Think All Engagement Rings Were Made Equal? Here’s 100 Years Of Them For You To Marvel At

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • One thousand times yes to all of these, please

    Even the most cynical and unromantic of you must admit that looking at engagement rings – the good, the bad and the garish is a lot of fun. So you can imagine our sheer joy at this video we stumbled upon showing 100 years of engagement rings.

    How To Find The Perfect Engagement Ring

    The video, created by Mode, starts in the 1910s, with a simple classic ‘brilliant cut’ diamond, before heading into the twenties, where the design is distinctly less girly and goes all out to celebrate the art deco styles of the period.
    The 1930s style ring looks back at the Victorian era, embracing the intricacies and flair of the rings at the period, and by the time we reach the 1940s, the design, although elaborate, reflects the hardships of the second World War. During this time, platinum was scarce due to it being used in the war effort, so couples had to downgrade to cheaper precious metals, and add some glam with the design. 
    In the 1950s the idea of the solitaire rings started to come into prominence, thanks to the hugely influential De Beers campaign, and although the design in the video is slightly bolder than most rings of the time, it certainly does reference the mid century fashion. The 1960’s ring however, illustrates how the design had become a firm favourite by then, and how couples had stared to embrace the ‘less is more’ way of thinking when choosing a style. 
    Nothing screams the 1970s more than the seventies ring. It’s a mishmash of styles and completely diamond glad. Definitely a ring you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of during a fight.
    Despite Diana bringing sapphires into engagement ring trends during the Eighties, the decade also once again embraced a much simpler ring, with women turning away from the types of rings they’d seen on their mums and grandmas, opting for princess cuts. This trend followed through into the 90s, and coming out the recession and into more prosperous times allowed couples to bling their rings up a bit more, although trends of the time have still kept them fairly simple. 
    And then we reach this century, where rings are once again becoming bolder and blingier. While it’s becoming increasingly common for brides to opt for a vintage style these days, the prevailing look is diamond-clad with just slight references to decades gone by.

    Reading now