Cocktail rings are glamorous statement pieces that were first seen in the 1920s in the United States. Today, a cocktail ring is any overly large ring, usually with a main stone of more than three carats. Costume cocktail rings are inexpensive and can be used to add style to an outfit. More expensive cocktail rings often feature high purity metal bands and settings coupled with precious or semi-precious stones. Diamonds are seldom used for cocktail rings as stones that are larger than one carat tend to be prohibitively expensive.
Before styling a cocktail ring, learn about the history of this interesting piece of jewellery. An understanding of the types of cocktail rings available allows the wearer to make the best decision when it comes to matching a ring to an outfit or occasion. Finally, know how to create an impact while wearing a cocktail ring. Cocktail rings are available from jewellery and fashion shops, department stores, and online from sites like eBay.
History of Cocktail Rings
Cocktail rings are associated with the American Prohibition era in the 1920s. Cocktail parties held in secret were glamorous affairs where women dressed to impress. Cocktail rings were often worn with flapper dresses and were intended to grab the attention of those nearby. Later, after the sale and use of alcohol was legalised, cocktail rings became a symbol of women's independence. Traditionally worn on the right hand, the opposite hand to the engagement or wedding ring, women often bought these rings for themselves as an expression of their individual style. By the 1940s and 1950s, cocktail rings were no longer associated with illicit activities and became a staple worn to dinner parties and elegant events. Stars wearing cocktail rings at glamorous functions, like the Oscars, increased their popularity.
Types of Cocktail Ring
As a cocktail ring is often seen as an expression of individual style, these rings are available in a wide range of designs. From costume to fine jewellery, cocktail rings are designed to make a statement about the wearer. Choose a cocktail ring that features the wearer's birthstone for a personal touch. Floral designs are made of fabric, metal, and gemstones and can be worn by young and old. Abstract designs can feature sculptures and gemstones in interesting patterns: choose an over the top design for something different. Novelty cocktail rings feature designs that reflect the wearer's interests, from kittens to dragons.
Vintage or retro cocktail rings allow the wearer to capture some of the past while wearing a unique ring. Vintage pieces are often made with high quality materials and since jewellery is durable, they look as good today as the day that they were made. Choosing a more expensive metal or gemstone means that the cocktail ring can be passed down to future generations.
Metals and Gemstones Used in Cocktail Rings
The metals and gemstones used in cocktail rings vary a great deal. Metals include platinum, silver, and different colours of gold in a range of qualities. Gemstones include amethysts, garnets, peridot, and topaz. More expensive rings feature sapphire or emeralds with diamond details. Since the rule of thumb is the bigger the better when it comes to cocktail rings, large, eye-catching diamonds are seldom seen. The beauty of the cocktail ring is that it is meant to be an attention grabber, so the stones used can be any type of unusual semi-precious, precious, or imitation gem. In fact, some rings are made with pearl, coral, mother of pearl, and synthetics. The stone chosen should be at least three carats. Cluster rings feature a number of smaller gems set in an interesting pattern. For the most glamorous look, choose a ring with a cluster of gems that is equivalent in size to a single large stone.
How to Wear and Style a Cocktail Ring
A cocktail ring is worn as a statement piece. Statement jewellery is best worn by itself and the same holds true for cocktail rings. The wearer should choose a single ring and, at most, accessorise it with earrings or one other ring worn on the opposite hand. Cocktail rings are traditionally worn on the ring or index finger of the right hand. If the ring is worn on the index finger, limit the size to less than six carats. The ring chosen should not extend past the bottom of the knuckle to avoid overwhelming the hand. For the greatest impact, choose a ring with a single focal point.
Time of Day and Cocktail Rings
Cocktail rings can be worn during the day or in the evening. Day wear rings should be slightly smaller and less sparkly than those worn in the evening. The design chosen should match the occasion. For example, an elegant ring made of high quality materials is an excellent choice for accessorising a little black dress. A costume ring made of sculpted metal or fabric is better suited to day wear. Cocktail rings that feature cubic zirconia as their focal stones can look gaudy rather than elegant, so choose a ring with the stones as accents rather than the focal point. Accent stones should complement the focal stone, with smaller diamonds or cubic zirconia to add a little sparkle.
Outfits and Cocktail Rings
Cocktail rings look their best when they do not clash with the wearer's clothing. If the wearer's clothing is patterned, choose a ring that complements this, such as a design featuring a solid colour. Similarly, cocktail rings with interesting patterns and designs stand out when worn with block colour clothing. The colour of the ring should complement the colour of the wearer's clothing. Matching the two is not always the best option as the ring could simply blend into the background.
Hand and Nail Care for Cocktail Rings
It is important to remember that a cocktail ring draws attention to the wearer's hand. So, remember to polish the nails and make the hands look presentable before putting the ring on. Chewed fingernails, ragged cuticles, or chipped nail varnish may make the wearer self conscious about their hands while wearing cocktail rings. This is an excellent excuse for treating the wearer to a manicure, at home or at a salon.
Buying a Cocktail Ring on eBay
eBay sellers offer a range of cocktail rings, from costume pieces to fine jewellery, at competitive prices. To find the perfect cocktail ring, simply type a phrase, such as "vintage retro cocktail ring", into the search bar, which can be found on every page. Refine your search by choosing the most appropriate category and item features. For more control over your search options, use the advanced search feature. Read the item listing carefully to find out more information about the cocktail ring.
Evaluating the Item and the Seller
Before you buy on eBay, take a moment to evaluate the item and the seller. Clicking on an individual listing displays the item listing page where you can view more information, including the full item description, the buying options available, the seller's accepted payment methods, postage and packaging costs, and the seller's feedback information. If you have any questions about a listing, use the "Ask a question" link to contact the seller.
The seller feedback feature is accessed by clicking on the number next to the seller's username. This allows you to see what other buyers think about a specific seller's products and customer service. Detailed seller ratings include additional information about aspects such as the seller's communication, the accuracy of the item description in the listing, and the reasonableness of the postage and packaging costs. Remember to leave feedback for the seller once you have received the item.
Cocktail rings are statement pieces with an interesting history. First made popular during the prohibition era, these rings soon became symbols of individuality and independence. They are available in a wide variety of styles and designs. Costume cocktail rings often feature fabric details, sculpted metal focal points, or precious and semi-precious gemstone settings. Vintage or fine jewellery pieces tend to feature more expensive materials, such as 18 carat gold and emerald or sapphire settings.
Cocktail rings can be worn during the day or in the evening. Smaller, less glitzy rings are best for day wear, while fine jewellery pieces add elegance to evening wear. Cocktail rings should make a statement. Bigger is generally considered better and the ring should be the focal point of the wearer's outfit. These rings are traditionally worn on the right hand. They should be worn without any other jewellery for the best effect. The cocktail ring's design should not clash with the wearer's clothing, but care should be taken not to match the clothing and the ring as this makes it disappear into the background. The ring should not extend past the knuckle. Cocktail rings accent the hands and the wearer should ensure that the nails are well groomed with a fresh coat of nail polish and that the hands look good . A range of cocktail rings are available from eBay sellers.