What Is a Cocktail Ring?
A cocktail ring is a piece of jewelry that is larger than normal rings and is designed to attract attention with its size and colors.
These rings usually have an oversized center stone or a lot of small stones in their settings.
The gemstones in cocktail rings are often imitations.
When cocktail rings first became popular around the 1940s, they were worn at cocktail parties, and this is how these rings got their name.
Nowadays, cocktail rings are usually worn to all sorts of fancy events, although people also wear them when dressed informally.
What Are Cocktail Rings Made Of?
Most cocktail rings are made with cheaper materials and are relatively inexpensive. Low-karat gold (10k or 14k) is commonly used.
Often, the jewelry is covered with plating, and the layer beneath it is made of a cheaper metal or alloy.
Since the stones used in cocktail rings are usually pretty big, often imitations of diamonds or other gemstones are used – if such a ring were to have the real thing set in it, the piece would cost a lot of money.
There are genuine stones used in this kind of jewelry, but they are of the inexpensive type. Cocktail rings made with high-quality materials and gemstones are rare and pricey.
There are cocktail rings that have real diamonds, but these stones are usually numerous and tiny, and they also have low-grade color and clarity as well as a poor cut.
Downsides of Cocktail Rings
Since cocktail rings are often made with low-karat gold, most of them are not a good choice for people allergic to nickel, which is commonly found in gold alloys.
Another problem with cocktail rings is related to the plating they are coated with – it is usually thin and wears out quickly, exposing the lower layer that has a different color.
While it is clear that these rings are made cheaply, there is another issue with them that most people don’t think of before buying.
Many cocktail rings have a lot of small stones, which are held in place by a lot of prongs. And the more prongs you have in your ring, the higher the risk that some of them will bend or break. And when they start wearing out, you will need to pay a lot of money to have them repaired.
Not to mention that when you have so many prongs, your ring will easily snag your clothes or catch your hair.
In general, cocktail rings are usually not made to last, but this is why they are cheap.
Buying a Cocktail Ring
If you are looking to buy a cocktail ring, you should first consider what stones it is made with.
Usually, the center stone is big, and if it is also genuine and cheap, its natural flaws will be more visible simply because of its size.
For that reason, it might be a wise idea to go with a synthetic or simulated stone that has better clarity.
Be sure to inspect the construction of the ring as these pieces of jewelry often have a weak structure. Pay attention to the prongs – they should not be too thin and should hold the gemstones tight; avoid rings whose stones are held loosely in the setting.
Also, avoid rings with too many prongs, and make sure they are not bent out of place.
Don’t forget to ask what metals and alloys the ring is made of. If you are allergic to nickel, don’t buy rings made with 10k yellow gold or ones made with white gold that contains nickel.