What are Cocktail Rings?

What are Cocktail Rings

What are cocktail rings? Cocktail rings are definitely not a term you hear thrown around in everyday conversation or even mainstream retail brands, at least nowadays.

So what are cocktail rings? Today, we are doing a deep dive into the details and history in order to find out.

 What Are Cocktail Rings?

Delicin Jewelry Rhodium Plated Cubic Zirconia Wide Band Cocktail Ring
Delicin Cocktail Ring | Source: Amazon

Cocktail rings are essentially another word for statement rings. Typically adorned with a large stone in the center, made from ruby, amethyst, emerald, or diamond, cocktail rings are meant to appear extravagant.

With all the sleek lines and structured shapes of traditional cocktail wear, a statement piece can break things up and add some movement and personality. If attracting attention at the party is your goal, cocktail rings will definitely help you succeed.

Cocktail rings also come in a variety of colors and sizes and are usually meant to be worn for formal events.

Cocktail Rings History

Statement rings have existed since ancient civilizations. However, the concept of the cocktail ring was created alongside the cocktail party in the late 1910s and throughout the 1920s.

Ironically, when the United States, had started its decade of prohibition in 1920, cocktail parties and cocktails in general, were rising in popularity across North America and Europe. Aside from showing wealth, the cocktail ring was meant to be a unique part of the wearer’s ensemble, something that distinctly separated the wearer from other attendees.

When cocktail rings came to be associated with the cocktail hour, it was during a time where guests would retire to the parlor in their finest evening gowns to sip on alcoholic creations and socialize. Today, however, cocktail rings aren’t just limited to parties.

In fact, cocktail rings can be worn as a whimsical and imaginative accessory for any occasion, from going out with friends to a café, to strutting your stuff in a work interview.

How to Wear a Cocktail Ring?

925 Sterling Silver Shiny Full Diamond Ring Three Rows Cubic Zirconia Cocktail Rings CZ Diamond Multi Row Ring Eternity Engagement Wedding Band Ring for Women TZ.35 (US Code 6)
Source: Amazon

Wearing a cocktail ring is something fun for any occasion, but there are some ground rules. For instance, cocktail rings should be worn on the third or fourth finger of the right hand.

This avoids any confusion about the ring’s purpose. Of course, the “proper” way to wear one is really just a recommendation.

However, when it comes to styling, pair it with a classic little black dress to really make the ring pop. If you want a dress or suit with a bit more of a statement color, you can either coordinate the stone to the clothing or keep the stone to a neutral, such as white diamonds.

Cocktail Ring Settings

Like all rings, there are several different standard settings. These settings are referred to as Solitaire, Bezel, Prong, Pave, Channel, 3-Stone, Tension, Cluster, Halo.

A pave setting is a great option as it literally paves a miniature road of diamonds onto the ring. Pave settings can hold more than 80 stones at a time.

A prong setting also works since the height of the prongs can be adjusted, making each stone on the ring stand out at a different height.

Channel settings, which are multiple stones stacked in rows, can also work great in a cocktail ring, since the baguette and rectangular shapes the stones create are often raised from the ring and stand out. There is also the vintage setting for cocktail rings, which often accentuates more detail in the band itself and have crown style prongs.

Finally, there’s also a two-tone metal setting that combines silver and gold.

Can You Wear a Cocktail Ring Everyday?

925 Sterling Silver Full Diamond Ring Flower Citrine Ring Square Cut 3Ct Cubic Zirconia Promise Rings CZ Yellow Gem Cocktail Rings Eternity Engagement Wedding Band Ring for Women W.22 (US Code 8)
Source: Amazon

Cocktail rings aren’t technically limited to just one occasion. Ultimately, cocktail rings are a method of self-expression that can compliment not just your outfit, but your personality.

As long as the ring is styled properly, a cocktail ring can be wearable on an everyday basis. However, keep in mind that for some wearers, cocktail rings can be inconvenient and even dangerous if worn every day.

Cocktail rings are typically heavier and can weigh someone’s finger down, making it painful to wear. The problem is particularly true for those with smaller bone structures. So yes, you can still wear them everyday, but you may want to pace yourself.

Are Cocktail Rings in Style?

Statement rings go in and out of style, but that’s typically all of statement jewelry as a whole. Currently, there is a resurgence of larger pieces among fashion influencers, although it’s being marketed with more quirky and playful characteristics.

