Choosing Your Engagement Ring
Settings and Styles
Put a ring on it! If you’re getting engaged or plan to someday soon, we’ve got just what you’ll need to find the perfect ring! Welcome to the first of our three part Engagement Ring Guide Series, where we’ll be arming you with all you’ll need to know when selecting or designing an engagement ring. Today’s exciting instalment begins with a breakdown of all that a ring encompasses, from the basic anatomy to the different styles and settings. Get ready to become ring smart!
(And check our wedding planning series and wedding checklists to help guide you through all the aspects of planning your day!)
Anatomy of an Engagement Ring
A typical engagement ring is made up of the following elements that are crafted together to create a stunning rock on your finger!
- Ring Styles include statement solitaire rings, beautiful side stone rings, meaningful three-stone rings and made-to-match bridal ring sets.
- Ring Settings refer to how the stone is secured in the ring. Popular settings include the stand-out prongs, modern tension and the pretty pavé setting!
- The Ring Shank or body of the ring can be polished, engraved or adorned with several stones in a channel or pavé setting. A split shank occurs when the shank is divided into two or more rows that forms a single shank on the underside.
- There are many shapes, cuts and qualities of diamonds or stones that can be carried by the ring.
- A ring style and setting may be complemented with one of the many Ring Shoulder Styles.
See the Anatomy of a the solitaire engagement ring here: Serendipity Diamond
Engagement Ring Styles
The engagement ring setting styles is all about how the stone(s) are styled as part of the ring. There are 4 main types of ring styles. A ring could have a single stone (solitaire style), multiple stones as an accent to a centre stone, three smaller stones, or be made to match your wedding band.
1. Solitaire Engagement Rings
Solitaire Rings: The minimalist solitaire ring style showcases only one diamond or gemstone for a stunning effect. It is most commonly mounted using a prong setting technique, which affords the stone the perfect position (See further below for description).
Style Tip: Opt for an unusual diamond shape such as an emerald, pear, marquise, princess or oval diamond solitaire. A bezel, tension, or invisible setting can also help to set your solitaire ring apart.
2. Side Stone Engagement Rings
Rings with side stones: Designed to complement the prized centre stone, side stones or accent stones are usually mounted using a channel setting or prong setting technique. Generally between 3- and 5- stones are selected, but ultimately the number of stones to include is up to you.
Style Tip: Consider the protection, visibility, durability and ease of cleaning when selecting the setting for your side stones.
3. Three Stone Engagement Rings
Three-stone rings: Carrying a special meaning, each stone comprising a three-stone ring style symbolises your relationship’s past, present and future, which makes it the perfect choice for engagement or anniversary rings. The prong setting technique is the most commonly used setting for three-stone rings.
Style Tip: It is best to select three stone rings based on the cut or the setting of the diamonds or stones. Unique colour combinations can be used for a more unusual and creative engagement ring.
4. Matching Bridal Ring Sets
Matching bridal sets: To create a matching wedding ring set in an array of designs, an engagement ring can be designed to match or fit your wedding band, as if it were two pieces of a puzzle. The matching wedding band can also be made to wrap around the center stone of the engagement ring.
Style Tip: To ensure that your wedding band set works well, pair a a wowee-inducing engagement ring with a wedding band that carries a few matching elements.Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4
Engagement Ring Settings
The ring setting refers to the engagement ring band and how the diamond or stone is held or inserted into the setting. There are 9 different setting options to choose from:
- Pavé setting: A pavé setting consists of a band covered with many smaller stones, so much so that the metal band is hardly seen.
- Channel setting: Unlike the pavé, the smooth channel setting securely holds an uninterrupted flow of larger stones clearly set within the metal band, thereby protecting the girdle or thinner edge of the stones and preventing snags.
- Bar setting: Similar to the channel, a bar setting uses a thin U- or V-shaped metal piece to hold each stone in place on both sides.
- Flush setting: Similarly protective as the channel setting, the neat flush setting differs in that each stone is set within the metal and not alongside each other, without protruding.
- Prong setting: The prong setting secures the stone(s) within a set of raised metal prongs or claws that allows for light to flow through the stone and to accentuate the stone’s arch.
- Cathedral setting: Mimicking the arches typical of a cathedral, the cathedral setting frames the stone to be the focal point of the ring.
- Bezel setting: A bezel setting refers to a metal frame that wraps completely or partially around the stone or at its girdle for extra protection.
- Tension setting: The sleek and modern tension setting holds the stone between two unattached metal pieces, which creates the illusion of a floating stone.
A few other settings include:
- Cluster setting: A cluster setting groups several stones close together usually at several levels, whether they be arranged more openly or tightly, in a flower style or an abstract arrangement.
- Invisible setting: An invisible setting allows for several stones to be positioned alongside one another without seeing any metal, as would be the case for the prong or bezel settings. Princess cut diamonds are ideal for an invisible setting as the cut can be brilliantly illuminated by an uninterrupted flow of light.
- Illusion setting: Building upon the basic prong setting, the illusion setting is different in that it includes a reflective metal plate that is added around the stones girdle, which enhances the appearance of the stone.
Engagement Ring Shoulder Styles
Learn about the loveliest ring shoulder styles to combine with a flattering ring setting and ring style here.
Oh, and if there is an engagement party in your future have a look at our guide to planning your engagement party here. You might also want to check out some of these beautiful engagement photoshoots for inspiration for your own engagement session too. YAY!
For further information on how to select your engagement ring, refer to the following engagement and wedding ring resources, which we just love:
We bet that those pretty fingers of yours are already itching to learn more about how to select or design your own engagement ring. Watch out for the following instalment of our Engagement Ring Series in which we divulge details about the sweetest stone or collection of blinging rocks to choose for your ring! Can’t wait!