By the 1950s, the world had started to move beyond the trauma imposed on many different markets from World War II, including the jewelry trade. Metals like platinum which had been scarce during the war were once again available, and white metals including platinum and white gold became the popular choice for 1950s engagement ring styles. This is still a popular choice for engagement rings today because diamonds reflect better in white metals than yellow making a lower grade diamond have the preferred appearance of a lower color. This along with a greater access to diamonds influenced engagement ring styles in the 50s.
Popular 1950s Stylistic Elements
Stylistic elements found in engagement rings from the 1950s include engravings or braid details in the setting. They also featured progressively larger stones as well. One of the most popular styles representative of the 50s were engagement rings featuring a large center diamond nestled among symmetrical smaller diamonds or baguettes, on either side of it. Popular cuts included round cuts, Asscher cuts, emerald Cuts and marquise Cuts. The diamond’s cut is what gives it the ability to reflect light.
The 50s enjoyed the excitement of being a decade with its own royal wedding when Hollywood star Grace Kelly, whose dress inspired Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, married Prince Rainer of Monaco. She wore a 10.15 karat Cartier emerald cut solitaire engagement ring. If you think that’s big, Elizabeth Taylor was given a 29.4 karat emerald cut Cartier engagement ring by Mike Todd. But while these rings where topics of conversation, one of the biggest engagement/wedding band trends of the ‘50s still going on today was started by Hollywood’s Audrey Hepburn − stackable rings. Her fiancé Mel Ferrer presented her with three rings, a baguette cut white gold eternity band along with two wedding bands, one yellow gold and the other rose gold. He figured she could mix and match them to suit her mood and outfit.
The fun thing about engagement rings of the 1950s is that many of the ring trends popular then are still popular today. So if you’d like to wear a vintage ring that looks current or rather buy a vintage-inspired ring, the 50s offer a nice selection with options you’re sure to love.