Top 3 Engagement Ring Settings and Styles
Choosing an engagement ring can be an overwhelming process for a couple or a partner who intends to make the proposal a complete surprise. Many options exist, from basic and traditional styles readily available in jewelry stores to elaborate and expensive custom-made rings. If you set out to shop for engagement rings without a general idea of what you are looking for, you may find it difficult to narrow down the selections.
If the bride-to-be has a specific taste in jewelry, this makes for a great starting point. For example, you may have someone who always prefers gold to silver tones, pointing you toward gold bands.
Someone with simple taste might prefer a single diamond on a plain band, but others might dream of an intricate and detailed setting with a center stone flanked by smaller stones. Even the width of the band becomes an important factor in the decision, which can raise questions about style, comfort, and wearability.
If you do not know where to begin when it comes to engagement rings settings styles, an easy place to start is by reviewing popular styles, which might point you in the direction of the rings you like best.
Top Three Engagement Rings Settings Styles
Despite the many options in engagement rings, many engaged couples consistently favor these three styles and settings. Each style and setting below offers a timeless and beautiful look for an engagement ring that will never go out of style.
The Solitaire Setting
The stunning sparkle of a single diamond is on full display in the always popular solitaire setting. This type of engagement ring uses prongs to hold the diamond in place, with the number of prongs varying based on the size and shape of the diamond. This type of setting allows for the center stone to be the focus of the ring.
The beauty of the solitaire setting is that it can be customized to hold any diamond. For example, a jeweler may have a four-prong solitaire setting and a round, radiant, princess, or oval stone could possibly be set in it. Typically, the diamond will be held in place by three to six prongs, and an expert jeweler will know what will work best based on the size and shape of your stone.
This style is not only the most popular but the most affordable. Since this type of engagement ring showcases only the center stone and does not incorporate any diamonds on the band itself, many customers choose a solitaire setting in order to use their remaining budget on a larger or better graded center stone.
There are also plenty of preset solitaire options to choose from, with a wide price range based on both the size and quality of the diamond as well as the metal used for the band. Solitaire engagement settings are simple and elegant and have been worn by brides-to-be for generations.
One of the only drawbacks of the solitaire setting, where the diamond is raised, is that particularly active people who work with their hands may have concerns about constantly hitting items with the ring or damaging the prongs. This is an important consideration when shopping for rings, and you will want to discuss this with your jeweler and understand the best ways to care for and protect your ring (more on that below!)
The Pavé Setting
For those who love extra shimmer, the pavé setting does the job and then some! These popular engagement rings feature a center stone set in a band of smaller diamonds.
Pavé settings are elegant and more intricate than a traditional metal-only band, with that extra burst of sparkle giving a ring an even more sophisticated look. They are another of the most sought-after styles in engagement rings, but there are a few drawbacks to consider.
A simple metal band is easy for a jeweler to adjust and size, but a pavé band will be more difficult (and expensive). Bear in mind that your ring size could fluctuate throughout your life. You may need to make changes to ensure the valuable ring does not slip off or become so tight it is difficult to remove or uncomfortable to wear.
The pavé setting will be more costly to repair and resize because of the number of diamonds in the band, and it will also require more cleaning and upkeep.
At Happy Jewelers, resizing and repairs are included in your purchase! You can view our full warranty policy here!
The Halo Setting
A halo setting involves surrounding the center stone with a circle of smaller stones or a “halo” of tiny diamonds. This style has become so popular because the optical illusion created by the “halo” is that the center stone may look larger.
Because engagement rings with large center stones may be out of reach for some budgets, a halo setting offers a beautiful way to showcase a more modest center stone. There are also a number of different ways to create and personalize halo settings, with a single row of smaller diamonds, a double row, or even specialized shapes.
Pairing a wedding band comfortably with this setting can sometimes be tricky, depending on how high the halo sits. When choosing a halo style, you should talk to an expert jeweler about the wedding band options that will work best with your engagement ring.
Honorable Mention: The Three-Stone Setting
While the center stone is the true star of the engagement ring styles above, there is also a growing number of couples opting for a ring with three fairly large stones.
14k White Gold 3 Stone Oval Engagement Ring
The three-stone setting, especially larger ones, can pack quite a punch in an engagement ring. While the three diamonds are stunning together, some beautiful variations are made by flanking the center diamond with other gems, such as sapphires or emeralds.
When only diamonds are used, one challenge associated with this setting is finding three stones of the same color and clarity. The price tag is also an obvious challenge for some, with three diamonds (of any size) making these engagement rings more costly than other options.
Trends or New Traditions in the Making?
These days traditional settings are seeing competition from new trends and stylish alternatives to engagement rings that have been worn for generations. Some couples put a personal spin on the engagement rings with nontraditional choices that stand out from the pack.
Hidden halo settings are similar to traditional halos as they surround the main diamond with a row of diamonds. Hidden halos have become a popular option because they add a hint of sparkle that doesn’t distract from the beauty of the center stone.
Rose gold is everywhere these days, from jewelry to home accessories; it gets its pinkish hue by adding copper to pure gold. This makes it a more durable metal, which is certainly a plus for everyday wear. Rose gold bands used on engagement rings make a stylish statement and offer an alternative for those who want to try something other than traditional white gold or gold bands.
Stacking rings have become popular everywhere, from inexpensive costume jewelry to finer engagement rings and wedding bands. Some couples opt for an engagement ring flanked by numerous smaller bands, which could be plain metal or contain additional stones.
Caring for Your Ring
No matter what type of engagement ring you choose, you will want to be sure you know the best way to clean and care for it, protecting its value for years to come.
Your jeweler will have the best recommendations for cleaning the particular stones and settings you choose, and there may be variations in care instructions related to the metal used on your band.
In general, most engagement rings are best cared for by:
- Removing them in situations where they could be damaged or lost (such as swimming in the ocean or a pool, working out or lifting, painting, etc.)
- Grabbing the band to slip it on and off your finger, rather than touching the center stone
- If needed, clean it gently with a soft toothbrush and our jewelry cleaner!
- Regular, professional cleanings at a jeweler will keep your engagement ring sparkling and protect it from everyday wear and tear.
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