October 05, 2017 3 min read
The engagement ring is still the most perfect symbol of love and commitment. It dates back as far as the Greeks, Romans, and even Ancient Egyptians. In ancient times, people believed that a vein ran through the right-hand ring finger that connected directly to the heart (source).
And even though the types of rings that lovers exchange have changed over time, there is till no better symbol of eternal devotion.
So in this article, we’ll go over the different types of engagement rings that are the most popular today and a few other tips for picking the right engagement ring for you.
If you’re brand new to shopping for engagement rings, you might assume that rings are always sold as one complete piece of jewelry. But very often engagement rings are treated as two separate parts:
The center diamond
The ring itself (or the “setting”)
When someone first begins looking at engagement rings, they’re typically looking for a style of setting that they like and are not always thinking about the quality and value of the center diamond.
Which makes perfect sense, and that’s what today’s article is all about. If you want to read more about how to pick the perfect center diamond, check out THIS BLOG SERIES.
Choosing a diamond has a big impact on your ring’s overall beauty and longterm value. Choosing a beautiful center diamond is as important (or more important) than choosing the ring itself.
As you shop for engagement rings, you’ll see different rings given all kinds of different names by marketing professionals.
But industry insiders operate with just a few core categories. Here are the main types of engagement rings that are the most common:
Solitaire settings are what you may think of when you think engagement ring. They are a simple ring with a large diamond at the center, like this:
Inside of this category are other smaller categories like “Tiffany-style” and cathedral settings.
These are a great choice if you want to surprise her and you don’t want to risk picking a style she might not like. A solitaire diamond ring looks good on everyone’s hand :)
A 3-stone ring is like a solitaire, but with 2 smaller diamonds sitting on either side of the center stone. Like this:
This type of engagement ring is simpler in design than a split shank halo ring (more on these below), but offers a little more sparkle than a solitaire engagement ring.
Halo engagement rings have been among the most popular styles in recent years. A halo engagement ring is a large center diamond surrounded by a “halo” of smaller diamonds. Like this:
These are great because they create a “big look” in your engagement ring, even if the center diamond is not all that large.
Pave, or “side stone,” engagement rings are very similar to solitaire rings, but have a series of small diamonds embedded in the ring on either side of center diamond. Like this:
The sides of the ring where those smaller diamonds are set is called the “shank” (more on shanks below). And pave is simply the style of setting many small diamonds close together.
Like halo engagement rings, split shank rings have been very popular in recent years. A split shank offers a stylistic flair and beautiful complexity beyond the simple solid shank solitaire setting. It looks like this:
The shank “splits” to great a more dramatic multi-dimensional design.
The overview of the previous categories will help you identify and ask for exactly what you want in an engagement ring, but they’re not mutually exclusive categories.
As you may have noticed above, you will often see a split-shank halo engagement ring (one of the most popular styles right now).
Most people shopping for engagement rings tend to focus on getting the perfect engagement ring and popping the question. But don’t forget that you’ll also need his and hers wedding bands.
And many engagement rings are created with a matching wedding band in mind. It can save you another shopping trip, and hoping the band matches the engagement ring, by just purchasing the matching wedding band at the same time you purchase the engagement ring.
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