Two of the most popular engagement rings styles are the halo and the solitaire. These settings sparkle on every jeweler’s shopfront and homepage. Both these ring designs are so stunning that it can be difficult to choose between them. But, unless you plan to get your fiancée two engagement rings, you will have to make the tough decision. The following information may help.
Halo: Glitz and Glamor
What is better than one diamond? Ten diamonds! Worn by the likes of Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Hudson, halo engagement rings are breathtaking. They feature a circle of small gems (the halo) that surround a large centerpiece stone. These striking rings have been fashionable from the Victorian era through to the Art Deco 1920s and 1960s Hollywood.
Simply put, halo rings provide more sparkle for your buck. The halo gems are not just surplus stones—they catch the light to create a flowing gleam that makes the center stone appear bigger and brighter. These smaller stones also add to the total carat weight of the ring while costing significantly less than a single diamond of a similar carat weight.
There are many ways to style your halo ring as well. You can replicate the Victorian style of having a colorful gem as the center stone, or choose an elegant diamond-only design. Halo rings need not be round either. This setting can be applied in a square, oval, or octagonal shape. And, if there are not enough diamonds, a pavé (gem-lined) band goes nicely with a halo setting.
Having so many gems does have its downside though. While the center stone is protected from the elements by its surrounding halo, having many small gemstones means having more tiny crevices to clean. A halo ring should be inspected and cleaned professionally once a year to ensure that each tiny stone is secure and shining at its best.
Solitaire: Carats and Class
If you want to make a statement with minimal fuss, the solitaire is for you. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Keira Knightley have both rocked the solitaire engagement ring. As its name suggests, a solitaire engagement ring features a single gemstone as the centerpiece. There are typically no other gemstones and the band is often left plain as well.
While this may sound incredibly clean compared to the halo setting, the simplicity of the solitaire is where it shines. With no embellishments to distract the viewer, the eye is drawn straight to the center stone. As solitaire diamonds are usually set high, every facet of the gem captures the light, leading to a brilliant, iridescent sparkle.
This is why the quality of the gemstone is imperative with a solitaire setting. Solitaire rings are one of the few ring designs that can work with any diamond shape and cut. The important part is to select a stone that is as perfect as possible in terms of the 4Cs—cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. Remember that a solitaire setting will show off your diamond, but also highlight any minor flaws.
Aside from casting a spotlight on your precious stone, solitaire rings have other advantages as well. They are timeless, meaning that they can be passed down to future generations and never go out of style. Their simple design allows for the current trend of ring stacking. Cleaning and maintenance of single-stone rings are also remarkably straightforward.
Deciding on Diamonds
After deciding on your ring setting, another significant consideration is whether you choose lab grown diamonds or traditionally-mined diamonds. Diamond production technology has progressed in leaps and bounds over the last decade and lab-grown diamonds are now visually identical to mined counterparts. The only difference is that lab-grown diamonds can be 20-40 percent less costly.
If you are planning a solitaire ring, choosing a lab-grown diamond could mean a huge increase in the carat weight of your diamond or a more expensive metal for the band. If you are planning a halo ring, the price difference could allow you to upgrade to a pavé band. As a bonus, lab-grown diamonds save you the awkward ethical and environmental concerns that can come with mined diamonds.
At the end of the day, the engagement ring you choose to purchase for your future wife has to suit both her personality and your budget. Halo rings are better suited for women who love a touch of opulence and solitaire rings are best for those who prefer subtle elegance. With halo rings, you can have more carat weight for the price, while solitaire rings let you make a stronger impact with a spectacular stone.
Making a commitment to the one you love is an exciting affair. Start your journey as an engaged couple on the right foot by choosing a ring that complements the beauty and personality of your betrothed. Whether you choose a halo or a solitaire engagement ring, consider lab-grown diamonds for a more ethical choice, and watch your fiancé as she sparkles.