5 Different Engagement Ring Settings
Be prepared and elevate your jewelry IQ in advance so you know what works best for you (and you can start dropping hints at your loved one )
The 5 Different Engagement Ring Settings You Need to Know
1. The solitaire engagement ring
This is a classic style ring for the more traditional or minimalist bride.
It has one main centre stone set in the middle of the ring, so all the attention will go to the beauty of the gemstone.
It tends to be a diamond but for those who’d like to break the rules and opt for color: there are some beautiful options of high quality color gemstones that make for a perfect alternative engagement ring.
2. The 3-stone or 2-stone engagement ring
This definitely makes for an iconic statement ring. This is for the woman who loves some glamour. The 2-stone ring will give an extra modern edge as you take out the expected symmetry that tends to be used for engagement rings (also see the toi-et-moi ring setting below).
It’s mostly either one stone or three. Why not two? In order to make the setting with two centre gemstones work however, I’d suggest to use either two different shapes or two different sizes. For instance, a larger rectangular cushion with a smaller square cushion or an oval with a square cushion shape.
This setting of course tends to dig deeper in your pocket compared to a solitaire, as you now will have 2 or 3 relatively bigger gemstones to buy…
3. The halo engagement ring
This setting has more of a traditional and romantic feel to it. It also adds wonderful extra sparkle.
Traditionally, a halo (meaning disk) would consist of a circle of small diamonds framing the centre stone which would typically be a round brilliant diamond. So, it would usually be a round centre stone with a circle of smaller stones around it.
However, now you can turn this into anything you like, especially with today's access to more unique colored gemstones.
Colored gems are rarely cut in round shapes though, rather in ovals or in the more modern square cushion or rectangular cushion shapes. Also here you can add a small band of gemstones framing the centre stone.
To avoid confusion, this halo setting is a bit similar to pavé (read more on pavé below) as in both settings you will use smaller gemstones. But with pavé, you place the small stones in the bands of the ring and with a halo you place the small gems directly around the centre stone, so it frames the shape of the centre stone.
4. The split-shank engagement ring
The split shank ring is a more modern and elegant setting for the fashion forward woman who likes to stand out but doesn’t want to go as far as a toi-et-moi ring for her engagement ring.
It’s a beautiful design that shows some skin in between the ring bands (nothing wrong with that) and you can up the sparkle by adding a pavé with smaller gems in the 4 ring bands.
5. The toi-et-moi engagement ring
This might not be an obvious choice for an engagement ring setting except for the rebels among us;) Even the name hints at togetherness: toi et moi, you and me.
It’s an avant-garde, 2-gemstone engagement ring setting that has an opening in the ring where it shows your skin. You can choose 2 fine quality gemstones that complement each other beautifully, either soft in tone (think light greys, soft lavender, ice blue shades, powdery pinks) or in more intense hues (blue-green shades, bright pinks, reds and intense blues). You decide.
I wanted to show you what a toi-et-moi ring can look like. It’s the ring on the right in this photo.
But instead of these 2 colors, you can pick any color stone combination you like and which best expresses you. For instance, below you can see another beautiful color combination with a bright blue-green lagoon tourmaline and a light pink-orange malaya garnet.
Or on the right, a color mix of the same pink-orange malaya garnet and a light lavender spinel. The candy store has opened.
A La Carte #1 Pavé your way to someone's heart
A wonderful way of adding extra sparkle to your engagement ring is by adding “pavé”-set gemstones to it. I’d say you can do this to all the above ring settings, except numbers 2 and 5 as they have a lot going on already. Adding pavé there will be too much or useless because you won’t be able to see it on your finger because of lack of space. Better put your investment in good centre stones and a wonderful overall design in those cases.
Some things to keep in mind with pavé-set stones:
- Depending on your budget and style, you can go as far as you’d like: you can opt for the best quality of smaller diamonds - very white in color, excellent cut and clarity - which are of a higher price point.
However, know that many smaller gemstones and diamonds grouped together will always have less value in the market than 1 big gemstone, no matter the quality of the smaller stones! Why? Because one big, fine quality gemstone is very rare in nature and so will always be of a higher price point than many small ones together (but many people don’t realise this, so if you want more bling for a reasonable price, pavé is a great option).
On the other hand, some people prefer to go for one big, investment-worthy centre stone instead and save some money by skipping the pavé on the side.
You can also opt for a pavé with lower quality small diamonds. Since the stones are very small, you can barely tell that the clarity, cut or color are of a lower quality grade anyway.
- Know that small pavé white or light brown diamonds do complement colored gemstones beautifully. They make the colored gemstone stand out and their extra sparkle doesn't hurt either.
- If you want something more unique: add small colored gemstones on the side which makes for a more modern, yet timeless look. While you can never go wrong with adding pavé diamonds, it will remain a more classic style. If you like a more modern and special style, adding pavé colored gemstones might be more your thing. But know that depending on the colored gem you’re going after, they aren’t always as easily available as small diamonds.
For instance, if you’d like special colors, like neon pink, grey, yellow, light ice blue or bright turquoise blue gems pavé-set in the bands of your ring, you need to ask your jeweller if they can even provide this and if yes, what exactly will they deliver.
Will they give you treated yellow diamonds or yellow sapphires? This is fine as long as you’re aware of it (and knowing that untreated yellow diamonds and yellow sapphires are very hard to come by and come with a price tag). But smaller, good quality gemstones with great color and sparkly brilliance really elevate your ring and will make it stand out in beauty.
A La Carte #2 Customize & Personalize
Another way to add extra adornment to all engagement ring settings, is by setting a small gemstone or diamond on the inside of the ring band. This stone could link to a birthstone or to a nice memory you both share. Perhaps you met on a day with blue skies? Why not add a small blue sapphire on the inside of the ring so that it will touch your skin.
Or you could add initials inside the ring band. Another lovely personalised touch and one only the two of you might share.
If you’re looking for a stunning gemstone engagement ring, but aren’t quite sure where to start, do get in touch here or feel free to send me an email to book a 30 minute complimentary jewelry consultation with me.
In the meantime, you can sign up to my newsletter below for regular updates and insider tips - and check out my article "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Colored Gemstones" to learn more about color stones.
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