100 Years Of Engagement Rings (& Celebs That Rock Each Decade's Style)

No matter the celebrity, the idea behind engagement rings is still the same: they should match the wearer's personality and preference in order to represent the next stage of the relationship.

But even to this day, celebrities are still choosing rings that are reminiscent of earlier times. Whether they provide a nod to a certain decade via a plain or studded band, through the shape of the stone, or simply just the color of it, fans can be sure that these are the rings to admire.

High price points aside, these engagement rings are pure works of art when it comes to the most flawless jewels and settings one can find. Each one has been uniquely designed to include a personal nod as well as incorporated motifs from other decades. In each one, however, there is at least one decade that has more influence over the style of the ring than the others.

Explore the influence and elegance in the following 20 ring styles, each worn by a different celeb. Their personalities are reflected in their affinity for these rings, but there's also an air of elegance, whimsical flair, and royalty in many of these designs. The fact that they're still in existence to this day shows how timeless love is and, by extension, how it's shown through jewelry.

20 Ashlee Simpson: Unusual Yet Breathtakingly Victorian, An 1800s Dream Marquise Cut


This ring worn by Ashlee Simpson is truly a modern work of art as it combines so many different styles and color details. The feature that stands out the most is the marquise-style cut of the center diamond, which is then surrounded by opaque fuschia gemstones.

This is a definite nod to the Edwardian era of rings, during which a man's love for a woman could be openly expressed through the intricate design and bold gemstones.

This began after the love between Queen Victoria and Albert, which was a love story deserving enough of an ornately-decorated ring. The side-scrolling leaf design is also a trend that was carried into the early 1900s, as rings were experimental and intricately designed.

19 Scarlett Johansson: An Edwardian Design Done In An 1800s Style


This interesting style incorporates several decades of styles, but the most notable is its Edwardian stones that have been arranged in a fancy Art Deco, almost abstract setting in order to create a layer on top of a layer of shine and shimmer. No matter which way you turn this ring, it's likely to sparkle in any direction the light is hitting it, creating a stunning and interesting piece to look at as well as to wear. The band is simple as it should be with a ring of such elaborate nature, dating back to the late 1800s when ring design was still experimental with no boundaries.

18 Camilla Alves: A True Victorian Masterpiece, Combining The Last Remaining Styles Of The Late 1800s


Snaking bands were also growing in popularity toward the 1900s, as rings were intended to be shown off and seen in royal families.

An engagement ring such as this one is uniquely designed to have as much interest around the stone as with the stone itself.

While the centerpiece is a simple round cut, it's the band that carries with it the nod to the late 1880s. As bands became more experimental, women would find themselves leaning more toward floral and leaflike patterns rather than a plain band. The tiny diamonds studded along the snaking ring draw the eye to the center, creating an alluring serpent ring design.

17 Katherine McPhee: An Early 1900s Nod To Gemstones


Queen Victoria was a fan of gemstones in addition to diamond settings, therefore anytime you see a ring with an elaborate (and large) gemstone as the centerpiece, we can thank her. Her era, the Victorian Era, saw the emergence of gemstone-studded rings that were unbashful in their bold and fancy nature. These colors would catch the idea and set each ring apart according to which gemstone a woman would choose, and Queen Victoria was very partial to emeralds and rubies. These were seen in her own engagement ring, thus beginning a trend that allowed other stones to be widely accepted as part of premarital jewelry.

16 Oliva Wilde: Emeralds Were A Trend Set By Queen Victoria Herself In The Early 1900s


Speaking of emeralds, this is the last ring on the list that still shows off that flair from the Victorian Era.

Emeralds were popular with Queen Victoria as she enjoyed color and bold jewelry, therefore the first thing that catches your eye about this particular ring, worn by Olivia Wilde, is the bright green emerald halo.

The band itself is gold which wasn't a trend until much later one, as the circular geometric setting, therefore this ring has a bit of each decade implicated in its design. However, the Victorian Era did see large settings, keeping in theme with the overall appearance of this engagement ring.

