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Engagement Ring Styles & Settings

Not yet settled on an engagement ring style? Or need help unpacking all of the terminology involved in buying an engagement ring? You’ve come to the right place.

Solitaire Engagement Rings

Solitaire rings are maybe the ‘quintessential’ engagement ring style. Solitaire rings are rings with one central stone as the focal point. The stone in this type of engagement ring can be any precious gem but is traditionally a white diamond.

Solitaire diamond rings can come in many different cuts or shapes - you can have a round solitaire ring, oval solitaire ring, princess cut solitaire ring, or emerald cut solitaire ring, for example.

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-hannah-platinum-ring-35030 - A solitaire ring with a princess cut diamond

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-yasmin-18ct-rose-gold-ring-34951 - A solitaire ring with a round cut diamond

Solitaire engagement ring styles can also have different settings - you can get a solitaire ring with a cathedral setting, a solitaire with a prong setting, or a solitaire with a bezel setting.

Solitaire rings can be more expensive as the value lies in one big central stone, rather than multiple smaller diamonds. Popular sizes for a solitaire diamond range from 0.5 carats to 2 carats.

Solitaire rings are beautifully simple and timeless, allowing your centre stone to really shine.

Three Stone, Side Stone, and Trilogy Engagement Rings

Three-stone rings, also known as side stone styles or trilogy engagement rings, feature - unsurprisingly - three main stones. Some rings may have three identical stones, while others may have a larger central stone flanked by two smaller or differently shaped stones.

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-elspeth-070ct-fvs2-emerald-trapeze-diamond-platinum-ring-22012 - A trilogy ring with emerald cut stones

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-lydia-18ct-yellow-gold-ring-35521 - A trilogy ring with round cut stones

Trilogy and three-stone rings are traditionally meant to represent the past, present, and future of a relationship, making them a wonderful and sentimental choice for many couples.

Halo Engagement Rings

Halo engagement rings feature one central stone - like a solitaire - but also have a band of smaller diamonds surrounding them. These types of engagement rings are a real showstopper of an engagement ring style, with unrivalled glamour and sparkle!

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-anais-platinum-ring-36104 - A halo-style ring with a round cut centre stone

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-autumn-18ct-white-gold-ring-36185 - A halo-style ring with a marquis cut centre stone and diamond set band

‘Hidden Halo’ Engagement Rings

Another engagement ring style you might hear about is the ‘hidden halo’.

Hidden halo rings have inset small diamonds like a traditional halo, but they are placed around the sides of the ring or angled underneath so they are only visible from the side, unlike a traditional halo where the surrounding stones are visible from above.

Hidden halos reflect light in and around the main stone, adding sparkle, dimension, and brilliance - just without the traditional halo look.

Diamond Set Engagement Rings

Diamond set engagement ring styles feature diamonds that are set into the ‘shoulders’ of the ring or around the band. This style remains, of course, very popular for wedding rings and engagement rings.

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-elsie-platinum-ring-35459 - A solitaire engagement ring with pear-cut centre stone and diamond-set shoulders.

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-hayley-platinum-ring-36172 - A halo engagement ring with oval-cut centre stone and diamond-set shoulders

Diamond set engagement rings add an extra level of glamour and sparkle to your ring, perfect for someone who suits a real showstopper ring!

Not yet settled on an engagement ring style? Or need help unpacking all of the terminology involved in buying an engagement ring? You’ve come to the right place.

When it comes to types of engagement rings, we know the range of options can feel never-ending at first. For example, if you’ve been tasked with finding a white gold 1.5ct halo ring with a cathedral prong setting and pavé-set band, you may be feeling a bit lost.

At Joshua James, we have decades of experience in the jewellery industry but also many years of experience helping people pick their engagement rings and wedding rings, so we understand exactly how daunting it can be!

Our guides to buying an engagement ring cover all aspects of ring buying, breaking down the jargon to help you make your proposal as special and unique as your relationship. In this guide, we’ll take you through the difference between engagement ring styles and engagement ring settings, as well as show you the difference between all of them.
To learn more or to enlist the help of the professionals at Joshua James, contact us via WhatsApp or book a free online or virtual consultation with our expert team.


