Trend Alert: Engagement Ring Trends By Decade

Trend Alert: Engagement Ring Trends By Decade

Euan James Euan James
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Engagement ring styles have come and gone throughout the years, but they can be a great source of inspiration if you’re looking for that special ring! That’s why we’ve put together this list of engagement ring trends by the decade, from the 1920s all the way to the 2020s. Jump to a decade by clicking the links below or read on to find out all you need to know about engagement ring trends by the decade.  

engagement ring trends by decade: gold rings

Jump to a decade by clicking the links below or read on to find out all you need to know about engagement ring trends by the decade. 

An Overview of Ring Styles Through the Decades:

Engagement Ring Trends By Decade

1920s

This decade of glitz and glamour started with the Edwardian style of jewellery, with a beautiful diamond in the centre and intricate detailing on the band. A lot of 1920s engagement rings included motifs and symbolic engravings of love, family, and even customised initials at times. A similar ring you can find today would be like the diamond engagement ring pictured below, which certainly makes a statement!

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1930s

The latter part of the ’20s brought with them a trend that ran well into the ’30s: that of the famous ‘Art Deco’ style. This style is present not just in jewellery, but in architecture and design too! With its sharp lines and geometric designs made up of multiple little diamonds, these rings certainly grabbed attention.

engagement ring trends by decade: 1930s

1940s

The ’40s brought much-loved floral inspiration to engagement rings. With a stronger focus on a solitary stone instead of multiple smaller stones, 1940s engagement rings were predominately made out of rose or yellow gold (due to scarcity after the World Wars). This was also the time that the famous phrase ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ was coined by the jeweller, De Beers, and the durability and attractive nature of the diamond became an unspoken representation of the sacred relationship of husband and wife. These rings had more of a focus on the stone and pattern, rather than the band, much like in the gold diamond ring pictured below which has a nature-inspired motif.

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1950s

By the end of the World War era, the theme of jewellery was ‘simplicity’ – more so in the case of engagement rings. Single diamond solitaire engagement rings with gold bands were by far the most popular choice, but the three-stone styles were also plentiful. 1950s engagement rings during featured progressively larger stones as well. One of the everlasting styles from this period is the classic diamond in the centre, with two small stones on either side, pictured below.

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9ct Yellow Gold Solitaire Ring With 1/2 Carat Diamond

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This stunning solitaire diamond ring is simple and classic. With 1 brilliant cut diamond in a 6 claw setting, the luscious ring, in 9ct yellow and white gold, is timeless.… read more

1960s

During the 1960s, celebrity culture exploded. Hollywood actresses like Elizabeth Taylor and prominent figures like Jackie Kennedy were perceived as style icons and anything they wore turned into an instant trend. In Liz Taylor’s case, that meant a huge 35-carat rock and a platinum band, and in the case of Jackie Kennedy, it meant mixing gemstones with diamonds to create a stunning emerald engagement ring. Nowadays, you can find a gorgeous range of gemstone engagement rings, including ruby, aquamarine, opal and pearl engagement rings!

engagement ring trends by decade: 1960s

1970s

In the 1970s, newer shapes like princess cut and emerald cut engagement rings became all the rage. These were often paired with a simple wedding band and a wedding ring to complete the set. The pair of rings were often elaborate and beautiful.

engagement ring trends by decade: 1970s

1980s

The ’80s saw the rise of glamorous rings with bigger stones, especially pear engagement rings.  Then after the Royal Wedding of Princess Diana, sapphire engagement rings became popular as did different combinations of metals, gemstones and diamonds.

engagement ring trends by decade: 1980s

1990s

Fashion in the ’90s became increasingly minimalistic, and its style can be summarised in one word: simplicity. The run of the mill solitaire gave way to the new and loved marquise, while platinum was officially back everywhere. It was, of course, made all the more famous by the quintessential ’90s couple: Posh Spice and David Beckham!

engagement ring trends by decade: 1990s

2000s

When we’re looking at engagement rings trends by the decade, you can definitely see how halo engagement rings Along with this, pavé-encrusted bands (like that of Natalie Portman’s) began to surge in popularity. A classic example is pictured below.

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2010s

Aside from the gemstone accents that made a comeback (thanks to Kate Middleton bringing back the sapphire), cushion cut engagement rings also gained popularity. Thinner bands, set with diamonds, also became favoured by a lot of brides-to-be in the 2010s – which makes the centre diamond look bigger (as pictured below). This has been sported by Kim K, Chrissy Teigen, and even Ivanka Trump.

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So, while most trends might feel like they clearly belong to the era they originated in, you should definitely keep in mind that the engagement ring in itself is quite the evolving piece! And while, of course, you don’t want to pick a look that is too old-fashioned, there’s nothing wrong with a trend that may come around again soon (like Princess Diana’s sapphire on Kate Middleton)!

All in all, ‘vintage-inspired' might just be the newest ‘trendy’ — and for all you know, maybe your chosen ring will be the notable one of the 2020’s! And with all the nontraditional rings that are gaining ground, especially between LGBTQ+ couples and men who decide to highlight their bands, we can’t wait to see what this decade has in store for us! Now you know all about the engagement ring trends by decades, find out more below.

2020s

In the 2020s, engagement ring trends are changing and evolving. The traditional one-carat diamond solitaire will always be on trend, but some other styles of rings are beginning to gain in popularity. From brand new cuts of diamonds to unusual emerald cut stones, many people are looking for something different from the usual round diamonds that we've seen for decades.

engagement ring trends in the 2020s

There you have it, all the engagement ring trends by the decade! So, while most trends might feel like they clearly belong to the era they originated in, you should definitely keep in mind that the engagement ring in itself is quite the evolving piece! And while, of course, you don’t want to pick a look that is too old-fashioned, there’s nothing wrong with a trend that may come around again soon (like Princess Diana’s sapphire on Kate Middleton)! All in all, ‘vintage-inspired' might just be the newest ‘trendy’.

Engagement Ring Trends By The Decade: FAQs

What was the most popular engagement ring shape in 2021?

The most popular engagement ring shape in 2021 was the round cut, but with a twist! Round rings with a diamond set in the centre are still very popular, but it was also common to see rings with diamonds surrounding a larger central one.

When did engagement rings become the norm?

It's hard to believe, but engagement rings weren't always a cultural norm. In fact, until the early 1900s, when diamond companies began marketing diamonds as a symbol of love and commitment, engagement rings were actually used as protection for women in case their husbands were killed or lost in war.

Which engagement ring is timeless?

A timeless engagement ring is one that will never go out of style, making it the ideal choice for your partner.

More About Engagement Rings:

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