100 Years of Engagement Ring Styles: A Journey Through Time

100 Years of Engagement Ring Styles: A Journey Through Time


Engagement rings have long been a symbol of love and commitment. Over the last century, these symbols of devotion have evolved in style, design, and significance. The engagement ring has transformed from a simple band into a breathtaking piece of jewelry that represents the unique love story of each couple. Join us on a journey through time as we explore the fascinating history of engagement ring styles over the past 100 years.

The Early 20th Century: The Classic Solitaire

At the beginning of the 20th century, engagement rings were relatively simple in design. The classic solitaire style emerged as the most popular choice. A solitary diamond, typically a round or old European cut, was set in a plain platinum or white gold band. This minimalist approach allowed the focus to remain on the center stone, symbolizing the purity and eternal love of the couple.

The Roaring Twenties: Art Deco Elegance

The 1920s brought with them the Art Deco movement, characterized by geometric patterns, bold colors, and a fascination with all things exotic. Engagement ring styles reflected this era with intricate and ornate designs. Square and rectangular-cut diamonds became popular, and settings incorporated filigree, milgrain, and colorful gemstones. The Art Deco engagement ring was a symbol of opulence and prosperity during a time of significant cultural change.

The Nifty Fifties: A Return to Tradition

After the extravagance of the Art Deco era, the 1950s saw a return to more traditional engagement ring styles. The iconic round-cut diamond regained its popularity, and platinum or white gold bands remained the preferred choice. The simplicity of the solitaire ring made a comeback, emphasizing the timeless quality of love and commitment. The 1950s engagement ring was a reflection of post-war stability and the desire for a classic, enduring love.

The Swinging Sixties: Alternative Gemstones

The 1960s were a time of revolution and change, and engagement ring styles were no exception. Couples began to experiment with alternative gemstones like sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. These colorful stones symbolized individuality and a departure from tradition. Designs also became more creative, incorporating unique shapes and settings, breaking away from the classic solitaire diamond.

The Groovy Seventies: Bohemian Chic

The 1970s were characterized by a free-spirited and bohemian culture. Engagement rings of this era often featured organic and nature-inspired designs. Yellow gold bands gained popularity, and settings incorporated intricate patterns and detailed motifs, such as flowers and leaves. The engagement ring became a symbol of the couple's connection to nature and a rejection of conventional norms.

The Elegant Eighties: Bold and Extravagant

The 1980s were known for excess, and engagement ring styles of this era reflected that. Large, bold designs with oversized diamonds and gemstones became fashionable. Yellow gold remained a favorite, but it was often paired with platinum for a striking two-tone effect. The 1980s engagement ring was a symbol of opulence, wealth, and the desire to make a statement.

The 1990s: Modern Minimalism

As the 1990s rolled in, engagement ring styles took a sharp turn towards minimalism. The classic solitaire returned with a renewed focus on simplicity and elegance. Platinum and white gold were the metals of choice, and diamonds were typically round or princess cut. The 1990s engagement ring represented a return to the basics, emphasizing the enduring beauty of a timeless commitment.

The New Millennium: A Blend of Styles

The turn of the century brought with it a diverse mix of engagement ring styles. Couples now had the freedom to choose from a wide range of designs, materials, and gemstones. Vintage and antique rings from previous eras gained popularity, showcasing a desire for timeless elegance. Customization became a key trend, allowing couples to craft unique rings that told their personal love story.

Today: A Personalized Symbol of Love

In the 21st century, engagement ring styles are more diverse than ever before. The classic solitaire remains a timeless choice, but customization and personalization are at the forefront. Couples can choose the perfect diamond or gemstone, select their preferred metal, and even design their own unique settings. Vintage and heirloom rings continue to hold sentimental value, while modern designs allow for creativity and self-expression.


Over the past 100 years, engagement ring styles have evolved and adapted to the changing tastes, values, and desires of each generation. From the classic solitaire of the early 20th century to the extravagant designs of the 1980s and the personalized rings of today, engagement rings have always symbolized love and commitment.

As we look back on the journey through time, we see that engagement rings are not merely pieces of jewelry but reflections of the cultural, social, and personal contexts of their eras. Each ring tells a unique love story, representing the enduring nature of human connection and the changing landscape of romance.

In the end, the engagement ring serves as a testament to the beauty of love and the ever-evolving styles that capture its essence. Whether classic or contemporary, ornate or minimalistic, engagement rings continue to symbolize the eternal promise of two people in love, and they will undoubtedly continue to do so in the years to come.

At Cut Fine Jewelers, we're passionate about helping you explore these and other options to find the perfect setting for your engagement ring. Discover the possibilities with us! Your perfect ring is waiting. Contact us today or make an appointment.