Cocktail Rings Are Still Very Necessary This Holiday Season

This is a post about cocktail rings, but it’s also a note on Thanksgiving at home. The holiday is nearly here, that time of year when we eat way too much, sit through awkward political conversations with our relatives, and then stay up late in the haze of a turkey coma, buying things online as promo after promo comes through our inboxes.

Nam Cho double ball ring
Double Ball ring in 18k white gold with sapphires and diamonds, $4,270; Nam Cho
Retrouvai rubellite ring
One-of-a-kind heirloom bezel ring in 14k yellow gold with 7.22 ct. rubellite, $7,400; Retrouvaí

This year might be different, though the full bellies and empty wallets should likely endure. As news of the pandemic worsens, it’s likely many of you reading this will skip the big family gatherings (optimistically, you’ll only have to do this once—consider it playing hooky!) and instead cook a scaled-down (or not) Thanksgiving dinner at home. You’re not alone. Personally, I haven’t had a large familial Thanksgiving gathering in years—we’ve chosen to travel instead, but that’s not happening this year, either.

Argelia Hadrovic Nefertiti Crown lapis ring
Nefertiti Crown ring in 14k yellow gold with lapis and 0.1 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,500; Argelia Hadrovic
Moritz Glik shaker cocktail ring
Kaleidoscope shaker ring in 18k yellow gold with 1.87 cts. t.w. diamonds, $8,200; Moritz Glik

The temptation to stay home in your sweats and eat potato chips and French onion dip might be strong (please, someone say that isn’t just me?). I mean, what’s the point in dressing up for a dinner at home that’s almost certainly going to require stretchy pants anyway? But don’t give in. Get dressed up if you want to, or if you typically do (again, might I suggest stretchy pants for the win on Turkey Day?).

Chinchar Maloney Picture agate ring
Diamond studded ring in 14k recycled yellow gold and sterling silver with picture agate and diamonds, $1,050; Chinchar Maloney


Campbell Charlotte Evolve ring
Evolve cocktail ring in 14k yellow gold with purple garnet and 0.61 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,780; Campbell + Charlotte

But if nothing else, do remember to wear your jewelry. The jewelry! It’s always one of the most exciting and enchanting elements of the holiday season. We buy these new outfits for our events and get-togethers, but there’s always at least once piece of jewelry that ties them all together. Thanksgiving feels like the time to start breaking out the most festive of jewels. The categories that feel most festive this time of year, unequivocally, are statement earrings and cocktail rings.

Melinda Lawton indicolite ring
Ring in 14k white and yellow gold with 3.94 ct. indicolite tourmaline and 0.36 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,900; Melinda Lawton
Bhojwani Rangoli Garden ring
Rangoli Garden ring in 18k rose gold with 19.52 peach tourmaline, rubellite tourmaline, mandarin garnet, tsavorite garnet, and 0.95 ct. t.w. diamonds, $32,000; Bhojwani

All year, we’ve looked to more streamlined, low-maintenance pieces to carry us through 2020. We’re at home, we’re comfortable, but we don’t want to sacrifice wearing jewelry. So we turn to pendants, charms, stud earrings. Things that are meaningful but not cumbersome, jewels that can be worn forever. Cocktail rings don’t really fit that description, but that’s actually what makes them so special. They’re one of the styles you think of when you think “special occasion jewelry,” and since they’re not typically worn daily, they’re easy to get excited about.

Lydia Courteille Peacock ring
Peacock ring in 18k gold with tanzanite, tsavorite, emerald, sapphire, and diamonds, price on request; Lydia Courteille

The cocktail ring is the equivalent of the little black dress, or the ballroom gown, or the formal pantsuit, or whatever else you can think of that makes you feel like royalty when you wear it to get dressed up. It’s not that practical for every day (don’t let that stop someone from wearing it daily if they want to, though), so it deserves every moment of peacocking about that it gets.

Karma El Khalil sea blue chalcedony ring
Chalcedony Waterfall ring in 18k white gold with sea blue chalcedony and diamonds, price on request; Karma El Khalil
Kwiat vintage onyx diamond ring
Vintage ring in 18k white gold with onyx and diamonds, $4,650; Kwiat

Somewhere along the way, cocktail rings became synonymous with the holidays. Maybe that’s because many have their hands wrapped around a drink this time of year, and you can’t not notice bling like that when someone lifts their glass to their lips. We largely won’t see festive fetes this year, but long live the cocktail ring, even for family parties held at home. Even for Thanksgiving made for two.

Lord Jewelry Rock Candy ring
Rock Candy ring in 18k yellow gold with black enamel, rose-cut sapphire, and diamonds, price on request; Lord Jewelry
Arman Sarkisyan kunzite ring
Ring in 22k yellow gold and oxidized silver with kunzite, 1.3 cts. t.w. rose-cut diamonds, and 0.2 ct. t.w. diamonds, $12,800; Arman Sarkisyan

Retailers, we can’t pretend that things are normal. But we can strive for some sense of normalcy, and delight shoppers with the things they would have wanted in any other year. You’ll get plenty of requests for talismans, personalized jewelry, things that are wholly meaningful and special. But don’t sleep on the stuff that’s memorable and a bit outside the home comfort zone, too. Cocktail rings may be all dressed up with nowhere to go right now, but that’s what makes them matter. Despite the canceled plans and nights spent in, they never fail to sparkle, and they’ll never cease to make their wearer feel special.

Top: Lagoon ring with 17.64 ct. Paraiba tourmaline, 1.57 cts. t.w. gray diamonds, and 1.1 cts. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Emily P. Wheeler

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JCK Contributing Editor

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