With its origins dating back to the 1920s, statement rings – or “cocktail rings” as they were more seditiously known – were, initially, less of a finger adornment and more of a handy gesture of Prohibition disapproval that wearers wore to signal their lack of solidarity with the total teetotalness that was imposed across the US from 1920 to 1933.
At a time when a G&T was seen as the crystal meth of the day, speakeasies – discreet dive bars – were the places to be seen at (except by the authorities) with this judiciously-displayed jewellery a covert sign that the wearer was an off-the-grid quaffer, one of a clandestine crew of high-fashion imbibers.
Typically sported on the right hand, the cocktail ring was clearly no wedding band and had usually been bought by the bearer herself, a convention that lives on to this day.
Many of the rings boasted an unusually high setting, so as to ensure an unmissable sparkle, something further enhanced by the use of multifaceted stones. Their latter-day descendants range from the bold to the beautiful, taking in bling-worthy conversation starters en route. So, why not pay tribute to the secret society of suave soave lovers of yesteryears with a clandestine commemoration of top-secret tippling at its very finest?
Text: Hira Desai