Ever wonder how items get named? When it comes to jewelry many things just make sense…a wedding band, an engagement ring or a charm bracelet. But what about the so awesome and fabulously designed cocktail ring?
The cocktail ring is a true piece of Americana. By the late 1700’s the majority of the East Coast had been settled and those hard drinking pioneers were making their way out to the West Coast and Pacific Northwest. Around 1820 a moral revival was beginning to sweep the nation with demon rum being one of the biggest concerns. The following century saw a rise of temperance groups alongside evangelical Protestantism both of which were extremely vocal in their views on the evils of alcohol.
When the United States became involved in the First World War a temporary ban was put on alcohol production in order to save grain for nutritional needs. In 1920 the 18th Amendment went into effect prohibiting the making, moving and selling of intoxicating liquors. The following 13 years, until 1933 when the Amendment was repealed, was known as the era of Prohibition.
Now that your daily history lesson is complete, I’m sure you’re wondering what all this has to do with the incredibly stunning cocktail ring. Prohibition did nothing more than cause our government to lose a great deal of taxable income while driving the sale of liquor underground. Speakeasies began opening to handle the demand for both a place where people could get a drink and also socialize.
These underground cocktail parties became all the rage with both men and women dressing up in their best evening wear. Keep in mind this was at the height of the flapper era and flamboyant attire was the cat’s meow. Accessories had to be as big and bold as the short tasseled skirts and gaudy feathered headdresses; hence, the introduction of the cocktail ring. This was also the age of social status based on appearance and sparkling oversized cocktail rings with lots of bling fulfilled that.
Then during the depression cocktail rings were hidden in the back of the jewelry box (or pawned to feed the kids) but when World War II ended and America was once again on the road to prosperity, cocktail rings made a second appearance.
Most cocktail rings have a large center stone surrounded by smaller diamonds or other colored gemstones but there are no hard fast rules as to what defines this type of ring. Creatively, a cocktail ring can be anything you want; just remember it needs to be flashy, funky and fun! Have a really cool idea for a personalized cocktail ring? Let’s talk!