Cockail Rings from AA Thornton Jewellers, Kettering

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This chunky sea blue topaz ring set with small diamonds on the shoulders – it is definitely a ‘me ‘ring! £420

The ‘Cocktail’ ring is a statement jewel like no other and its long history is an interesting one with a distinctly American flair!

Reference: CITM1300
9ct rose gold is used again and compliments this pretty pink morganite and diamond cluster ring £430

If we go back to the American Prohibition era of the 1920’s it was a time where alcohol was banned and people held parties in secret. The problem was that the taste of the bootleg alcohol around at that time was awful, so, to disguise this it was mixed with other ingredients often brightly coloured. The cocktail drink had arrived.

Reference: CITM1301
These two gold rings are striking enough that no diamonds are needed. The one set with a Brazilian garnet is £245, whilst the London blue topaz is £260

At the same time the role of women in society was changing which was reflected in their fashions. Rings with large bright stones reflecting the colours of the drinks they were illegally enjoying became popular and were worn by women as a symbol of their rebellion. So these rings became known as cocktail rings.

Reference: CITM1302
9ct gold green amethyst & diamond ring £375

These rings hit the height of popularity in the 1940’s and 50’s, were out of vogue in the 60’s and 70’s, but made a comeback in the 80’s through to today. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex wore a stunning aquamarine cocktail ring at her wedding to Prince Harry.

Reference: CITM1303
The depth of colour in this aquamarine is outstanding and set with diamonds into an 18ct gold ring certainly makes a statement £2,695

Moving onto the 1930’s when the Prohibition has lifted, cocktail parties were then known as dinner parties and bright coloured gemstone rings took centre stage. Garnets, aquamarines or emeralds accompanied by small diamonds were the ultimate accessory.

Reference: CITM1304
Second hand 9ct white gold garnet & diamond Ring £250

The tradition of wearing the cocktail ring on the right hand was a way of showing off a women’s independence and the ability to buy things for themselves. It was to make it clear that the ring was not an engagement ring!

Reference: CITM1305
18ct white gold ruby & diamond cluster ring £2,055

The independence in women’s attitudes was highlighted in 2003 when De Beers launched its ‘Raise your Right Hand ‘campaign targeting women to buy a diamond ring for themselves. With catch lines such as ‘your left hand rocks the cradle. Your right hand rules the world’ the campaign became a huge succes.

Reference: CITM1306
18ct white gold sapphire & diamond multi cluster ring £2,380

In the UK and US when a ring is worn on the left hand this tends to be earmarked for love and commitment and represents ‘we’ whereas wearing on the right hand says ‘me’.

Reference: CITM1307
Today’s designers use interesting mixes of stones - green and purple amethysts with lemon quartz in this triple nugget ring. Colour is also added by setting the stones in rose gold. £169

Reference: CITM1308
AA Thornton
1-7 High Street
NN16 8ST
01536 68 44 60
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