15 Janel Parrish: A Bit Of 1920s Abstract Art Deco With An Asscher Cut Diamon


This ring is also interesting due to its large setting but very, very simple band. There's no detail other than the diamond-studded, rose gold band but the stone itself is very telling. An Asscher-cut diamond is very reminiscent of the 1920s, during which time a stone with sharp-looking sides and bold edges was very popular. This was yet another experimental decade, full of architecturally-styled stone cuts that were geometrically interesting and quite unusual to look at. During this party era, rings of this nature were telling of the lifestyles people led as they were quite fearless and bold.

14 Anna Paquin: An Elegant Yet Simple 1930s Circular Cut


The 1930s saw a decade of rings that were simplified and quite toned down compared to the styles that came before. This was in part due to the Great Depression and lack of funds needed to purchase a ring that stood out, which led to simple designs and the emergence of the simple, round-cut diamond.

Rings such as this one that Anna Paquin is seen wearing gives a nice nod to a simpler time.

At the same time, these designs incorporate a decorated band as well as a matching wedding ring, a trend that was started by Audrey Hepburn with her own stacked rings.

13 Carrie Underwood: Bold And Beautiful, A 1940s-Inspired Band Setting


The 1940s saw a bit of an upswing from the down times of the 1930s, and this was well-reflected in the rings that emerged during that era. This decade led away from Art Deco and left the solid square rings of the 1920s. This decade began a whole new trend and though the modern era of diamond bands is seen here, so is the intricate band detail that came with the 1940s influence. Here, the center stone became the centerpiece of the ring and the focal point, while everything else was secondary. The gold shimmer to this stone is a nice nod to the 1940s as well, when gold accents became popular.

12 Jessica Biel: A 1950s Halo Setting With A Fancy Diamond


By the 1950s, women were all about cocktail rings and the type of stones that you didn't mind showing off a bit. Because of this, large stones became very popular as well as side stones, since diamonds were more readily available at that time.

There weren't too many options for rings as the choices were slim, but they were big, bold, and beautiful.

It wouldn't be uncommon to find an engraved band during this time period or a braided band, as band designs were beginning to gain popularity as well to compliment a large stone. The only difference is the band color, which would have likely been gold in the 1950s.

11 Emily Blunt: Classic Yet Striking, A 1950s Romance Setting


This is much more representative of what a ring would have looked like in the 1950s, obviously updated but very accurate. Emily Blunt sports a large center stone that was very characteristic of the ease of accessibility people had to diamonds during this decade, with additional, smaller side stones that adorn either side of the ring. The band itself is gold in color and simple, which adds to the stunning simplicity of this classic ring design. It's not overwhelming yet is positively marvelous when reflected in the light, serving as an adequate nod to a time period that saw brighter days and happier times.

10 Nikki Reed: A Fun Yet Stunning 1960s Flower Power Design


Nikki Reed is seen wearing an engagement ring that's both fun yet strikingly elegant in nature. The 1960s was the "flower power" decade and that went far beyond choosing peace over war.

This was reflected in the jewelry styles as well, including engagement rings, where certain shapes and designs were played with to create something whimsical and unique.

Flower designs were also popular in the 1800s, but the 1960s saw more of them as they were very reflective of the times. This ring is purely simple in its flower design but has a stunning, circular center diamond that's not too far off in accuracy from the 1960s.

9 Ciara: The 1970s Saw Fancier Cuts Imitating Large Emeralds


The 1970s took the idea of large stones and ran with it, choosing to design emeralds to imitate other stones, such as emeralds. Large and in-your-face rings were very popular during this time, as women headed into the 1980s which saw very much of the same. Jewelry and its style became much more popular as jewelers moved away from the simplicity and elegant fashion statements that the rings of the '50s and '60s saw. During the 1970s, rings were intended to be bold showstoppers and some even came with matching wedding bands in order to complete a matching set.

8 Kim Kardashian: A 1970s-Inspired Emerald Cut


This emerald-inspired cut was widely popular throughout the 1970s. With the emergence of disco, dance, and generally and an all-around good time, people wanted something new and innovative.

The answer was this large stone that sometimes had additional side details, but was intended to be flashy and functions as a statement piece.

Jewelers also realized they could use the entire stone this way, without shaving down the sides that would normally just be considered waste in an effort to get a perfectly-shaped round or small setting. This decade would be the last to make use of this oversized style after the 1980s took over.

