Engagement Ring and Diamond Designs Over the Decades
By Maury Kauffman
9/4/2018 at 8:39 AM
As your Tucson diamond engagement ring specialist, I'm often asked about diamond shapes and ring styles from decades ago. So I thought you might like to read a recap of what's changed over the last 100 years. Today's most current bridal ring styles are displayed on my custom designs page. Of course you can browse other Tucson jewelry stores for ideas, then please make an appointment to met with me. I'm the Tucson jeweler you can trust for diamonds and engagement rings and all types of jewelry repairs.
Engagement rings tend to evolve alongside fashion trends. Just as clothing fads come and go, the most popular styles of engagement rings have changed every decade over the past century.
In the 1920s, engagement rings featuring diamond halos first became popular. Rings with geometric shapes and sharp lines were popular in the 1920s, coinciding with the height of the Art Deco period. Emerald- and Asscher-cut (a step-cut stone shaped like a square) diamonds were especially common, and the more extravagant rings were accentuated with diamond halos.
Engagement rings in the 1930s featured bands shaped like ribbons or bows and rings with twisting bands were a common choice. Bridal jewelry in the 1930s was "evolving" from the Art Deco period. Single diamonds were often used as the centerpiece on twisted bands.
By the 1940s, round-cut diamonds were all the rage. Their popularity increased dramatically due to the introduction of De Beers' famous "A Diamond Is Forever" marketing campaign. Rose-gold and yellow-gold bands also became common choices as World War II limited access to platinum in the US.
Many couples opted for pear-shaped diamonds in the 1950s. This decade also saw larger diamonds and stackable bands. Audrey Hepburn's iconic engagement ring, which featured a trio of bands in three different colors of gold, brought stackable bands into fashion in the '50s.
In the 1960s, everything old was new again as Asscher-cut diamonds with their distinctive square shape came back into style. This decade saw the return of Art Deco, and with it, Asscher-cut and emerald-cut gemstones. Jackie Kennedy's engagement ring from John F. Kennedy, which featured emeralds in addition to diamonds, also made colored gemstones a popular choice for couples.
Emerald-cut diamonds continued to be popular in the 1970s. During this decade, brides began to match their engagement rings to their wedding bands, many of which were yellow- and rose-gold.
Though the traditional round-cut diamond in a yellow-gold setting was extremely popular in the 1980s; Princess Diana's engagement ring from Prince Charles, which featured a sapphire in its center as the primary gemstone, changed the bridal industry. The royal ring was so popular that many replicas were requested and sold. Other precious color gemstones including emeralds and rubies became popular also.
Engagement rings in the 1990s were influenced by the rise of grunge and rings became bolder and sharper. Marquise-cut diamonds were particularly fashionable, and yellow gold bands took a backseat to bands made of white gold and platinum.
Princess-cut diamonds dominated engagement ring trends in the early 2000s. Many couples opted for engagement rings with large center or solitaire diamonds.
By the early 2010s, cushion-cut diamonds which feature a square shape with rounded corners became the most popular choice for brides.
Today, oval diamonds are in high demand. Usually set vertically, though sometimes horizontally, skinny bands and large oval diamonds are in style.
What is the future of engagement rings and bridal jewelry? Only time will tell. But you can be sure, as a respected Tucson jeweler with one of Tucson's top jewelry stores and an A+ from the Tucson Better Business Bureau (BBB), I'll stay on top of the trends and together we can customer design the ring of your dreams.