Engagement rings have come a long way since the ancient Egyptians slipped circles made of silver or gold wire onto the third finger of the left hand, chosen because it was thought to connect directly to the heart.
Even over the last century there have been significant changes in the styles favored by fiancés and their brides to be. Although diamonds undoubtedly remain a girl’s best friend, there’s now more choice than ever for couples looking for the perfect ring that not only symbolizes their relationship, but also incorporates their personal style preferences.
So if you’re looking for a little inspiration, read on to discover the enduring engagement ring styles and the emerging trends that are making ripples when it comes to the most popular engagement ring designs and settings of the day.
1. Diamond Solitaire - the favored option for many reasons
For many couples there is only one preferred choice. The striking solitaire
has long been a favorite when it comes to engagement rings and while some design trends come and go, the solitaire is here to stay. It can be subtle and understated but never is it straightforward and simple.
Vatche U-113 Solitaire Engagement Ring
This setting puts your diamond squarely in the spotlight, so the cut and quality of the stone is crucial. Choose between the classic round brilliant or the popular princess cut. Or go with something more distinct in a radiant, emerald, oval, pear or marquise shape. The rapidly trending antique cushion cut brings diamond style back to its early beginnings. And for the ultimate romantic, there heart shape diamond in a solitaire engagement ring speaks volumes about love.
Those who favour the round cut solitaire diamond are often looking for optimal sparkle, brilliance and fire. Whiteflash A CUT ABOVE
® Super Ideal Diamonds certainly fill the bill as they represent the ultimate in precision craftsmanship and are regarded by experts as’ best of the best’ in terms of cut quality and light performance.
A CUT ABOVE® Princess Diamonds
These stones are not only reviewed and graded by the American Gem Society Laboratories
, but are then examined again through a multi-level process of quality control before finally being sold as the finest cut diamonds in the world.
2. Pave Settings – for those who like continuous sparkle
Pave engagement rings
exude luxury, with the surface of the ring covered in diamonds creating a continuous glittering surface. You can select any gemstone for your pave engagement ring, but of course the most popular rings are made with diamonds set closely together and held in place by tiny beads of gold or platinum. Why settle for just one stone when you can have a whole row, sparkling at every turn?
Legato Sleek Line Pave Engagement Ring
The benefits of the pave setting are that there's extra sparkle from the gemstones and you don't see the metal of the setting. The result is a stunning line of light and glitter.
The only consideration to make with a pave set ring is that resizing can be difficult in the future. If you opt for a ring with stones all the way around the band, increasing or decreasing the size will be very hard for the jeweler to achieve so take this into consideration when deciding.
3. Three Stone Rings – a way to introduce a mix of gemstones
Three stone rings
, also known as Bostonian rings are said to represent the yesterday, today and tomorrow of your relationship.
Verragio INS-7074R 3 Stone Engagement Ring
More traditional designs display a large diamond in the center flanked by two smaller stones, however modern styles now commonly feature side stones that are nearly the same size or indeed equal to the center stone, exhibiting the consistent and enduring nature of the love.
Princess cut diamonds are a common choice for this engagement ring style and you’re now just as likely to find diamonds set alongside colored gemstones such as rubies and sapphires as you are a trio of beautiful bright whites.
Trellis 3 Stone Diamond and Sapphire Engagement Ring
4. Halo Rings – a setting to enhance the center stone
The striking halo ring
is a setting where the center gemstone is encircled and enclosed by a number of pave diamonds. This creates an amplified visual impression and frames the center diamond in a most a striking way.
Ritani 1RZ1321 Cushion Halo Engagement Ring
The initial heyday of the halo was in the 1920s but thanks to growing interest in vintage styles today, this style is enjoying a real resurgence, albeit with a few modern twists to bring it up to date.
Cut is crucial in halo rings, which places the brilliance and beauty of the diamonds at the center of the ring design. While princess cut and round diamonds remain the most popular choices, cushion and oval as well as other shape diamonds are now very much in demand.
Halo rings are also becoming more ornate with small diamonds that don’t just circle the main stone but radiate from every angle, providing pretty profile views too. Double halo designs are also popular, along with colored gemstone halos that make a feature of stones in different shades encircled with bright white diamonds.
Simon G. MR2459 Double Halo Engagement Ring
5. Bezel Setting – the second most popular setting
Bezel setting rings
are often sought due to their modern look and for reasons of practicality, but that doesn’t mean they are any less beautiful. As the most secure type of setting, the bezel places the focus on a centrally located diamond, which is carefully wrapped to the rim with an elegant edging of gold or perhaps platinum. This stylish setting protects the diamond and keeps your gaze firmly focused on the sparkling star attraction.
Cameron Bezel Engagement Ring
There is a choice to be made if you like the bezel design and this is whether you have the full or partial bezel setting. With a full bezel, the jewel will be covered on all sides to just expose the top of the stone; with a partial bezel only a section of the side of the gem is covered. Partial bezels can allow for profile views of the diamond and also may make it easier to clean the diamond at home.
Keystone Partial Bezel Engagement Ring
The bezel setting is particularly suited to those with an active lifestyle. This is because the stone and setting can't snag on clothing or equipment. Those who enjoy sports or operate machinery find this setting the perfect choice.
Still undecided about which style engagement ring to choose? We’ll take you through all the factors that are important to you to help you make the perfect selection.