7 Sarah Jessica Parker: A Very Simple 1960s Band With A 1970s Emerald Cut


It comes as no surprise that Sarah Jessica Parker would choose an elegant yet bold ring, and this 1970s-inspired stone cut is the perfect way to combine elegance with a vintage touch. The band itself is very reminiscent of the 1960s in its simplicity and lack of stones while the main setting is the epitome of what the 1970s were all about as far as style and pizzazz. This was the best way to be able to wear an entire stone without losing any bits of it to shaping and polishing, and it still catches the light in order to create a bold sparkle and shine when worn.

6 Blake Lively: A Modern Oval With An '80s Color Pop


Blake Lively's ring is very interesting because not only does she sport thinner bands, but each band is uniquely different in design and diamond setting. This is possibly the most unique representation of the 2000s, particularly the latter half of the decade, where rings become fully-customizable options. The bands themselves are representative of the femininity that came with this decade's style, while the oval stone is somewhat indicative of a 1950s style, but not quite that vintage in appearance. The large stone is not accompanied by any side stones, making it stand out even more and allowing the attention to sit firmly on the variation in the bands as well as the beauty of the diamond in the center.

5 Elizabeth Hurley: A Sapphire Stands Out In This 1980s Trend


As we exited the age of disco, we began to find more and more rings that were color as opposed to star-studded with diamonds.

Rings such as this one, worn by Elizabeth Hurley, are an excellent example of what a typical engagement ring would have looked like in the 1980s.

This era was bright, colorful, and nuanced, meaning the jewelry reflected it. While at times slight gaudy, engagement rings were designed to be bold in color and simple in style. This resulted in large, colorful center stones such as this one, a trend started by Princess Diana.

4 Jamie Lynn Spears: A Large Center Stone And Adjoining Diamonds Is A 1990s-Era Ring


The ring on Jamie Lynn Spears' hand demonstrates perfectly what it was like to choose a ring in the 1990s. This was a decade of simplicity, where it would be unusual to find a plain white gold or platinum ring with a marquise or pear-shaped cut. The goal of this decade was to have a ring that was simple yet deserving of a large stone, once again drawing attention to the stone itself and not to the band. Having a white gold or platinum band meant minimal attention was drawn away from the stone itself while the piece was remarkable in its simplicity and sheer size. This was also a decade of personal preference and solitaire settings, which is perfectly demonstrated with this ring.

3 Giuliana Rancic: A Bit More Modern But Just As Stunning New Millenium Stone


A cushion-cut diamond is a trademark of the early millennium. The 2000s gave way to large stones with accompanying smaller diamonds, whether they be on the band or surround the center stone.

There are noticeable differences in ring styles at this point that were not seen in prior decades, including the addition of a thinner band.

The small stones that sat within it were to give the illusion of having a bigger center stone without actually having something large, heavy, and often times gaudy. These thinner bands are to there to add a feminine touch, something that every woman seemed to be going for at the beginning of the new decade.

2 Lady Gaga: Modern And Chic, Blazing The Trail To Heart-Shaped Rings In The Late 2010s


This is yet another prime example of what the 2000s look like as far as engagement rings go. We're still in the decade of personalization and this ring is very telling of that. Again, this ring features a small band that adds a level of femininity and delicateness to the overall appearance of the ring. The heart-shaped diamond is something that comes as a modern design and although it may have been toyed around with at the beginning of the century, it wasn't seen predominantly until the 2000s. The diamonds encased in the band add an extra sparkle to what would otherwise be a very simple, yet beautiful, ring.

1 Nicki Minaj: The Cushion-Cut Heart With The Diamond Halo Screams The Late 2010s


This ring, worn by Nicki Minaj, is somewhat of an exaggerated version of the last. The heart-shaped center stone is a nod to personalization and the freedom to choose whichever style you enjoy, while the surround diamonds form a uniquely-shaped halo.

This diamond halo is unique to the 2000s and is normally used for a cushion-cut diamond, as it's intended to make the center stone appear much larger.

However, this stone needs no help in that department. Therefore, the halo serves as an extra level of sparkle and a way to break up the variation in color.

Sources: Medium, Diamond Rocks

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