An engagement rings symbolises the love you and your other half share and the commitment you’re about to make, so it’s important to get it right. We’re not just talking about finding the right size or fit. Engagement rings are extremely personal and should be tailored to each person and relationship. This is by picking a colour, cut, setting and style that your fiancée-to-be will cherish and wear forever. If you have no clue what those words mean, you need our guide to the different types of engagement rings.
Step 1: Material
Once you’ve got the right ring size, start by choosing the material and colour. In general, when buying rings, you should be looking for a metal that is durable and won’t easily tarnish. This is the case with engagement or wedding rings as these should be worn regularly and last a lifetime.
To narrow down your options, consider what your other half likes. Do they prefer cooler tones? Or do they lean towards warmer brighter hues? For the former, platinum, white gold and silver are great options. These cooler colours give a sharp contrast to coloured gemstones and bring out the brightness of diamonds. Platinum is more expensive whereas white gold and silver are on the more affordable side.
For something warmer, yellow gold is a traditional and beautiful choice or rose gold for something a bit different. Yellow gold is popular for both casual everyday wear and big events. Yellow gold gives a classic romantic look and works beautifully with diamonds and other gemstones. It’s also a great choice for wedding rings. While you don’t have to match your wedding ring to your engagement ring, it’s a good idea to choose metals and colours that work well together and don’t clash. If you go for a yellow gold engagement ring, try to pick a yellow gold wedding ring or white gold for a mix of cool and warm tones.
Step 2: Cut
Cut refers to the shape of the gemstone on the engagement ring. Classic engagement rings typically feature a gemstone. Diamonds are the most popular and work well with a variety of colours. Other traditional gemstones include emeralds, sapphires and rubies. Gemstones that have become popular in the modern day for engagement rings are amethyst, aquamarine, citrine and morganite for a pop of colour. When picking a gemstone, it’s important to check the durability. A hard gemstone can withstand force and be easily moulded but something too soft will crack under too much pressure.
Once you pick your gem, you have to pick the shape and cut of the stone. Popular cuts include round, square, princess, pear, baguette, oval and emerald. Take a look at the picture below to see the cuts in action.
Make sure to pick a cut that works well with your gem of choice. For example, round cuts are popular with diamonds as it offers the most sparkle and works for both thin or thick bands. Another example is oval cuts for sapphire. Arguably the most famous engagement ring is Princess Diana’s which is an oval cut sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
Step 3: Setting
Setting refers to how gemstones are set or mounted onto a band. Settings and mountings accommodate the specific size, shape, proportions and surface quality of a stone making it stunning from every angle. There are many setting styles, so we’ll run through three of the most popular ones here.
A bead setting is where small round pieces of metal are raised from the band surface and used as prongs to hold gemstones. This setting often has a gem as a centre piece and accent stones go around the band.
A type of bead setting, pavé is a technique that embeds tiny gems into the band of the ring. With the stones set closely together, the surface appears paved. This style gives the ring more of a glow and catches the light easily. It’s also very feminine and dainty if your future spouse prefers a simple yet sparkling ring.
A prong setting is used in many engagement rings. The prong – typically 3, 4 or 6 pointed - acts as metal arms that prop up and securely hold the gem at the girdle. This lifts the stone off and above the band and makes it the clear focus of the ring. This gives it more sparkle and brilliance. Prongs are typically used in many settings in combination with other styles, like pavé and bead.
Other settings include twisted, burnish, channel, tension, cathedral and bezel.
Step 4: Style
While you can custom design a ring with a designer, there are a few signature engagement ring styles that have stood the test of time. When we say style, we’re talking about colour, cut and setting combined together to give an overall design and aesthetic. Below are our top three styles.
The solitaire setting is the most classic style of engagement ring. The diamond is mounted with prongs or claws, making the diamond more pronounced. If your other half is a big fan of sparkle and loves their diamonds, this style is popular, romantic and never goes out of style.
Halo / Double halo
A halo setting is a ring that features a stunning centre stone that has a circle of gemstones around it. This style is extremely popular, and the multiple gems create a beautiful shine. For the bride that wants to make a big statement, the double halo style has double the diamonds! It gives you a chance to investigate different coloured gemstones in addition to the centre stone.
The three stone setting showcases a trio of sparkling stones, balanced perfectly and stretching over most of the band. Round cut stones are typically the most popular with the centre stone being the biggest and flanked by smaller ones. This is a great setting for multiple gems, like a centre diamond surrounded by emeralds or pink diamonds.
Image Credits: vogue.com