During the Art Deco period, black and white was the most fashionable color combination for women's evening wear. The great jewelers followed suit by creating jewels and accessories that paired diamonds with onyx, black enamel or lacquer. Enamel is colored glass or a combination of vitreous glazes, as opposed to lacquer, which is a natural resin from the sap of the Chinese lacquer tree. Applied in several layers, once dry, lacquer is water-resistant and can be carved, painted or inlaid. Although all three media created the desired bold effect, Cartier found that lacquer was preferable for many objects, such as bangles with diamond clips, as it does not chip or crack as easily as enamel.
Cartier introduced lacquered bracelets and rings in 1934. However, due to their relative fragility, few of these jewels have survived. This ring exemplifies the fine craftsmanship and elegance of this era.