5 Engagement Ring Settings for the Alternative Bride


5 Engagement Ring Settings for the Alternative Bride

Be prepared and elevate your jewellery IQ in advance so you know what works best for you... and so you can start dropping hints at your loved one if you're on the brink of engagement 👰🏼😉

1. The solitaire ring

This is a classic style ring for a more traditional, everyday look or for the minimalist bride. 

It features one main stone set in the middle of the ring, so all the attention will go to the beauty of the gemstone. This centre stone 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 colour gemstones that make for a perfect alternative engagement ring.

solitaire engagement ring

Left: Lavender Breeze Ring featuring an icy spinel and a pavé band (see 'Bonus Buys' at the end of this post for more on pavé); Right: Sweet Pink Bomb Ring featuring pink morganite 

2. The multi-stone ring

Usually featuring 2 or 3 stones in one setting, this style definitely makes for an iconic statement ring for the woman who loves some glamour.

The 2-stone ring will definitely give an extra modern edge as you take out the expected symmetry that tends to be used for engagement rings. You normally see either one stone or three gemstones set together... but 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-shaped stone with a smaller square one or a combination of an oval gemstone with a square-shaped stone next to it. For the rebels among us!

The 3-stone ring is again more traditional - think of a colored centre stone shouldered by 2 diamond side stones. But of course, the diamond side stones can be replaced by colored stones as well.

Your colour anarchy. Your choice. 

Don't forget that this multi-stone setting tends to cost more compared to a solitaire, as you now will have 2 or 3 relatively bigger gemstones… 

multistone engagement rings

 Left: Ice Princess Ring featuring cushion cut and marquise spinels; Right:  Once in a Blue Moon featuring a tanzanite and pink morganite.


3. The halo ring

This setting has more of a classic and romantic feel to it. It also adds a wonderful extra sparkle. 

Traditionally, a halo (meaning disk) would mean a circle of small diamonds set around the centre stone which would typically also be a round brilliant diamond.

Or another classic design combination: an oval blue sapphire surrounded by small diamonds.

Today however, you can turn these classics into contemporary pieces by taking a fashion-forward colored gemstone as centre stone, for instance an electric blue paraiba tourmaline or a fresh green tsavorite garnet surrounded by a halo of small white diamonds.

Or to make things even more modern: replace the small white diamonds in the halo with small lilac sapphires around the paraiba tourmaline or small lighter green sapphires around the bright green tsavorite centre stone for a monochromatic look.

As a side-note, don't forget that fine-quality colored gemstones are rarely cut in a round shape, mostly in ovals or square or rectangular cushions. And so your 'halo' of small gemstones or diamonds doesn't always have to come in a perfect round circle but can come in another shape as well as it will have to follow the outline of your centre stone. All fab.

 gemstone engagement rings with halo

Left: Urban Jungle Peridot Ring with half-moon halo; Right: Curvy Does It Spinel Ring featuring an organic halo variety


4. The split shank ring

The split shank ring is a more modern and elegant setting for the fashion-forward woman who likes to to stand out but doesn’t want to go as far as a toi-et-moi setting (our last setting below).

This is a beautiful design that shows some skin in between the ring bands (nothing wrong with that) and can elevate the sparkle of your precious piece with smaller gems set in the 4 ring bands.  

split shank engagement ring

Left: Lavender Fields Ring featuring spinel with cool-hued sapphires; Right: Bespoke Wedding Set Sketch 

5. The toi-et-moi ring 

This might not be an obvious choice for an engagement ring setting except for the non-conformists among us 😉 

Even the name hints at togetherness: toi et moi, you and me. 

It’s an avant-garde 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, for instance colors that are soft in tone (think light grays, soft lavender, ice blue shades, powdery pinks) or more intense hues (blue-green shades, bright pinks and intense blues).

You decide.  

toi et moi gemstone engagement ring

Angles of Gold Ring shown from two views featuring gold sheen sapphire and green tourmaline

Love this setting idea but want more of a romantic or soft-toned look? Try pairing a soft orange malaya garnet with a lavender spinel or with a lagoon tourmaline as you can see in the images below...

Can you imagine it?

coloured gemstone pairings

Bonus Buys

Everyone loves a little customization! 

If you're looking for a bespoke piece, here are a few things I'd love for you to consider for a more personalized touch to your ring...

Pavé your way to someone’s heart 😉

A wonderful way of adding extra sparkle to your engagement ring is by adding “pavé”.

You could do this to all the above ring settings, except I'd say for numbers 2 and 5 as they have a lot going on already.

Pavé literally means ‘paved’, so you pave the bands of your rings with smaller diamonds or colored gemstones.

This is a great way to give your ring some extra sparkle and an exclusive look that won't break the bank!

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Depending on your budget and style, you can go as crazy as you’d like: you can opt for the best quality of smaller diamonds - very white in color, excellent cut / clarity - which are of a higher price point.
    However, know that many smaller colored 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 most people don’t realize this, so if you want more bling for your buck, pavé is a great option: it looks expensive with a lot of small sparkly gems but it's actually very cost-effective!). 
  • Know that small pavé white or light brown diamonds complement bigger colored gemstones beautifully. 
  • As I mentioned, you can add small colored gemstones on the side instead of white diamonds which makes for a more modern, colorful look. While you can never go wrong with adding pavé diamonds, it will be a more classic style. Just keep in mind that if you do like to opt for small pavé colored gemstones that they may be harder to find than small diamonds: esp. if you’d like special colors, like neon pink, grey, yellow, ice blue or bright turquoise blue gems in the bands of your ring, in which case you really need to ask your jeweler up-front if they are even able to provide this type of stone and if yes, what exactly will they deliver.
    Dive in to this blog for info on real vs. fake gemstones

Other Extras

Another way of adding extra adornment to all the above ring settings, for your engagement ring or any other ring setting, is to add a small gemstone or diamond on the inside of your ring band.

This stone could link to a birthstone or to a nice memory. Perhaps you met on a day with blue skies? You could 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 personalized touch.

Or yet another idea is to combine your colored gemstone ring with another diamond ring next to it - and create a "stackable". For instance, a classic diamond eternity ring (with small diamonds all around its band) works together wonderfully with most colored gemstone rings. 

I hope these ideas will help you and if you’re looking for a stunning gemstone ring, either an everyday or engagement ring, but aren’t quite sure where to start, feel free to contact me to set up a complimentary consultation. I'd love to help!