Diamond rings started to gain serious popularity in the 1870s when diamonds from South Africa became a thing. They gained even more popularity after a very successful De Beers campaign in the 1930s. Remember how “a diamond is forever?” Yep, that was the campaign. How's that for a lasting effect? We love us some non-diamond rings, but it's still pretty fascinating to see the evolution of the diamond through the years.
Mode's most recent 100 Years of Fashion video highlighting 100 years of vintage ring styles was pretty illuminating for those of us who are so used to seeing vintage rings that it's actually hard to remember from which era they originated. It might also make you realize how susceptible you might be to trends (I know I am!) AND why that's totally okay.
Let's watch the vid and see what vintage ring styles are still popular today:
Mode also explained each vintage ring style and era:
1890-1900: Classic solitaire diamond ring: Round old European-cut diamond set into a six prong mounting, 14k yellow gold.
1900-1920s: Lacy white-on-white look, in the style of jewelry of the Edwardian period.
1920-1930s: Art Deco–influenced rings: Round early modern brilliant-cut diamond set into a platinum mounting, highlighted by round diamonds in a pierced openwork mounting.
1930-1940s: The introduction of white gold in the late 1920s; “filigree” mounting, which heralds back to the Edwardian period, comes in trend.
1940s: Yellow and rose gold used more.
1945: “War Bride Ring,” the ring that every serviceman gave their fiancée due to the rationing of precious metals during the war years.
1950-1960s: White gold and platinum becomes the preferred metal in postwar period. Addition of round side stones set into the shoulders of the ring.
1960-1970s: Fancy-shaped diamonds—emerald-cut, pear, marquise, and heart shaped—become in. Platinum remains metal of choice.
1970-1980s: “Gold” set with round or fancy shaped diamonds with channel set mountings, accompanying wedding bands.
1980-1990s: Solitaire diamond with baguettes on each side.
1990-2000s: “Radiant-cut” becomes the preferred fancy-shaped diamond, typically set with triangular side stones.
2000-2010s: “Princess-cut” becomes the preferred fancy-shaped diamond.
2010-2015: “Halo” mounting becomes the preferred engagement mounting; increased demand for fancy-colored diamonds.