Guide to Engagement Ring Styles

April 13, 2017 4 min read

Guide to Engagement Ring Styles

Bezel to Solitaire - Find Your Perfect Ring Using Our Guide to Engagement Ring Styles

Engagement ring styles run the gamut. They come in a variety of shapes and styles, from simple, sophisticated solitaires to multi-stone masterpieces. Speaking of stones, those come in a variety of shapes, cuts, colors, clarity, and carat/sizes. It’s all enough to make your head spin, but we’ve compiled this easy-to-read blog to help improve your knowledge of your options and to help you better-communicate what you want to your jewelry designer.

Solitaire Engagement Rings

Solitaire Engagement Ring Styles
Solitaire engagement rings showcase one stone. Prong settings are the most common for solitaire engagement rings and come in many styles. Prongs can be round, pointed, flat, V-shaped (the latter being the most common for princess-cut diamonds), or customized in a unique shape such as a flower petal or deer antler.  

Four Prong Solitaire Setting

With minimal metal obstructing the view of the gemstone, the four prong solitaire setting is by far the most popular choice. It's versatile and can be paired with round, square, and cushion cut stones.

Six Prong Solitaire Setting

The six prong setting provides more security for your stone than a four-prong. On the downside, it means more metal components covering up more of the gemstone. Needless to say, this option works best with larger stones.

Antler Prong Solitaire

This antler prong engagement ring features a subtle nod to your bride who is also a hunter or outdoor lover. From the front view, the stone appears to be set in a standard, split-prong setting, but when viewed from the side, you can see the dainty antler prongs that secure the round center stone. This antler prong ring has a wood inlay, but you can choose whatever inlay material you desire, including your own supplied antler.

Lotus Flower Prong Solitaire

This 6-prong "lotus" setting works well with a 1 carat round cut stone in any color. The small accent stones adorn the petals of the lotus adding some sparkle from every angle. This yellow gold engagement ring also features a beautiful turquoise inlay.

Flower Prong Solitaire

There are six perfectly spaced petals on this nature-inspired prong setting. From all angles of this ring, it resembles a brilliant blossom when paired with any round-cut center stone, especially colorful gems.

Claw Prong Solitaire

The aptly named claw prong setting securely grasps the stone in a way that resembles the talon of a raptor. This edgy setting is commonly paired with rough diamonds and other rough stones.

Tension Set Solitaire

This unique setting can be used for harder stones, including diamonds, black diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. Any stone that ranks 8 or higher on the Mohs Scale of Hardness can typically be tension set. This setting showcases more of the stone than any other setting. The stone appears to be floating between the ring and is safely secured using the force of the ring itself without the obstruction of prongs.

Faux Tension Set Solitaire

If you like the look of the tension set ring, but have a softer stone preference, there’s an alternative. From the front, it looks the same as a true tension setting. However, the underside of the stone is set in additional metal in lieu of relying on the force of the ring to keep the stone secure. Stones that rank under 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness (e.g. Emeralds, Moonstone, Tanzanite) typically require a faux tension setting.

Halo Engagement Rings

Halo Engagement Ring Styles

Halo engagement rings feature one larger center stone symmetrically surrounded by smaller stones. The center and surrounding stones are commonly the same type and color of stone, but sometimes you’ll see halo engagement rings that mix and match different stones to add a pop of color. Halo engagement rings can be created with round, oval, antique square, and even pear shaped stones. This style is popular because it gives the illusion of a much larger center stone.

Three Stone Engagement Rings

Three Stone Engagement Ring Styles

Similar to the halo, three stone engagement rings feature multiple stones. As you may have guessed, they feature three stones total. Typically, they consist of one larger stone and two smaller stones on each side. Three stone engagement rings can feature round stones, square stones, antique cushion cut stones, or various pairings of all of them.

Bezel Set Engagement Rings

Bezel Engagement Ring Styles

In a bezel setting, a thin metal rim surrounds the gemstone and holds it tightly in place. Bezels can be set flush with the ring’s surface or raised. This engagement ring style is a popular choice for its contemporary, clean look and because it doesn’t snag on clothing like a prong setting is prone to do. Bezels can be full (completely around the stone) or partial.

Flush Set Engagement Rings

Flush Set Engagement Ring Styles

Very similar to a bezel setting, a flush setting features a stone that is flush with the ring surface, but it is without the separate metal surround of a bezel. Instead, the metal is gently folded around the stone to secure it in the ring.

Cathedral Engagement Rings

Cathedral Engagement Ring Styles

The defining feature of this engagement ring style is its arches of metal that approach the center gemstone on both sides of the band. The cathedral style works with a variety of stone shapes and sizes that may be set with prongs, bezel, or tension setting.

What's Your Engagement Ring Style?

Now that you have a general idea of your options, you should be able to better communicate what you're looking for to any jeweler. Next, comes the fun part! After you've determined your design preferences, you'll need to determine your choice for stone(s) and metal. We have more information on ring metal options and ring gemstone options in our education center. If you have any questions that aren't answered within our jewelry education center, or are interested in talking with one of our design consultants in person, you can email us anytime or call us Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5pm CST. We are here to help you create the ring of your dreams.


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