The engagement ring has been a symbol of ever-lasting love for centuries. Since the early Egyptians created the tradition of placing a betrothal ring on the fourth finger of the left hand, this tradition has never lost its place in society. The Egyptians believed that this finger held a vein that led directly to the heart and thus was the most fitting place to wear a token of true love.
Today, starting the process of picking that perfect engagement ring can be exciting but also daunting with all the beautiful styles to choose from. So to aid you in your ring buying quest, here is a look at five of the most popular engagement ring styles.
The Diamond Solitaire
The diamond solitaire is the picture of elegance and tradition. As popular today as it was in 1886 when Tiffany & Co introduced their classic six-prong design, this ring sets the standard for engagement rings.
The diamond solitaire is the most traditional setting and is designed to focus the eye on the beautiful splendor of one perfect diamond. The woman who believes in elegance and timelessness is the woman who will love the classic solitaire setting.
The Pave Setting
Always a fashion favorite, and second in popularity only to the diamond solitaire, is the Pave setting. The Pave design (pronounced pah-vay) is perhaps the most sparkly and dazzling of engagement ring settings as it captures the eye by making the entire surface of the band look like a river of diamonds.
The pave setting employs small beads to hold each stone securely in place. This minimizes the amount of metal that shows through while maximizing the brilliance and sparkle of each pave diamond.
One advantage of the pave design over the solitaire, is that the center diamond can often be smaller without sacrificing on the overall sparkle and brilliance of the ring. So that the total price of a pave ring (band plus center diamond) is often less.
When jewelers talk about a Petite styled ring, they are talking about the width of the band (not the size of the diamond!) In general any ring with a width under 2mm is regarded as petite. Delicate and feminine, petite styled solitaire and pave designs are very much in fashion.
Although originally intended for women with delicate and small hands, this style is also perfect for the woman who favors a ring with a more delicate look. Another popular benefit of the petite style is that the thinner-than-usual band will make the center diamond appear larger, always a plus!
The Halo Setting
Another fashionable design is the Halo style engagement ring. The Halo design (also called the ballerina style) is distinguished by a ring of smaller diamonds encircling a larger center stone.
The halo is currently one of the most popular styles, due much in part to Kate Middleton’s newly acquired engagement ring once belonging to Princess Diana. Her ring features a large and stunning sapphire surrounded by a halo of perfect diamonds.
The diamond halo can stand alone, or can be in combination with pave diamonds along the band. The halo gives your ring a vintage lacy feel while adding additional sparkle and bling.
For the woman who is in love with love and can spend hours in little antique shops in search of the perfect lacy blouse that harkens back to a more romantic time, the vintage-style engagement ring is probably her ideal fit.
Vintage styles (also known as Antique or Heirloom) with their delicate filigree decorations, intricate engravings and milgrain detailing derive their inspiration and overall look from earlier times. In particular, the Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco, or Art Nouveau periods. Romantic vintage styles are very popular and can be found in most jewelry lines.
Just remember, in the middle of all the rings to be perused and decisions to be made, this should be a time of joy and excitement. Take time to pick the perfect ring and before you know it, you will both be walking down that aisle!