An engagement ring is quite possibly the most symbolic piece of jewelry that people with either gift or be gifted. It’s the symbol of a promise and intention. The modern diamond engagement ring can be traced back to De Beers’ 1947 “Diamonds are forever” campaign. This holiday season, I found myself wondering about what engagement ring styles were popular in the 1990s. Here’s the styles and cuts I found repeating over an over in conversations around 90s engagement rings.
Before I jump in, I want to preface this post with I am but a jewelry amateur interested in what every day folks were wearing as engagement rings. I’m not a jewelry expert, so I may get some terms wrong. A lot of this post is also my opinion. Also, while we’re here, this post may contain affiliate links or sponsored links. This means if you click on a link, I may get paid if you make a purchase. All sources will be linked at the end!
What’s in this post
You can’t talk about 1990s engagement rings without talking about the 1980s
The deeper I get into 90s nostalgia, the more I take note that most of the early to mid 1990s was a hangover from the opulence and gaudiness of the 1980s. And that goes for engagement rings as well. 1980s engagement rings were (with love) quite a…moment. Personally, the 1980s look is not for me, especially the late 1980s.
At best, we can call these rings bold and glamorous, as With Clarity said in an article on engagement ring trends from the 1980s. At worst, we can call these rings over the top and just way to much, as I say to myself in my head. Take it or leave it, the 1980s were, well, the 80s. Popular styles included chunky gold bands with sometimes cascading diamond and other precious gemstone designs. Think Princess Diana meets . . . someone who wanted something really unique and totally them.
Shop 1980s style engagement rings
Early and Mid 90s Styles and Cuts
It’s no surprise then that the early to mid 90s were marked by simplistic designs. Most notably, trends returned to white and platinum goal after yellow gold had its moment. Solitaire diamonds were popular, especially oval cut diamonds.
Many sources credit the grunge movement as the source of the backlash against the popular 1980s engagement ring styles. That’s certainly possible since the early 90s as a whole was a recovery period from the 1980s.
For those still clinging to the 1980s, marquise-cut or pear cut diamonds with baguettes were also popular in the early 90s. Some also still held onto the chunky yellow gold bands.
Shop early 90s engagement rings
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Mid to Late 90s Styles and Cuts
As the 1980s began to fade from recent memory, a new trend picked up with 90s engagement rings. Enter the channel set princess cut diamond. This style picked up a ton of popularity in the late 90s and into the early 2000s. People were still mostly opting for white gold and platinum, with yellow gold going further and further out of style. The princess cut actually retained its chokehold until the 2010s before falling out of style.
Shop mid to late 90s engagement rings
Happy Ring Hunting!
I hope you loved this post and that it gave a quick overview of some styles that were popular over the 1990s. I’d recommend checking out Etsy to find the perfect vintage ring!
Rings by the year, Reddit
How engagement rings have changed over the past 100 years, Business Insider
Engagement Rings, Now and Then – The Story of Their Evolution, Gabriel & Co.
Engagement Ring Trends from the 1990s
Show me your 1980’s Yellow Gold Engagement Rings!!, PriceScope.com
Rings from the 80s-90s Post Pics, WeddingBee
A Brief History of Diamond Engagement Rings, King of Jewelry