Ring With Angel Wings – Fashions for rings come and go just as styles come and go for hats and clothes. From the early18th century, the anger was for quite elaborate rings encrusted with diamonds and gemstones, whilst seed pearl and Scottish silver were popular during the latter Victorian era. During the 20th century, ring styles encompassed the look of virtually every Victorian era, as well as contemporary styles. This was partly because of custom-made rings getting increasingly affordable via:
- Brand new ring making techniques (for instance, computer aided design)
- more choice in ring alloys and precious stones
- the revolutionary facility of online shopping.
In the 21st century, consumers have more choice than ever before, but tendencies set (or at least influenced) by business advertising or by celebrity trend have included some noticeable new ones. Have a peek at some of the top (ancient) 21st century ring tendencies below.
Engagement Rings for Men
The trend for men’s engagement rings first became popular in the late 20th century mainly in the united states. Yet, style trends that begin in the united states have a propensity to spread globally, so it surely will not be a surprise if increasing numbers of men in the western world wear engagement rings. Engagement rings for men tend to be bought either to match the ring worn by their fiance or to suit their individual style/ lifestyle. The footballer, David Beckham, famously wore a matching diamond-encrusted engagement ring given to him by his then fiance, Victoria (nee Adams) back in 1998. This celebrity couple are beautifully obsessed with style and consumerism and also have been credited with establishing many high-profile style trends for haircuts, outfits, clothes lines, perfumes and jewelry.
Right Hand Rings
From the early 20th century, expensive diamond rings were presented to women to seal their engagements and were regarded not only as trendy pieces of jewelry, but as clear statements of aim. This was due partly to women needing a fiscal commitment as opposed to simply a token of love in a climate of loosening morals, but also because of highly successful marketing by De Beers. The trend of presenting diamond engagement rings became more than a trend, it became a tradition.
In the 21st century, most (professional) women are staying either single or marrying later in life. Recognising the ‘gap’ in the diamond ring market, De Beers again were foremost in creating a new trend (soon-to-be tradition) of right hand rings. The idea behind the rings being the unmarried women did not have to ‘miss out’ on owning and wearing lovely diamond rings. These rings are marketed at women as opposed to men appealing not only for their want for exquisite jewelry, but also for their interest in building a statement of personal choice and style. Right hand rings are generally designed to be worn on an everyday basis by non-affianced women on the middle or ring finger of the ideal hand (the opposite hand into participation ring fingers). With no set ‘design’, right hand rings can be made to suit any design and almost any budget.
Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Rings
With the royal wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales into Catherine Middleton at April 2011, the trend for sapphire and diamond engagement rings came into its own again. The ring belonged to William’s famed mother, Princess Diana and if she first wore it in 1981, there was a high demand for reproduction rings. Princess Diana picked the ring herself and detractors at the time were somewhat critical of a ring choice which ‘anyone could purchase’. (Anyone with $60,000 that is.) When William’s choice of engagement ring was unveiled, asks for comparable rings were being received by jewelers across the globe within minutes. Replicas cost mostly $1,000 to $2,500 with 1 or 2-carat accredited sapphires surrounded by tiny diamonds (also put in 18-carat white gold). Sapphires are rarer than diamonds, but are far less expensive because market demand is lower – although who knows, sapphires can become the rock of the 21st century!