Breath-taking in its beauty. Verging on naïve in appearance. Deceptively artful in design. The ballerina ring could only be a product of the 1950s. It was a time where elegance and decadence met, where confidence was high, and booms were around practically every corner. Looking like a ballerina on pointe seen from above, drawn by the hand of an excited child, this is a ring that has flare, passion, splendour, and an endearing hint of optimism. That’s why, although a ring very much of its era, the ballerina has never gone out of fashion. And the really beautiful thing about it from a designer’s point of view, is that it’s so open to adaptation and personalisation. So, what do you need to know about designing your own?
What exactly is a ballerina ring?
The ballerina ring is always made up of clusters. It will usually boast one larger centre stone (the ballerina), with a whorl of smaller gems radiating outwards, creating the impression of the elegant movement of a tutu. In classic design, the shape will be roughly circular, but crossover and even rowed designs can work, as long as the clusters are present. Traditionally, fanning and tapered baguette cut diamonds would create that clustered swirl of ‘skirt’, but as always when you’re designing your own, anything goes.
If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve worked on some incredible ballerina rings over the years. Here’s a few of our favourites.
The thing about bespoke rings is that you don’t have to conform. This incredible piece is almost a hybrid between a ballerina and a cluster ring. Crafted from warm rose gold and pear-cut diamonds, it has the ballerina’s centre stone and skirt, tamed into stillness by the more uniform shape of a cluster ring. Regardless of what name you want to give it, it is beautiful in every way.
Despite being inspired by the style of the 1920s, this gorgeous piece is an almost archetypal example of the ballerina ring. Although symmetrical, the outer baguette-cut stones form the perfect tutu to the brilliant-cut centre stone that makes the ballerina’s body. Fashioned around a platinum band, this piece combines family heirlooms with new purchased diamonds, giving it so much more than simple monetary value.
Similar in style to the first of our examples, this lovely piece shows the possibilities of mixing stones. While diamonds are de rigueur, a contrasting centre stone can look absolutely stunning. Here, a large emerald shines out from the frill of the diamond tutu, complementing completely the smooth yellow gold band.
The pear-shape is another classic choice for the ballerina ring. This astonishing piece combines brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds in its skirt, creating a sense of flowing movement around the large centre stone. The platinum band only serves to accentuate the purity of the stones.
One of our all-time favourite designs, this is a ballerina with a flowing organic style. The oval-cut Chatham sapphire makes an incomparable focal point. It it would be so easy to detract from this with a poorly conceived surround. But the marquise and round shaped white diamonds surging around three quarters of the outer ring simply bring this platinum piece to sparkling life.
Finally, we’ve chosen this unusual, yet striking piece as an example of a very contemporary take on the established ballerina ring. The defined kite shape gives the impression not so much of dancing, but of a prima ballerina storming to the front of the stage. Perhaps she’s ready to be the black swan! The choice of black diamonds blended into the skirt enhances its originality and splendour.
As popular today as in its 1950s heyday, the ballerina ring is elegant yet extraordinary. It can be adapted to any personal style. And yet, these rings retain a gracefulness and timelessness. It’s this that will keep the ballerina looking as beautiful and desirable in the future as it was 70 years ago and as it is now.