The Difference between Engagement Ring Styles & Settings

Ring styles and settings are both used to describe the features of a ring, rather than of the diamond. To learn more about diamonds and diamond terminology, take a look at our Diamond Guides.

The style of an engagement ring and its setting are often used interchangeably, but they are slightly different.

The engagement ring style refers to the shape and design of the ring, while the setting refers to the method used to secure the diamond. They’re closely related, but not quite the same.

Engagement Ring Styles Explained

Prong

Prong settings are the most common type of engagement ring setting and are sometimes called claw settings.

Prong settings use several metal prongs to act as a basket for your diamond, holding it securely in place. They are sleek, minimalist, and classic and can be found in all engagement ring styles, including solitaires, three-stones, halos, and diamond set rings.

Prong settings are also popular as they allow more light to enter the diamond, as the amount of metal in the setting is fairly small. This means more sparkle and brilliance in your diamond ring.

While four-prong settings are the most popular type of prong setting, they are also slightly less secure than other types of engagement ring settings. Six or eight-prong settings are generally a more secure setting, without compromising too much on sparkle! As an added bonus, six-prong settings also make a diamond look bigger, as they draw the eye to the edges of the stone.

Cathedral

Cathedral settings - as the name suggests - rise up from the band in a way that looks a bit like cathedral arches! This is a great choice to make a diamond look larger and more sparkling, as the cathedral setting requires the diamond to be set a bit higher off the band of the ring, magnifying the stone and letting more light in.

It’s easiest to see what a cathedral setting looks like from the side, as from above they can look very similar to a standard prong setting. Take a look at these examples to see the difference:

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-sara-18ct-yellow-gold-ring-35056 - A solitaire ring with a cathedral prong setting


https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-violet-platinum-ring-18238 - A solitaire ring with a prong setting

Bezel

Bezel settings are one of the most secure settings for your diamond engagement ring and are easy to keep clean, so it’s perfect for someone who has an active lifestyle or works a lot with their hands.

A bezel setting is a small ring of metal that goes all the way around the sides of the stone, holding it in place securely. Unlike prong settings, a knock to part of the bezel won’t affect the safety of your stone as it’s fully covered.

If the sparkle factor of your diamond is the most important thing, a bezel setting might not be for you, as it doesn’t let the light in to reflect off the stone as much as other engagement ring styles. As there is more metal needed, bezel settings can be slightly more expensive, but if you’re worried about the safety of your diamond, it’s a worthy investment.

With that said, bezel settings are also beautiful in their own right and have a sleek, unique appearance for a modern engagement ring, without having to worry about durability!

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-jane-platinum-ring-36120 - A halo-style engagement ring with a bezel setting

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-niamh-18ct-yellow-gold-ring-34948 - A solitaire engagement ring with a bezel setting

Split Shank

Split shank settings frame your engagement ring diamond beautifully, while also adding a unique feature to your ring!

The shank or band of a wedding ring or engagement ring (the terms are often used interchangeably) is the metal part that goes around your finger. With a split shank ring, the shank splits out into two around the stone, creating a section of open space. This calls attention to the beautiful centre stone and adds a bit of flair to your ring.

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-arya-18ct-yellow-gold-ring-36079 - A halo-style ring with a split shank band

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-lacey-18ct-rose-gold-ring-36179 - A halo-style ring with a split shank band in a different style

Pavé and Channel Settings

Pavé and channel settings are most likely to be found on a halo-style engagement ring. This is because they are methods of setting diamonds into the band of the ring, rather than a central stone.

Pavé settings and channel settings can look similar, but there is a difference. With a pavé setting, small diamonds are placed close together and held with tiny prongs on top of the band. In channel settings, the diamonds are set into the band and held flush to the ring band with small metal bars.

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-valeria-platinum-ring-36031 - A round-cut engagement ring with a pavé set diamond set band

https://www.joshuajames.com/product/joshua-james-engagement-saoirse-18ct-yellow-gold-ring-35530 - A solitaire-style engagement ring with a channel diamond set band

Engagement Ring Settings