Jewellery Guides

Choosing The Right Ring Style

Written by Adele Narcisi
September 29th, 2020 • 8 min read

From solitaires to trilogies, diamond bands to halos - not to mention scallop settings, pavé, hidden halos, claws and diamond bridges.. There's so much to think about: we've got it covered in our simple guide.

Halo Rings

Halo rings are a popular design element that date back to the Victorian period, when small pearls or diamonds were used to enhance centre stones. Often using coloured gems for the centre stone, Victorian halo rings were designed to imitate flowers. The style gained prevalence in the 1920s Art Deco period, when geometry and symmetry ruled design. Halo engagement rings today have had a resurgence in popularity, thanks to the ability to maximise size without maximising your budget.

A halo setting is the addition of small diamonds set around the centre stone. A halo can simply be a circle of melee diamonds around the round brilliant centre stone, or could involve intricate shapes, patterns and metal detailing. A halo maximises the size and sparkle of the ring, and should complement the centre stone. It is important that the smaller diamonds are perfectly calibrated with the centre stone in terms of cut, clarity and colour, to demonstrate consistency. When the halo diamonds are brighter and clearer than the centre stone, the centre stone may appear more yellow or grey in contrast. At Queensmith, we ensure any additional diamonds added to a centre stone are perfectly calibrated, for the most beautiful outcome.

Round bespoke halo ring

Oval Classic Oberon halo ring

If the size of the ring is a main priority, a halo can be a great choice. The size of the ring is maximised by the addition of the smaller diamonds, meaning the centre stone can be on the smaller side and can work to a stricter budget. A ring can have more than one halo, which is great for those looking for intricacy or a two tone halo.

For a simple and timeless halo, see the Oberon and Classic Oberon designs. For a nod to vintage design, check out the Rainer, which adds intricate detail to the centre stone, and the Velez Pavé or Holliday for something innovative and totally unique.

Solitaire Rings

Solitaire engagement rings are masters of simplicity. The term means that one centre diamond is used without any other stones around it: all eyes are on the one and only diamond, without distraction. This is widely recognised and the most popular style of engagement ring, and since its creation in the 1800s has never gone out of style.

The use of one diamond and a simple band allows for maximum light play and therefore great sparkle. Choosing a centre diamond is important for any ring style, but the centre stone is very much in the spotlight with a solitaire, so you should consider the right balance of cut, clarity, size and colour. Our expert gemologists are always able to answer any questions you might have about this.

Round Harlow solitaire ring

Round Turner solitaire ring

It’s important any fantastic diamond has an equally fantastic setting to show it in the best light. The diversity of solitaire settings allows for both traditional and contemporary rings. With a number of settings perfectly engineered to allow light to pass through the diamond, we’re able to cater for every taste, from the twisted setting of the Turner to the illusion of the diamond floating in the setting of the Harlow. The rubover setting of the Darrieux is an ultra-modern way to frame a diamond, and a popular choice amongst minimalists.

Discover styles you love, with our gallery of custom rings.

Diamond Band Rings

Diamond band engagement rings build upon the simplicity of solitaire rings. The addition of small, melee diamonds to a band delivers detailing, intricacy and, of course, sparkle. The diamonds used on the band are called 'melee' diamonds, meaning they weigh less than 0.18 carats, and as little as 0.001 carats.

Fontaine Pavé ring

Oval Tierney Pavé ring

There are a few ways to set the diamonds, the most popular being pavé, or scallop.

Pavé setting sees melee diamonds encases with metal along either side of the band, and tiny ball claws are used to keep each little diamond in place. This style can look vintage-esque. A beautiful way to add to the intricacy of a pavé diamond band is to add a milgrain effect.

Scallop setting, just as it sounds, appears like a scalloped edge when viewed from the side, with tiny claws used to keep the diamonds in place. Thanks to the open-sided scallop setting of each diamond, this style allows more light to flood the diamonds and therefore produces a sparklier band.

Channel and flush settings can also be used within the band, offering more of a subtle sparkle.

Trilogy Rings

Trilogy engagement rings feature three diamonds - why have one diamond when you can have three?

Aside from their ability to maximise the size and sparkle of an engagement ring, trilogy rings have a special significance. Some regard the series of rings as symbolic of you past memories together, present happiness and future relationship. Many couples love the way a trinity rings embodies their story together. The ‘present’ stone is the biggest stone, placed in the centre of the ring - after all, there is no time like the present. Others interpret the trilogy of diamonds to represent friendship, love and fidelity. Of course, many like to have their own meanings that truly represent them and their relationship. Whichever way you interpret it, a trilogy ring will always have a precious meaning behind it, suiting those wanting to encapsulate a greater meaning in their ring.

Lamar three stone ring

Three stone Leigh ring

Trilogy rings typically come in a number of styles, the most popular being graduated. This usually means the weight of the centre two is equivalent to the two outer stones put together, similar to that of Prince Harry’s engagement ring for Meghan Markle. For example, a 0.50 carat centre diamond would be framed with two 0.25 carat stones.

For a less dramatic difference between the centre and outer stones, choose a ‘slightly graduated style’. A graduated or slightly graduated engagement ring is the perfect way emphasise the importance of the centre, or ‘present’ stone, such as in the Leigh. Using equally sized diamonds is more unusual, and makes for a unique engagement ring.

For something a little more alternative, try step cut baguettes to support the centre stone, such as in the Winters engagement ring, or like the Lamar use two delicate pear diamonds to draw the eye towards the round brilliant centre diamond.

Side view of a large 3.20ct lab grown radiant diamond engagement ring showing a diamond set bridge and diamond set bezel and diamond set half way up the claws, all in platinum

Thought About A Hidden Halo?

Subtle features like a hidden halo can add a sweet and sentimental touch of extra sparkle to your ring. A hidden halo sits around the parameter of the diamond, between the top of the claws and the shank of the band. Other subtle diamond embellishments include diamond set claws and a diamond set bridge - have fun exploring these customisations!

Want To Learn More About Ring Styles?

We delve further into ring styles with our Engagement Ring Guide, exploring everything from the shape of your ring's claws, to the difference between metal colours and setting styles. Check it out for the ultimate ring inspiration.


Co-create your dream, crafted in-house & just for you.

A ring consultation at Queensmith with a professional design expert and gemmologist, working with a happy couple to make their engagement ring

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