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Cartier’s Iconic Art Deco Trinity Ring Design

Apr. 14 2014
One of the most notable designers of Art Deco engagement rings in the 1920s was Cartier. Their iconic ‘Trinity Ring’ has remained an ageless classic.

F and I are always amazed how the designs of the Art Deco era are not just admired today, but their artistic symbolism is still felt just a strongly as ever. The roaring 20s was an age of innovation, excitement and hope, all of which seems to have been captured in the art, fashion and jewellery of the time.

Art Deco engagement rings exude this excitement and the thrilling hope of a promising future. F believes that the ‘heart’ behind this style is one of the reasons why couples love the designs. I have to agree, and one of the most iconic rings of the time, Cartier’s ‘rolling ring’, sometimes called the ‘Trinity Ring’, embodies this emotion of ‘heart’ perfectly.

A Simple Design

The dazzling colours, geometric patterns and intricate detail all synonymous with Art Deco engagement rings were rejected by the exquisite simplicity of the Trinity ring. All it took to create one of the most enduring and iconic designs of the era was three bands, three colours and three types of gold. The symbolic colours; yellow, white and pink gold, all intertwine in a mesmerising display of harmony and mystery.

s-RIMG3210 by eiko, used under a Creative Commons licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)

The original Trinity Ring is still an inspiration for many modern engagement ring designs.

From Vision to Creation

Louis Cartier was one of the most pioneering visionaries of the jewellery world and was an instrumental artistic influence of the time. Cartier’s circle of friends at the time included famous writer, designer and director Jean Cocteau. The legend behind the creation of the Trinity ring is that Cocteau had dreamt about the rings around the planet Saturn and had consequently requested that Cartier would create a jewel that would capture that vision. Their collaboration resulted in a ring of three bands made of three different colours called the ‘Three Gold Rolling Ring’, which later became known as the ‘Trinity Ring’.

F and I love the symbolism Cartier captured with this ring, as each colour represents a different stage in a relationship: white for friendship, pink for the love that friendship grows into, and yellow for the fidelity that is consequently declared. This ring, that was marketed in 1924 amongst all the elaborate jewel encrusted Art Deco engagement rings available at the time, became a firm favourite that is still popular today.

The Modern Evolution of a Classic Design

Today, the Three Gold Rolling Ring remains one of Cartier’s most recognised symbols and has been used in many of the house’s collections including watches and other pieces of jewellery. The original beauty of the simplicity of the design has never been forgotten, but has also evolved into even more exquisite creations. Designers have added tiny inset gems to the bands or have gone so far as to create the iconic ring with three bands encrusted with pave set diamonds.

Cartier’s innovations and visions born during the Art Deco period have become a signature look synonymous of the time.

The true revolutionary nature of this simple ring is not lost on F or me. While most Art Deco engagement rings are typically a glorious celebration of opulence and decadence, Cartier’s Trinity ring’s quiet and exquisite beauty is the most significant and iconic of them all. No other ring from this pioneering era seems to convey the message of love with such beautiful symbolism as the Trinity Ring.


Beth GilmourLondon
Aimee WinstoneBristol
Karlin AndersonLondon
Simon WrightLondon
Fei LiuBirmingham