Statement rings through the history: from earliest jewelry pieces to modern fashion rings designers and trends

What are Statement Rings?

Statement rings, or cocktail rings, are terms commonly applied to large, right-hand rings that draw lots of attention and are simply fun to wear. Such jewelry is usually bold and unique in design, often used to help express yourself. A statement or cocktail rings have been named so for a reason - their boldness creates a strong statement about your personality and style. Such rings are bigger and chunkier than most other kinds, standing out in their beauty and capacity to share a deeper meaning of your inner strength, all while complementing your style. 

History of Statement Rings

Some of the earliest statement jewelry pieces were found in Egypt. It is known that thick, cylindrical rings were prevalent in Egyptian jewelry boxes. Author Mila Contini notes that “many modern jewels are imitations of antique trinkets that belonged to distinguished princesses.” So every time you treat yourself to a bold piece of jewelry you are keeping ancient traditions alive (How cool is that?).  By the way, the Romans preferred rings over any other jewelry. Their rings were made with heavy gemstones for the winter season and more delicate materials for the summer. 


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While massive rings with huge gemstones have been worn by the royals and the wealthy for centuries, it wasn’t until the middle of the twentieth century that statement jewelry became affordable and acceptable for most women.

It is believed that the trend of statement rings has started in the United States and Canada in the 1920s. Women had gradually gained their right to vote and to work outside their households, becoming unstoppable in their chase for freedom. Cocktail rings became popular during the prohibition period. Those days many women attended secret glamorous parties. They would sit at a bar slowly sipping their cocktails, wearing eye-catching statement rings for all to see. It was their way to express their long-awaited independence. The cocktail ring was a sexy symbol of freedom. In the follow-up years, the statement ring became an inevitable fashion accessory to be showcased by women in all its style sovereignty.

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Coco Chanel started to design her elaborate jewelry in the 1920s, using crystal or colored glass in varying sizes, popularizing the concept of “costume jewelry”. Designer Paco Rabanne fully embraced statement jewelry, experimenting with cheap materials like plastic and the use of bright colors. He said, “I made jewelry for the alternative side of women’s personality, for their madness.”


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Thus it should be no surprise that 90 years onward fashion and jewelry trends are once again focusing on statement rings. Today, chunky statement jewelry, including bold statement rings or designer cocktail rings, has made one of the strongest comebacks in fashion history and is a trend in the jewelry world. Bohemian statement rings are amongst the most popular fashion jewelry accessories that are affordable and, of course, so much fun to wear!


5 Women’s Fashion Designer Rings you will fall in love with 

1. Yves Saint Laurent Artistic Oval  Ring 

This Yves Saint Laurent oval lapis ring is probably one of the most famous statement rings. This is such a well-known statement piece, worn by many celebrities around the world. Its details are absolutely stunning. Adding fun and elegant pop of color to any wardrobe, this ring is available in a great variety of colors to choose from. 


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2. Alexis Bittar Large Orbiting Ring

This sparkling orbit ring will add a sculptural opulence to any look. The designer ring features a massive labradorite stone, which is orbited like a planet by a constellation of Swarovski crystals. For jewelry lovers who love all things sparkle, this fashion ring will make a stunning style accent.


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3. Gucci Lion Head ring

One of the world’s leading luxury labels, Gucci got its start as a small leather-goods studio in Florence, Italy about one hundred years ago. The Lion Head cocktail ring by Gucci features an aged gold finish and symbolizes in its style the wilderness and power within fashion. And for those who love jewelry featuring stones, there are different options adorning Swarovski crystals in a variety of colors.

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4. Lucifer Vir Honestus Peticolo Pearl Ring

Named after the first medieval Milanese goldsmith, Lucifer Vir Honestus brings Italian heritage design into the modern age. This jewelry designer, as well as Anat Kaplan, the artist of Okean Collection rings, is referencing the 15th-century art of wax casting.

The technique showcases organic metalwork that frames gorgeous stones, creating hand-sculpted pieces of art. The Peticolo Pearl Ring is a true statement piece regardless of the season and fashion trends.

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5. Arthur King Baroque South Sea Pearl, Diamond and Gold Ring

While vintage pieces deserve an entire article of their own, we simply can’t not mention this designer and his statement pieces that seduce and get us to fall in love with designer jewelry all over again. Arthur King was a master goldsmith of the 1960s and 1970s using the lost wax casting technique to set baroque pearls, raw gems, and colored diamonds in naturalistic forms. One of our most favorite rings from his collection is the Baroque South Sea Pearl, the ring which embraces an incredible pearl in its delicately intertwined golden branches.


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How to Wear Statement Rings?

Traditionally, a statement ring, or a cocktail ring, is meant to be worn on the right hand, either on the ring or middle finger, not to take the focus away from the wedding ring on the left hand. But women aren’t meant to be bound by restrictions. They went on to wearing statement rings on both hands and multiple fingers. We love this trend and believe that the many ways you can combine your rings make for new opportunities to express yourself. These days there are no standard rules on how to wear Statement Rings. Keep the outfit and the occasion in mind while wearing your statement rings and showcase your bold style in any way you desire.


5 Statement Rings Styling Guidelines

1. Even though statement jewelry is designed to stand out and attract attention, don’t go for a piece that is uncomfortable to wear or one that may conflict with the rest of your accessories due to a large size. Start with fashion rings with designs that speak to you, fit you well, and are medium or small in size.

2. Take care of your statement jewelry. Store your cocktail rings separately, wrapped in a soft cloth. Gold-plated fashion rings need to be periodically cleaned. To clean your ring, just gently wipe the metal surface with a soft cloth. But keep in mind that excessive polishing may rub off or scratch the plating.

Avoid direct contact with lotions, perfumes, and harsh soaps. Always remove your jewelry before swimming, working out, bathing and showering.  Excessive light, heat or moisture will shorten the lifetime of the ring.

3. If you’re not planning to wear your statement rings very often, consider buying fashion rings rather than fine rings. Statement rings from local jewelry designers and sustainable jewelry brands can be a great alternative to fine jewelry made with precious metals and gemstones.

4. Find your balance and harmony when stacking multiple rings at once. Don’t wear too many chunky rings together as they might bring heaviness to your entire look. Combining just one or two cocktail rings with a couple of finer bands is a great, simple way to keep your look stylish.

5. If your hands are on the smaller and more delicate side, make sure to keep in mind that bigger rings don't always complement your look. Adorn your hands with small-to-medium statement rings for a harmonious appearance. And for those whose hands are bigger, you can take advantage of your hand size and wear bold, chunky rings, making a statement and showing your personal empowering message. 


We can enjoy today’s statement jewelry in all its wonderful variety of great and bold designs, incorporating many elements from the past decades. The Okéan Collection rings are created to help your internal goddess to rise, your personal powers to recharge, and your positive impact on this world to grow every time you purchase a ring, as you make a real difference and help clear oceans from plastic pollution.