9 Best Cocktail Rings (2023)

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by Suzanne Sachs 5 min read



A cocktail ring can be a glamorous piece of jewelry, a signature accessory to one’s fashionable flair, or simply an eye-catching accent for a particular outfit or occasion. Understanding everything about cocktail rings can help you better enjoy this type of jewelry and make the most of the sparkle it adds to your wardrobe.



In this guide, we will explain the following:

  • About cocktail rings?
  • What is a cocktail ring?
  • Vintage cocktail ring
  • Cocktail ring popularity
  • Cocktail ring designs
  • Cost of a cocktail ring
  • Wearing a cocktail ring
  • Choosing a cocktail ring

About Cocktail Rings

• What is a Cocktail Ring?

Cocktail rings first came into fashion during the United States prohibition era (1920-1933). These large, ostentatious rings were a bold and glittering fashion statement that not only showed wealth, but also caught the eye of bartenders at speakeasies, demonstrating that women were not only strong and independent enough to visit these bootleg establishments, but that they were of means to do so. Thus, the new flashy style of large, eye-catching rings were termed “cocktail rings” after their use to encourage bar service.


• Vintage Cocktail Ring

Vintage cocktail rings are one of a kind pieces often worn for special events or a night on the town. These stunning rings often have very distinctive style and are worn solo so no other rings detract from their beauty.


• Cocktail Ring Popularity

Cocktail rings continued to grow in popularity throughout the 1940s and 1950s, but gradually fell out of favor during the 1960s and 1970s, when more naturalist, simpler styles were preferred. When the big hair, big colors, and big attitudes of the 1980s resurged, however, cocktail rings quickly gained popularity again, and have remained fun and distinctive pieces of jewelry ever since.


Suzanne was amazing! I utilized the layaway service and it was a breeze. Ring made its way to Texas and was even more gorgeous in person."
 Chloe G verified buyer

Cocktail Ring Designs

Cocktail rings are deliberately big and flashy, defying traditional jewelry convention. These rings often feature an oversized center stone surrounded by even more bling, or else elaborate metalwork to enhance the size of the overall design. Halo designs are popular for cocktail rings, as are figural shapes such as bows, butterflies, fans, serpents, flowers, and other unique shapes. Art deco styles are also popular in cocktail rings, with elaborate geometry and symmetrical embellishments, with smaller stones adding extra drama to the jewelry.


These rings are often colorful, featuring not only a colored center stone, but also colorful accents to show bold contrast. While brightly colored rubies, emeralds, amethysts, and sapphires are popular choices, any colored gem might be featured in a cocktail ring, as well as polished options like pearls, opals, and turquoise.


Cost of a Cocktail Ring

Cocktail rings are often exquisite pieces that come in a range of price points depending on the quality of the stones, the workmanship of the ring, and its overall wear. Later designs or cocktail- inspired rings are often less expensive, and may be worked in 10- or 14-karat gold or silver to keep the cost of the ring lower, or may be plated instead, which could lead to allergic reactions as the plating wears off. Because these rings often use less traditional gemstones, that may also help factor in to a lower cost.


I've purchased two vintage rings from Suzanne over the past decade and my wife has loved both. Great service, communication and speedy delivery.”

 Lee S verified buyer

Wearing a Cocktail Ring

There are no definitive rules for wearing a cocktail ring, though they are more likely to be worn on the right hand (or left hand if that is the dominant hand) for easier signaling to bartenders and to be more easily eye-catching. These rings might be worn on the ring finger, pointer (index) finger, or even the middle finger if preferred, depending on where they fit best. Because the rings are larger, they are rarely worn on the thumb or pinky, where they would look unbalanced and out of proportion.


Cocktail rings are not worn all the time, but rather are considered occasional pieces only to be worn for special events. In today’s fashion, that might be a simple night on the town, a gala event, a dinner party, or any other social occasion where a bit of bling adds to the evening’s elegance. Because these rings do stand out, however, they are often worn with little other jewelry so as not to create a gauche, overwhelming effect.


My experience with Vintage Diamond Ring was so excellent I really had to think about it for a while. First their selection of jewelry is profound. The quality is superior.”

 Claude P verified buyer

Choosing a Cocktail Ring

A cocktail ring can be a fun and stunning piece to add to one’s jewelry collection, so long as the ring is worn properly and is suitable to the occasion. The better you understand cocktail rings, the better you will be able to wear these rings with all the glamor their history and design demand.


Antique Engagement Rings For Everyone:

No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.

Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:

Antique diamond cuts are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of cocktail rings today!


Suzanne Sachs

Suzanne has always believed vintage rings can change lives. She's been in the jewelry industry for over 35 years, working with vintage jewelers, diamond dealers, diamond cutters, and gemologists. Suzanne started Artdecodiamonds in 2000 and understood the demand for vintage rings throughout the world. She ultimately started VintageDiamondRing.com in 2014, and understands each vintage ring is a reflection of you – your history, your relationships, your style, your elegance and is honored to have the opportunity to help you showcase your flair in a unique and exquisite way.


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