Getting engaged is a truly special moment and buying an engagement ring for that moment is an exciting (yet often daunting) task. With the variety of ring styles and materials available these days, finding the perfect choice for your partner can be a challenge. This guide will familiarize you with the 10 most popular ring setting styles to help you narrow down the field. Get ready to be the clairvoyant partner you always wanted to be.
First, it is always good to get acquainted with the 4C’s – carat weight, cut, colour and clarity – in that order. Familiarity with these concepts will allow you to understand how they influence the diamond’s attractiveness and value. You will be better placed to identify the setting that will ‘show off’ the diamond in all its glory and well as hold that precious symbol of your love securely. However, you still have work to do - establishing a budget, deciphering your partner’s ring style preference and choosing the diamond of course.
In order to narrow down the ring 'design' choices, it is important to have an understanding of your partner’s preferred 'jewellery style'. Our 6 tips to know your partners ring style offers a stress-free road to get there. You need to hone your observation skills and pay attention to the style of their existing jewellery as well as their dressing preferences, work habits and lifestyle. As the ring is likely to be worn daily, the choice of setting will influence these aspects of their daily life.
Once you have a ring style in mind, next is to know your partner’s ring size. If you have surreptitious access to any of their presently worn rings, then this is a non-issue. If access is not readily available, then our strategies to determine her ring size will provide the clues. A friendly word of advice – it is always better to buy a ring that’s half or one size bigger than your estimation as re-sizing a ring downwards is usually easier than re-sizing it upwards.
Here are some of the most popular and preferred setting styles for diamond rings in Singapore.
Diamond Engagement Ring Styles
1. Prong – The prong setting is one of the most traditional engagement ring styles and suits a wide variety of diamond shapes. Small metal wire claws known as a ‘prongs’, (consisting of an evenly spread set made up of four or six prongs), hold the gemstone in place. This design makes the single stone the centre of attention and is ideal for solitaire diamonds. There is less metal visible around the diamond hence more of the actual diamond is seen, allowing for added brilliance. It is easy to clean and maintain.
Image courtesy: Tiffany & Co.
2. Bezel – Due to its understated design, durability and low maintenance, the bezel is a well-liked setting style. Instead of prongs, the centre stone is held in place with a custom-made fine metal rim. This slightly hides the outer edges of the stone and results in marginally less brilliance emanating from a truncated surface area of the diamond. But the bezel setting holds the diamond very securely and protects the diamond from damage, preventing it from snagging on clothing.
Image courtesy: David Morris
3. Three-Stone – Add meaning to your diamond ring design with a three (or more) stone setting. This style uses gemstones of similar or unequal size, type and colors. Its versatility allows for endless variations of engagement ring designs and offers a bigger surface area of stone compared to a single stone setting. It can symbolise the couple’s past, present, and future and therefore, is a popular choice for wedding ring styles.
4. Halo – The halo setting is exactly what it says. A halo of small diamonds surrounding the main centre diamond or gemstone. The halo can be circular, square or conform to any shape of the centre stone. The surrounding stones add a textured sparkle to the ring and also create an effect that makes the centre stone appear larger (especially beneficial for a 1-carat diamond or lesser). A halo is often used to enhance the contours of a variety of fancy diamond shapes. However, re-sizing can sometimes be tricky and a halo setting requires gentle handling as the tiny surrounding stones can come loose if knocked against a hard surface.
Image courtesy: Tiffany & Co.
5. Pavé – For those who love lots of bling but prefer a dainty, feminine look, the pavé (French for 'paved') setting is truly one of the most luminous wedding ring styles. It gives off a continuing brilliance, thanks to the sheet of diamonds paved on the band. It is done by drilling tiny holes in a set pattern into the band where the diamonds are carefully embedded and each diamond is then secured in place with mini prongs dug out of the surrounding metal. A well made pavé setting reflects the master setter's skill. Re-sizing may prove to be a challenge if the whole ring shank is pavé set. A workaround to that is to leave a small portion at the bottom of the ring shank without diamonds to allow for easy fuss-free resizing.
Image courtesy: Harry Winston
6. Cluster – A cluster setting is a formation of stones tightly put together. It is aimed at creating the impression of one large diamond using a group of equal-sized stones with a larger center stone. This unique, customizable, and highly textured style makes a 1-carat diamond ring look more valuable. It is also often more affordable than a larger stone option and thus, is ideal for creating exceptional and distinctive designs. Added care is needed to maintain this ring given its numerous and closely compact set diamonds.
7. Split-Band – This eye-grabbing setting calls attention toward the main diamond. The band (also known as the ‘shank’) of the ring divides in two on either side of the centre stone and usually, small little diamonds are also added to the band to give the ring that extra sparkle. Do note that this less streamlined design can be impractical for those who often work with their hands.
Image courtesy: GIA.edu via TheRealReal.com
8. Victorian– This very distinctive period style, characterized by its one-of-a-kind diamond ring design, dates back to the Victorian era from 1837-1901. The Victorian engagement ring is usually made in yellow gold, rose gold and/or silver. It is aimed at showing off rose cuts, old mine, cushion and marquise cut diamonds and can be styled into a cluster or three-stone setting.
Image courtesy: Antique Jewelry Mall
9. Edwardian – Edwardian-era beauty only lasted between 1901 to 1920, but the Edwardian engagement ring is loved for its decorative style with filigree and millegrain edging. The metalwork is defined by its intricate and ultra-feminine lacework, favoring white gold and platinum over yellow gold.
Image courtesy: Chavana
10. Art Deco – This style was born in an era of opulence, sophisticated style and beautiful jewelry from 1920 to 1935. The Art Deco engagement ring is a popular choice for vintage and old-glamour lovers. Its style usually features bold and streamlined geometric shapes. Art Deco engagement rings are designed with clean lines and modern forms paired with round or step cut diamonds and often, a touch of color. It is seeing a re-emergence in popularity because of its timeless and distinct styles made popular by Van Cleef, Cartier and other European haute-jewellers.
When in doubt, consult with an experienced jeweller to help move things along. At Facets, selecting the diamond and choosing the perfect ring setting will always be a fun stress-free process. We have a team of experts and are always happy to share our expertise at every stage of your bespoke journey.
When you finally pull that rabbit out of the hat, you’ll be pleased that you pulled out the right rabbit. Every magic trick while appearing to be simple, takes years of practice to perfect. Remember, proposing to your partner only happens once!
Engagements are an auspicious occasion for both sides. Make the effort to know and consider your engagement ring options carefully. Whichever setting style you and your partner decide on, the time and effort you spend selecting the right setting will bring you both years of pleasure and serve as an everlasting reminder of your commitment to each other.