The YouTube Channel MODE, which is devoted to fashion, has been running a fashion history series called “100 Years of Fashion.” Previous installments have covered such topics as men’s and women’s fashions, New Year’s celebration attire and women’s exercise clothing. (The poor girl from 1910 had to jump rope while wearing a long dress.)
The latest installment is about engagement rings, and the chief constant is that engagement rings always seem to need a solitaire diamond Different decades, however, had different ways of showing off that diamond.
Engagement rings are traditionally made of platinum or gold. White gold was introduced in the 1920s, and first became popular in the 1940s. In some decades, the ring is a plain band; in other it is more elaborate. Engagement rings during the 1920s and 30s, for instance, showed an Art Deco influence with a lot of geometric patterns. The 1950s ring is made of wrought gold. The 70s ring is a very thick band that looks like it was cut into two rings when seen from the top.
Another change seen over the decades is the number and placement of smaller diamonds. Some rings, like the 1960s and 1980s rings have a single big diamond, while others have a number of smaller stones. The 1990s ring has a pair of smaller, triangular diamonds flanking the main stone. The 21st century rings both have a line of diamonds going around the whole ring.
For the first half of the 20th century, diamonds were typically round solitaires. In the 1960s, other cuts started to become popular. Diamonds could be heart-shaped, pear-shaped, emerald-cut or marquise. Emerald-cut diamonds are square, while marquise diamonds are oval. Other types of cuts became popular during subsequent decades.
The 21st century brought a change in the color of diamonds. Throughout the 20th century, diamonds were always clear. The2010s saw the rise of colored diamonds; the ring from that decade has a pale yellow diamond.