Antique Cocktail Ring Buying Guide

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Antique Cocktail Ring Buying Guide

Fashion trends tend to disappear and come back over the years and this is very true in the case of cocktail rings. This is a type of jewellery that was very popular decades ago and has made a return in the recent years. However, even though one can purchase newly designed cocktail rings, many prefer to opt for vintage or antique items. Thus, antique cocktail rings can be still bought in antique shops or online, on websites such as eBay.

An antique cocktail ring is anything but minimalist. The basic characteristics of such a ring are the mixture of shapes and materials. These rings are ideal for special occasions and they work well with elegant outfits. However, one can also choose to wear an antique cocktail ring on a daily basis. The advantage of choosing an antique cocktail ring is mostly that of being able to wear a unique piece of jewellery. By learning more about different types of antique cocktail rings belonging to different periods and their main characteristics, buyers can be sure they made an informed choice every time.

What to Look For in an Antique Cocktail Ring

Cocktail rings were once a fashion accessory reserved for formal occasions, as their name suggests. The origins of these rings can be traced back to the period of the American Prohibition. They became a statement of style after the Second World War, when women started to wear them for occasions other than cocktail parties. The Hollywood stars of the 1950s contributed to the coming back of the style and today numerous designers devote themselves to recreating those designs.

Antique Cocktail Rings Appearance

The comeback of cocktail rings is primarily due to their appearance. Buyers who choose to wear antique cocktail rings can choose from a variety of bright colours and material mixtures. Cocktail rings are usually very large in size and they feature one or more oversized stones in their design, meant to attract attention. The stones can be precious, semi-precious, or synthetic. Large centre stones surrounded by elaborate metalworking are characteristic for antique cocktail rings.

When shopping for antique cocktail rings, one should keep in mind several things in order to make sure they choose a piece of jewellery that suits their personality as well as their budget. When choosing the design of an antique cocktail ring, buyers can opt for a mix of various colours and gems. Whenever possible, one should go for multiple metals, colours, and textiles. Standing out from the crowd and attracting attention to the finger are the two main reasons for purchasing and wearing an antique cocktail ring. This can be also achieved by opting for a single large stone in the middle surrounded by smaller ones that form a cluster around it.

Antique Cocktail Rings Gems

Some of the most popular materials for antique cocktail rings include synthetic gems. Precious and semi-precious gems look great on such a ring, but they tend to be very expensive, especially when it comes to a very old ring. As the stones of a cocktail ring are usually very large, it may be difficult to opt for precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, or sapphires. The best way to make sure a cocktail ring attracts attention is to go as large as possible. These rings need to be bold and this can be easily achieved when opting for synthetic gemstones. If, however, a buyer chooses to go for a real central gemstone when buying an antique gold ring, they should also think about getting the ring insured.

What is an Antique Cocktail Ring?

In order to be classified as 'antique', a cocktail ring usually needs to be at least a century old. As the heyday of cocktail rings was in the period between wars, an antique piece dates back to that period or even earlier. This is not the same thing as 'vintage', which is a term used to define pieces of jewellery that are not new; in other words, they are old, but not generations old. When it comes to antique cocktail rings, one can find items belonging to several periods, ranging from Victorian to art deco.

Victorian Antique Cocktail Rings

Even though cocktail rings became very popular in the 1920s and 1930s, some of the rings manufactured in the Victorian period had the same characteristics. They were actually the precursors of the traditional cocktail rings and one still finds antique pieces dating from that period. The main characteristic of these rings is a central stone, which can be sometimes surrounded by other smaller ones. Diamonds were some of the most popular gemstones of the period, which makes Victorian antique cocktail rings expensive pieces.

Art Nouveau Antique Cocktail Rings

The main characteristics of art nouveau jewellery are elegance and creativity and antique cocktail rings produced in this period are no exception to the rule. In some cases, one can find cocktail rings that are inspired from figurines and flowers. This was a period in which coloured enamels became very popular, which is visible in numerous cocktail rings styles. 

Art Deco Antique Cocktail Rings

Antique cocktail rings belonging to the art deco period combine various colours with classic metals and they are often very stylish, but with a modern twist. Authentic art deco cocktail rings were manufactured in the mid-1920s and the use of rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and other coloured precious gemstones is a common characteristic of these rings. Antique cocktail rings manufactured in this period are often bold, but not too flashy, thus preserving a classic elegance.

How to Buy an Antique Cocktail Ring in the Right Size

In order to get the most out of a recently purchased antique cocktail ring, one should make sure it fits them correctly. Many buyers do not like to have their rings adjusted and the simplest way to avoid this is to know the exact ring size one needs. The downside of shopping for antique pieces of jewellery is that there may not be any other sizes available for a certain piece, which means that one should browse carefully through as many styles as possible in order to find an antique cocktail ring in the right size. The chart below can be helpful when it comes to choosing a ring in a size that fits perfectly. One can simply measure their finger or another ring they own and compare the results with the ones in the chart.

UK Size

Diameter in Millimetres

Circumference in Millimetres















































































It goes without saying that one should read the product description carefully when shopping for antique cocktail rings online in order to make sure the item they buy is in the right size for them. Not all models come in the same sizing, so it is always a good idea to check out the sizes of individual items even if they are from the same seller. Buyers should also remember that most rings can be adjusted, so if they see something that truly like they can have it modified at a later date.

How to Find an Antique Cocktail Ring on eBay

When shopping for antique jewellery on eBay, you need to consider several things in order to make sure the pieces you buy are what you expect. Safety is always important when buying jewellery and the rule of thumb is to only buy antique cocktail rings from reputable sellers when shopping on eBay. This is especially important for those who choose to buy expensive rings. Checking out the product description carefully is another essential step of the buying process, especially when purchasing pre-owned rings.

Buying an antique cocktail ring on eBay should not be a difficult thing to do due to the variety of styles available on the website from sellers from all over the world. Whether you are looking for an expensive gemstone ring or for a costume one, chances are you can find something you like on eBay. To start searching for the perfect antique cocktail ring on eBay all you need to do is type the words 'antique cocktail ring' into the search bar of the website. You can then browse through the results you get and choose the ring that appeals you the most. If you get too many results, you can easily narrow them down according to your preferences and budget.


Antique cocktail rings are a good way to make a statement when it comes to jewellery. This kind of rings can make a lasting impression and even though it may not appear so at first sight, they are versatile pieces of jewellery. Thus, one can easily add a touch of glamour to any outfit by wearing such an accessory, whether for elegant or casual wear. Regardless of the period in which an antique cocktail ring was manufactured, it can make a lasting impression.

Women can shop for antique rings in antique stores or online, on websites such as eBay. By choosing to shop online for such a ring, one can take advantage of the large selection offered. eBay is a good place to start browsing for an antique cocktail ring because it offers a wide selection of such accessories and allows buyers to navigate through them with ease. Whether one is looking for an expensive antique cocktail ring with a precious gemstone or a cheaper version comprising of synthetic stones, chances are they can find a suitable style on eBay.


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