rings, right-hand rings, dinner rings, or statement rings.
Cocktail ring designs were manufactured in Silver, yellow Gold, & Platinum. With the development of white Gold alloying in the 1920-30’s they began to be made in this alloy as a cost-effective alternative to Platinum. These mounts sported the colours of the rainbow in precious & organic gemstones, simulant stones & other man-made materials. The centre design featured a gem of 3 carats or more, or a flamboyant cluster design of good-sized gemstones, supported by multiple smaller gems. Really your imagination, budget, & the sky, is the limit; all that mattered is that you make your statement impossible to miss.
A clever way to make the cocktail ring design work for you is to take on the look of High Low Fashion. The ultimate choice to stand out from the crowd, by mixing your wardrobe essentials to pull off a look that is uniquely you. Only requirement is to make sure you wear a big happy smile with your cocktail ring, every day!