How engagement rings have changed and evolved through the decades

Just like fashion, the jewellery industry is constantly reshaping itself and creating new trends all the time. What was trendy twenty years ago could be a no-go today, each decade has its own personality and that’s what makes a trend so interesting and unique. But what about engagement rings? How did they evolve through the decades?

The fifties, the rise of the diamond

The 1950s was an amazing decade for fashion and jewellery, after the Second World War the economy witnessed a real boom, more and more people were able to access the cinema and found inspiration in famous figures. Therefore, it’s not really a surprise that in the 50s diamonds quickly became a girl’s best friend… And it’s all thanks to a genius marketing campaign by De Beers “Diamond Is Forever“ diamonds became so popular, the advert was created to convince young men that diamonds are the ultimate proof of love and an essential romantic gesture towards young women. This marketing campaign caused wholesale diamond sales in the United States to increase from $23 million to $2.1 billion.

The colourful eighties

In the 80s, everything had to be over the top, crazy and kind of fun! And that’s exactly what happened to rings during the decade. Engagement rings became more about making a fashion statement, colourful gems and stones made their grand entrance and one of the most prime examples is probably the famous large oval sapphire worn by Princess Diana. It became famous worldwide for years to come. Ever since, more and more high street jewellers have used that popularity to sell rings with semi-precious stones.

The trilogy ring of the nineties

The 90s saw the rise of low-cost rings, diverse options were also available, but three-stone rings were definitely high on the list of best-selling engagement rings at that time. Also known as the “trilogy ring”, this ring was popular during the Victorian era where the three stones were believed to represent Past, Present and Future but it was so loved that it eventually made it’s comeback at this time.

From 2000s to present…

Nowadays, we mostly see solitaire diamond engagement rings, they’re quite simple, minimalist and very classy. However, twisted bands and gemstones seem to be making a comeback. Much slimmer bands to create the appearance of a bigger stone are common. Rose gold and gold are also on the rise because they tend to flatter every skin tone and give a nice vintage touch.

All in all, if you’re shopping for your engagement ring, it may be overwhelming to know which shape and style you should go for. Knowing what’s trendy and what’s not could help you make a decision however taste is totally subjective so if you’re into a big eighties’ gemstone, then don’t be afraid to make a bold statement.


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