pair of wedding bands

Engagement Ring Trends by the Decade

Engagement ring styles through the decades have changed and grown. Luckily, like with fashion, vintage styles are starting to come back in trend. Here is a brief tour of what has been in style for engagement rings over the past century.

1920s Engagement Rings

Thanks to the Art Deco movement, rings that had sharp lines and shapes were popular during the 1920s. The biggest trends included emerald cut center stones, with more extravagant rings using diamond halos.

1930s Engagement Rings

After the boxy and clunky Art Deco period of the 20s, the 30s went with fine details. Wedding rings went with thin curved bands in the shape of ribbons or bows. This led to intricate band styles that were delicate and complex.

Due to the Great Depression, not all wedding rings had diamond center stones. These rings were more likely to have metal detailing and be thinner than wedding bands from other decades.

1940s Engagement Rings

With the war efforts taking most of the platinum, the majority of rings during this decade were made from gold and silver. It was also in the 40s that engagement rings, which had almost died out as a tradition, rebounded and became a staple in relationships.

Due to some heavy marketing, diamonds became the most popular stone considered for an engagement ring. Near the end of the 40s, there was a push for big, bold, and stunning engagement rings with a wide variety of cuts and shapes.

1950s Engagement Rings

Large solitaire rings were the fashion of the 1950s. In some cases, there would be small decorations of diamonds in the bands, but the focus around the ring was all about the large center diamond. There was also some popularity in accenting the center stone with smaller symmetrically placed diamonds on the sides.

1960s Engagement Rings

With the culture changing, ring styles changed as well. Atypical, custom and very unique rings became widely accepted. Colored gemstones and other precious and even semi-precious gems came to their height in the 60s, with emerald and ruby rings becoming more popular.

1970s Engagement Rings

The 70s were when the princess and emerald cut diamond made their mark. With those modern diamond shapes came new setting styles. A big movement during this time was creating matching wedding band and engagement ring sets.

1980s Engagement Rings

Fancy-cut diamonds, which means a diamond with a lot of facets, became popular in the 80s. Elaborate shapes like pear and cushion cut diamond rings became popular.

The most iconic and influential ring of the entire decade was Princess Diana’s large oval sapphire set in a diamond halo. It single-handedly changed the expectations of what an engagement ring could look like and set off a series of reproductions and variations. This gave a kick to emeralds, rubies, and sapphires being used as part of an engagement ring.

1990s Engagement Rings

The yellow gold of the 80s gave way to silver, platinum, and white gold. The cut that everyone was after was a marquise-cut diamond. This focused on minimalist style while still creating eye-catching lines and brilliance.

2000s Engagement Rings

With the turn of the century, vintage designs became popular with princess cut coming back into fashion. The two biggest trends of the new century were solitaire and three stones designs.

2010s Engagement Rings

Thanks again to the royal family, and the engagement of Kate Middleton and Prince William, colored stones grew in popularity. In addition to that, pavé bands and cushion-cut diamonds grew in popularity.

Another big trend was stackable bands. This gave the chance to mix metals and have a more flexible and versatile ring that could be flashy and formal when needed, but also functional and minimal.

2020s Engagement Rings

The biggest trend right now in rings is elongated cuts for central diamonds. This includes oval, emerald, elongated cushion, and pear cuts.

Another big trend that is slowly growing is super-skinny bands. Thin, delicate bands help make it possible to stack and style with other rings and also lets the center stone pop more. If a band is thicker, most have smaller detail work like hidden halo designs and pavé settings.

Find Your Ring With Daniel’s Jewelers

Though engagement ring trends by the decade have changed, as long as you are happy with your ring, these trends don’t matter. Daniel’s Jewelers has a wide selection of rings that can fit your tastes no matter if you’re looking for a contemporary ring or a vintage style and cut. Start your credit application to get pre-approved for your dream engagement ring.

← Back to articles list