Rediscovering fashion over the years: 100 years of engagement rings

My hobby of jewellery making had taken a backseat when I was heavily involved in sewing for and planning our wedding last year, but it doesn’t mean my interest in jewellery stopped there. I still like to keep my nose in the business and often find myself looking intently at jewellery pieces to understand the intricacies of a designer or jewellery maker’s craft.

It isn’t until you look at something in further detail and understand the work put into it that you can fully appreciate the art of a designer’s work. Engagement rings are one of the most important pieces of jewellery (alongside the wedding band) in a woman’s life. Below I discovered a video shared on Stylist that documents the history of how fashion has changed for engagement rings in the past 100 years.


The classic solitaire style dates back to 1890 to 1900 and slowly over the decades, you can see how art and economic/political circumstances change the course of the ring’s design. The shape of the focus gemstone becomes more important in the 1960s while channel set mountings are introduced in the 1970s. Now it seems a halo mounting is more popular as more women come to covet the beautiful blue sapphire engagement ring once worn by Princess Diana and now adorns Kate Middleton’s ring finger.

I do remember being enamoured at one point and pressing my nose against the glass like a child at a sweet shop window, looking at a halo set pink sapphire engagement ring I found displayed in a jeweller’s window. Beautiful as that ring was, I don’t regret the beauty and simplicity of the solitaire pink sapphire engagement ring the OH and I agreed on. While the halo mounted pink sapphire ring was beautiful, the simple solitaire ring I now wear beside my plain rose gold wedding band are more suited to my personality. I also think the focus is now solely on the centrepiece stone rather than being distracted by the tiny sparkling diamonds in a halo setting.

What kind of engagement ring do you prefer?

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