Think of children’s princess jewelry and all the colorful, jewel tone memories. Although that’s currently a trend, the classic white diamond or neutral toned cocktail rings will remain timeless.

A smaller channel setting is a great classic option. Typically, the more sleek and less bulky the appearance of the ring, the more trend cycles it can be worn.

Are Cocktail Rings Tacky?

TZ Way Vintage 925 Sterling Silver Emerald Ring Cocktail Rings Oval Cut Green Gem Cubic Zirconia Anniversary Promise Ring CZ 3-Stone Eternity Engagement Wedding Band Ring for Women (Ruby, US Code 8)
Source: Amazon

There are numerous examples of tacky cocktail rings available. You should look at the color of the ring, the size of the band, and the surrounding stones to avoid making the ring look cheap.

If the color is bright and doesn’t necessarily go with your skin tone, such as turquoise, the ring might look off. Color to skin tone mismatches aren’t very common, but picking out a stone color that brings out your features does make a difference.

Furthermore, cocktail rings with too many stones cannot only be heavy and inconvenient to wear, they can also be harder to style and with the wrong outfit, can appear tacky.

Additionally, make sure the size of the ring doesn’t overpower the hand. The larger the ring, the more likely it is to weigh the hand down visually.

If the ring covers the bottom of your knuckles, don’t wear it. Finally, avoid cubic zirconia, which is often used as a diamond replacement. While cubic zirconia is convincing in small doses, the bigger the stone, the more obvious and tacky it will look.

Can You Wear Cocktail Rings During the Day?

You can definitely wear cocktail rings during the day!

Cocktail rings are meant to be shown off, day or night. When you’re picking out a ring for the day, make sure to look at the style of the ring.

Of course, it’s perfectly fine to wear what you want, but if you want a cocktail ring that’s more appropriate for the work week, check the size of the stones and the band.

We recommend that a cocktail ring for the day has a moderately sized stone. Additionally, styles such as two-tone and paved are typically very big and even hazardous when you’re going about your day.

Cocktail rings weren’t necessarily meant to withstand a hectic day routine. A great option that’s suitable for the daytime is a crystal flower cocktail ring, which is playful, more moderately sized, and easily dressed up or down.

How to Wear Cocktail Rings During the Day?

TZ Way 925 Sterling Silver Shiny Full Diamond Ring 18K Gold Cocktail Rings Heart Cut Pink Cubic Zirconia Promise CZ Eternity Engagement Wedding Band for Women TZ.117 (US Code 6)
Source: Amazon

There are several ways to style cocktail rings for the day. The key is balancing the outfit to best compliment the ring.

As previously stated, it’s recommended to wear more moderately sized cocktail rings in the daytime. If the stone on your cocktail ring is a jewel tone, try matching at least one piece of your clothing to the same or similar color.

For daywear, pair it with a blazer and jeans, which works for casual office days too. You can also keep the rest of your jewelry to a minimum since having a cocktail ring on is more than enough of a statement, plus you don’t want to overcrowd the hand.

For a day to night cocktail ring, try a pearl or a more neutral colored stone, such as light pink, chocolate brown, or black. These options can allow you the freedom to keep your outfit elegant and sleek without having to do too much coordination.

When to Wear a Cocktail Ring?

By now you probably know there ultimately isn’t a right or wrong time to wear a cocktail ring. If you’re a traditionalist though, cocktail rings are meant to be worn during semi-formal and formal occasions.

Obviously, the first occasion that comes to mind would be a cocktail party, but you could also wear one to the opera, ballet, a dinner party, wedding receptions, or a runway event during fashion week.

Vintage cocktail rings are designated for the evening and should be honored with equally beautiful evening attire. Cocktail rings harken back to a time of elegance, when people dressed up more frequently.

So although there are definitely ways to wear your cocktail rings all the time, you’re always in the right when wearing them for a special evening occasion.


When it comes to answering the question, “what are cocktail rings?”

There’s a lot to say. Cocktail rings are a fantastic way to elevate an outfit, day or night.

From their bedazzled history, to more modernized takes, this ring is always sure to make a comeback. Picking out one that’s right for you is a process, so be sure to thoroughly look at your options, do some research, and last but not least, wear a ring that makes you feel like the standout party guest of the season.

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