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Choosing an Engagement Ring: Episode 3 - Ring Styles & Settings: Navigating Classic and Contemporary Designs

Choosing an Engagement Ring: Episode 3 - Ring Styles & Settings: Navigating Classic and Contemporary Designs

Selecting an engagement ring isn’t just about choosing a stone; the ring’s style and setting play a pivotal role in showcasing that precious gem. From timeless classic designs that have enchanted for decades to contemporary creations that cater to modern aesthetics, the choices are myriad. In this article, we'll traverse the world of ring styles and settings, spotlighting both the traditional and the trendsetting.

Classic vs. Contemporary Designs

1. Classic Designs: Classic engagement ring styles have stood the test of time, retaining their allure across generations. They are characterized by their simplicity, elegance, and timeless appeal.

  • Features: Often feature clear, clean lines, symmetrical designs, and a predominant central stone.
  • Popularity: These are the go-to for those who prefer something traditional and evergreen, which won’t feel outdated even after decades.
  • Examples: The round brilliant solitaire or the emerald-cut stone with tapered baguette side stones.

2. Contemporary Designs: These are the rings of the moment, reflecting current trends, innovations in design, and often a more avant-garde aesthetic.

  • Features: Unconventional shapes, unique arrangements, or the inclusion of non-traditional gemstones.
  • Popularity: Ideal for those who want a distinctive piece that stands out and aligns with modern fashion sensibilities.
  • Examples: Spiral bands, asymmetrical settings, or rings featuring colored gemstones like sapphires or morganites.

Diving Deep: Different Types of Settings

1. Solitaire:

  • Description: The most recognized and classic of all settings, the solitaire focuses on a single stone set on a simple band.
  • Popularity: Its enduring appeal lies in its elegance and the emphasis it places on the central gem.
  • Best for: Those looking for a timeless piece where the diamond or gemstone is the star.

2. Halo:

  • Description: This setting involves a central gemstone encircled by smaller diamonds or gemstones, enhancing its size and sparkle.
  • Popularity: It’s gained immense traction in recent years, adding a vintage touch to rings.
  • Best for: Those wanting a ring that appears larger and more radiant without investing in a bigger central diamond.

3. Three-Stone:

  • Description: As the name suggests, it features three stones, often of similar size, though sometimes the central stone is larger.
  • Symbolism: Often said to represent the past, present, and future of a relationship.
  • Best for: Individuals looking for symbolism combined with the allure of multiple gemstones.

4. Pave (pronounced “pa-vay”):

  • Description: This setting is characterized by small diamonds set closely together, covering the band, resulting in a surface that looks “paved” with gemstones.
  • Popularity: Adds immense sparkle to the ring without the cost of larger stones.
  • Best for: Those who love a dazzling band to complement their central stone.

5. Bezel:

  • Description: The gemstone is fully or partially enclosed by a thin metal rim, holding it in place.
  • Safety: It’s one of the most secure settings, making it great for active individuals.
  • Best for: Those looking for a modern, sleek look with the added benefit of protecting the gemstone.

6. Other Notable Settings:

  • Tension Setting: The gemstone appears suspended between the band, held by tension.
  • Channel Setting: Small diamonds are set in a channel formed between two metal bands.
  • Cluster Setting: Smaller diamonds are grouped together to appear as a larger diamond.

Choosing the Right Setting for You

Your engagement ring is a testament to your personal style and the unique love story you share with your partner. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Lifestyle: If you’re active or use your hands a lot, settings like bezel, which protect the gemstone, might be beneficial.
  • Aesthetic: Decide if you gravitate towards traditional elegance or modern flair.
  • Maintenance: Some intricate settings, like pave, might require more frequent checks and maintenance.
  • Budget: Settings with more diamonds or intricate designs might be costlier.


An engagement ring is more than just its central stone. Its style and setting play a decisive role in its overall appearance and the way it showcases the gemstone. Whether you're drawn to the timeless charm of classic designs or the innovative allure of contemporary styles, understanding the myriad of settings available can ensure you find the perfect ring that resonates with your personal story and style.

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