In addition to considering the mineral or gemstone characteristics and band material, you must also choose an engagement ring setting and ring band.
This common setting looks as the name implies: a single diamond or gemstone that is not surrounded by other stones. Usually, solitaire diamonds are held in place with a prong setting.
Engagement rings with side stones have a larger stone in the center, which is enhanced by the surrounding gems. Many different methods can be used to set the side stones; however, the most common are the channel and prong settings.
Three-Stone Rings are commonly referred to as “anniversary rings”. The three diamonds represent the past, present, and future of your relationship. All three stones can be the same size or the center stone can be larger than the side stones. Furthermore, the side stones can be personalized with different gems or birthstones. Usually, this style of ring is mounted using the prong setting.
Engagement rings can be paired with a wedding band to form an intricate design. These can be custom-made or can be purchased as a set.
The bezel setting is holds the diamond in place by creating a metal frame either partially or entirely around the stone. If the metal surrounds the thin edge of the diamond, it can act as a protective barrier against damage or snagging. Additionally, this setting technique can make the stone appear larger.
The prong setting style is most common, particularly for solitaire rings. Similar to the invisible setting, the prong setting does not impede light from entering the stone. Furthermore, the center diamond can be raised above the band to make it appear larger. Prongs are attached to the band beneath the stone and grip around the diamond, forming an arch at the top. Most often, four prongs are used; however five or six can be used at evenly spaced intervals. This setting can be used for a variety of shapes, as it is effective in preventing damage to even the delicate pointed tips of the diamond. One drawback is that the prongs can snag on clothing if they are especially high-set. Those with active lifestyles may prefer the lower-set prongs.
In this band setting, the stones are set against two strips of metal that hold them side-by-side without the use of additional prongs. Considered to be one of the most secure settings, the channel setting protects and smooths the edges of the stones. This makes the stones less likely to snag on hair or clothing. The channel setting is very popular for engagement rings and wedding bands.
The pave, or bead, band setting is covered with dozens of small diamonds, which covers the metal band underneath. These diamonds are held in place with very small prongs or beads; this gives the illusion that the band is made entirely of diamonds. Using this setting makes the center stone sparkle, even if it is a lower clarity or less-brilliant cut. However, ring sizing can be difficult with this setting.
The tension setting is considered for rings with a modern design. Using pressure to hold a stone between two ends of a metal mounting, this setting creates the image of a floating diamond. These settings are less expensive and simpler to create. Additionally, they are one of the more secure settings as they use a prong or bezel setting underneath or to the side of the diamond to anchor it firmly.
Becoming more and more popular for engagement rings, the halo setting is the placement of diamonds/gemstones in one or more concentric circles around a larger center stone. This design gives the appearance of a larger center stone, which can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a solitary larger-carat stone. This style is commonly used with pave bands or with simple metal bands.
Similar to the arches of a cathedral, this ring setting utilizes metal arches to firmly hold the diamond in place. This is considered to be one of the more classic and elegant ring settings. These arches can be set with other settings, such as the tension or bezel. Since this setting uses high arches to hold the diamond in place, the stone is much higher above the band of the ring. This can make the center stone appear much larger, but can cause the ring to snag more frequently on clothing and other materials.
The flush setting is also referred to as the “gypsy setting” and sets the diamond into a hole drilled into the ring band so the top of the diamond is flush with the top of the band. Commonly used in men’s wedding bands, the flush setting is appropriate for the partner with an active lifestyle.
Although these styles were created with a specific time period in mind, the vintage styles are becoming increasingly popular. Usually, these styles have very intricate details such as filigree and milgrain. Filigree is a type of design that soders tiny metal beads to the surface of the ring. Milgrain is a type of engraving that provides an antique look using tiny balls of metal on the band sides and ring crown.
Traditional court rings have an elliptical appearance when cross-sectioned. Since there are no straight edges, this ring can be very comfortable.
Similar to the court-shaped ring, the D-shaped ring is straight on the bottom and rounded on the sides. However, the top, or outermost part, of the ring is curved, which gives the appearance of a “D” shape when the ring is cross-sectioned.
Flat-court rings have the same shape as D-shaped rings; however, the flat edge is on the outside and the curved edge is on the inside.
Flat rings have straight edges on all four sides with lightly rounded corners. This style is more typical with men’s engagement and wedding rings.
Double comfort rings have straight edges on the top and bottom but have very rounded sides. This is very comfortable for the wearer as it puts less pressure on the finger and the rounded edges provide a smoother feel.
Halo rings are almost perfectly circular when cross-sectioned. While less common than other styles, the halo style can still provide a great deal of comfort for the wearer.
Flat-sided court rings are similar to the traditional court rings; however, the sides are flattened. This gives the appearance of the top and bottom being very rounded and the sides being very flat.
One of the least common styles, concave rings are “U” shaped when cross-sectioned. Depending on the style of the ring, the “U” can be more or less defined. The concave ring style is almost exclusively used in men’s wedding bands.
The profile is the shape of the band when cut. Certain profiles may be more appropriate for certain wearers and provide different levels of comfort.
The width of a band varies greatly between rings. Most often, bands are between 2 and 12 mm wide.
The finish of a ring describes its sheen or visual effect. Polished is the most common as it is the most luminous. Matte finishes have a smooth look that does not have a shine effect. Satin is similar to matte, but with a bit more of a polished look. Stone has a very rugged finish that looks more coarse than matte or satin finishes. Hammered gives the appearance of a “dented” metal with or without a shine.
Milgrain is a raised beaded design on the surface of a band. This can be made into intricate, feminine patterns.
Beveled edges are more common in men’s wedding and engagement rings. This is an angled edge on a ring with a contrasting finish.
Filigree uses fine wire to make intricate patterns including spirals, which gives the ring a vintage appearance.
Engravings can be done on the inside or outside of the ring to create an even more personalized piece. Often the messages inside of the bands hold a personal significance for the couple.