Engagement Ring Trends by Decade

by Sara Gibson
April 12, 2017 / Engagement Rings

In recent years, we have seen a vast range of engagement ring trends. We can put this down to the ‘World Wide Web’, which provides the widest range of inspiration available at our fingertips. Prior to this, decades and even centuries ago, trends were dictated by what was seen in the movies, on the hands of royalty and by the conditions of the times.

Let’s take a look at previous trends, going right back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Early 20th Century:


The beginning of the 20th century, the Edwardian period, saw the industrial revolution, a time of prosperity and when engagement rings became more of a social norm. Rings were ornate in style, featuring diamonds and exquisite details with engraving, mill grain and filigree patterns.


This is the time of the Art Deco period, one of the most influential periods of engagement ring design. Designs featured geometric patterns often inspired by the architecture of the time. Designs also included splashes of colour, with the use of gemstones such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires.


Despite the hardship as a result of the world war, engagements rings were still popular. Not everyone could afford a diamond ring which saw a rise in the use of synthetic stones. Designs were more fluid and feminine than that of the Art Deco period, featuring beautiful ribbons and bows. 


In the 1950s, the war was over and as a result, engagement rings changed significantly and diamonds were noticeably bigger. People loved three-stone rings, halo rings and fancy cut diamonds. Stackable and interlocking rings were also born at this time, thanks to the beautiful Audrey Hepburn.


The 1960s saw the return of the Art Deco style, which became popular once again. Modern ladies would create their own take on these popular design style using colour and bold patterns. Two important women of this time, Elizabeth Taylor and Jacquie Kennedy, also set trends with their respective rings; Taylor’s impressive Asscher cut diamond engagement ring and Kennedy’s diamond and emerald ring. 


The 1970s was a significant time in terms of diamond cuts, this was the era when the famous Princess cut diamond was created. Women all over the world had embraced this cut with stunning solitaire designs. Also, during this time, designs featuring clusters of diamonds were rising in popularity.


In the 1980s, Princess Diana received what is arguably the most famous ring, the Royal Sapphire ring. This saw the rise in the popularity of the blue Sapphire. Until this day, there are women across the world requesting their own version of this famous ring.

1990’s – present

The most popular engagement ring style since the 1990’s has been, and will likely always remain, the round brilliant cut solitaire. In this period, there has not been one stand-alone trend. We have seen women embrace three stone rings, coloured gemstone rings, halo rings, engraved rings, contemporary and beautiful vintage style rings. It is now known that no matter what your style is, there is a ring and an era to draw inspiration from.

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