The History Of Cluster Jewelry
First seen in the Georgian era, the trend groups clusters of jewels, often diamonds, together in one setting. The trend for clustering gained prominence in the Victoria area. However, contemporary styles are more akin to the clusters seen in the Art Deco era.
In the 1920s cluster jewelry embraced clean lines and geometric motifs. These styles were new and on-trend at the time, and seen across most design disciplines. In earlier eras cluster jewelry had been predominately made with gold. But in the 1920s platinum gained in popularity.
Traditionally clusters were symmetrical. However, there can and are many variations on a cluster. Rings are the traditional jewelry piece for clustering. But we now see clusters on earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. A classic cluster is often round or oval featuring a prong set round cut stone in a halo around a central gemstone. In the 1800s it was typical to use a colored gemstone surrounded by diamonds. Through the Art Deco era, the use of all diamond clusters became more popular. It was common to have an additional of pave diamonds in designs as well. A cluster diamond ring was undoubtedly the in-vogue engagement ring of the time.
In modern times there are many varieties of cluster-like settings. These have either evolved from the classic clustering rules or are simply cluster-like. Modern clusters are more likely to use a mix of geometric shapes and can be either all diamond or a mix of gemstones. Traditional shapes are still popular, but asymmetric or unusual clusters have also grown in popularity.
Cluster Jewelry Styles
What is a Cluster Ring Setting?
Cluster rings are a common ring style, especially for engagement rings. Smaller stones, often diamonds, are set closely together to resemble a larger diamond. Together these stones create a unique ring design. A cluster ring may contain stones in a range of sizes. It is common for classic styles to have either a large center stone with smaller stones groups around it or a group of stones of equal size.
The diamonds in a cluster ring often form a common shape like a square, flower, or starburst. However, modern fine jewelry designers break rules. Designers can mix and match stone types, sizes, and cuts to create asymmetrical cluster ring designs. Many cluster rings have a vintage or antique look. This stems from the popularity of vintage cluster engagement rings.
Cluster rings date as far back as the Georgian era beginning in 1747 and reached peak prominence during the 1920’s Art Deco era. They have continued to be popular to this day for both costume jewelry and fine engagement rings. As an engagement ring, a cluster ring makes a beautiful alternative to a classic solitaire or baguette style. With the renewed interest in Art Deco style engagement rings, cluster engagement rings are rising in popularity again.
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