Battle of the Ring Settings, Part Three: The Halo Setting

Last week, we held up two of the most popular ring settings, the bezel and the prong settings, and compared their pros and cons for use in an engagement ring. Now its time to look at a unique, versatile ring setting and see where it measures up: the halo setting. The halo setting is a marriage between the security of the bezel setting and the sparkle of the pavé melée setting. The center stone is held in a metal collar, like in the bezel setting, but the rim is usually wider and is embellished with small diamonds. The overall effect becomes one of visual dazzle, that complements a hefty center stone as well as it supplements a smaller one.
Many variations of the halo ring setting are available (including hidden halo settings), and many of them incorporate elements of other classic settings. For example, some halo settings have center prongs that raise the center stone slightly above the rest of the setting, giving it that prominence and light associated with the prong ring setting. However, the classic bezel-style halo setting creates a seamless silhouette between the center stone and its halo, which is a popular and elegant look.
diamond braid
Halo diamond settings
This is an example of a prong-set halo setting. The braided pavé-set band is a unique and glamorous touch, but the essence of the style is in the princess-cut stone set in a square halo setting. The subtle sparkle of the center stone is enhanced by the combined effect of 74 total melée diamonds, making this the ring for someone who wants dramatic visual impact. Despite the melée action, however, the defined prongs help keep the center stone as the clear focal point.
halo classic
Classic halo diamond setting
The basic idea of the halo ring setting allows so much room for variation. There is the classic halo setting, which sets a round stone into a more squared-off ring setting, giving it a bigger and more modern look.
For the more adventurous ring buyers, the halo setting can be adapted in many ways, to suit many styles. Check out this unique adaptation of a classic ring setting:
halo sapphire
Sapphire set halo ring
First, the use of a sapphire as a center stone changes the role of the halo setting; instead of making the center stone look bigger through an optical illusion, it contrasts with it, offering the elegant diamond-and-sapphire look that has recently become very popular. Additionally, the halo setting itself becomes part of the focal point of the ring, and is therefore wider and more ornate than would normally be seen on a diamond-only ring. From a practical perspective, the use of a sapphire means that there is more room in the budget for a fabulous ring setting like this one. And of course, the beauty is in the details, so check out this close-up of the back of the ring.
halo sapphire
Sapphire set halo ring
Halo ring settings are not only for princess and round stones. Fancy shaped diamonds such as marquise and pear shapes can sometimes be difficult to set in ring settings that emphasize their uniqueness while also providing balance and security. The halo setting, as it repeats the lines of the center stone while simultaneously holding it securely, can be a great choice for these stones. For example, check out this pear-shaped stone in a halo ring setting.
pear halo
Pear-shaped stone ring
Another advantage of the halo ring setting, is the emphasis it gives to an often-ignored part of the diamond: the pavilion. The pavilion is the part of the stone that recedes and narrows from the girdle, or the widest point. It sometimes (but not always) culminates in a culet, a facet cut at the very bottom tip of the stone. Either way, the pavilion is a beautiful part of a well-cut stone, as well as being crucial to the quality and light performance of the stone. A halo setting can create a dramatic side profile view of the pavilion that emphasizes its angles.
So who wants to wear a halo setting? This is a ring setting that can work for old or young, on large diamonds and small, and in complicated or simple ring styles. If you are leaning towards a solitaire style ring setting, but want just a little more bling in your ring, consider the classic beauty of the halo setting.

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