The term ‘engagement rings’ is quite broad and relates to many different styles. Trying to research this term can be difficult as different angles can focus on different things. For example, we could focus on the gemstone used – sapphire, diamond, ruby, lab diamond etc. Or we we focus on the metals from 18k yellow gold to white gold to platinum. Or do we focus on the shape of the centre stone from round to oval to princess cut. Well, it depends. I tend to ficus on the main styles of rings available.
I’ll list each style, give a brief background and provide some examples.
The objective of this page is to allow you know what you really want, when you are searching for the perfect engagement ring.
Solitaire Engagement Rings
Simply put, this is the most classic and timeless style of ring. It is one (larger) stone on a plain band. All rings (generally) are available in all precious metals. All rings are also available with all different centre stones. From diamond to sapphire, to emerald to ruby. Set with moissanite or lab grown diamonds. They are also available in different shapes, from round, oval, marquise, emerald cut, square princess etc.
The most popular solitaire rings of the last 12 months can be seen below.
– The oval diamond has been one of the most popular diamond shape of the past 12 months.
– Features of this setting include a (i) thin band (ii) tapered setting (meaning the metal gets narrower as you approach the centre diamond) (iii) Wedding ring friendly (meaning a straight wedding ring will sit flush beside this ring with no gap between the two rings).
– Yellow gold has been the most popular metal for the past 12 months in Ireland.
– This style of ring is popular with both ‘natural’ and ‘lab grown’ diamonds.
Classic 4 claw solitaire
– If you imagine an engagement ring, this is typically the image of what your thinking.
-Features of this setting include (i) thin band approx 1.80mm wide (ii) tapered setting to give the illusion of a larger centre diamond (iii) Wedding ring friendly.
– Also popular with natural and lab diamonds.
– The 4 claw setting is most popular with diamond at the 1.20ct and under as they show off the diamond a bit more than the six claw option.
Six claw setting
– Sometimes referred to as the Tiffany Style setting.
– Features of this ring (i) thin band to show off the centre diamond (ii) each claw polished as much as possible to be as subtle as possible while still being durable (iii) Wedding ring frinedly (iv) Tapered band as it approaches the centre diamond.
– Most popular with ‘lab grown’ diamonds as people tend to go larger sizes with lab diamonds.
– Best option for diamond 1.50ct or larger as it offers more security for the diamond.
– The six claws can make the centre diamond look larger as the claws blend in with the diamond and give the illusion of a larger diamond.
– The claws also make the centre diamond look more round. The additional claws add to the curvature of the centre diamond.
Four claw compass set
– This has many of the same characteristics of the classic 4 claw solitaire. However, the claws are rotated 45 degrees.
– This give the illusion of the centre diamond being more round.
– The classic 4 claw setting can make a round diamond look square, the compass setting tricks the eye and give the illusion of a more circular look.
– Also referred to as the north, south, east west setting.
– Setting features (i) thin band to keep the focus on the centre diamond (ii) Wedding ring friendly to avoid the need of a curved wedding ring at a later date (iii) Tapered effect to keep the focus on the diamond (iv) claws holding in the diamond being as subtle as possible as nobody likes claws – they are however necessary.
All solitaire rings are available in all precious metals; all diamond shapes and all gemstone types. In Ireland last year, the solitaire represented approx 50% of engagement ring sales.
Reason for the popularity:
The solitaire is regarded as timeless. This style will not age or date. It does not crown out the hand and allows the focus to be on the diamond.
Drawback to the solitaire:
You need a big diamond for this style of ring to work (depending obviously on your preferred style)
This style does not suit all hand shapes – it can easily get lost on a larger hand
Three Stone Rings
The three stone diamond engagement rings are also know as trilogy style engagement rings. It is said that the three diamonds represent the past, the present and the future.
The main characteristics for this style of ring are as follows:
Most popular with three round cut diamonds, the centre diamond being larger than the two side diamonds
Plain band is usually preferred over diamond on the band. Most people feel that there is enough going on with the three diamonds and that the diamonds on the band are not necessary.
We advise to keep the setting ‘wedding ring friendly’ as a curved wedding ring at a later date can be annoying.
A thin band also shows off the size of the diamonds a bit more – a wider or thicker band can compliment people with larger hands. However, when trying on any engagement ring, its good practice to try on a wedding ring at the same time.
This style works with a number of diamond shapes – shown below.
The below are the most popular 4 stone rings sold in Ireland in the past 12 months
Three stone trilogy engagement ring – all round brilliant cut diamonds.
– Centre round brilliant cut diamond with a smaller round cut diamond on either side.
– The spread across the finger provides a lot more bang for you buck when compared to the solitaire ring.
– This style can look more flattering on a person with either shorter fingers or larger hands.
– On shorter fingers, having the diamond at the base of the finger draws attention to the remainder of the finger and can give the illusion of elongating the finger.
– On larger hands, the three stones cover more surface area – a solitaire could look lost in some instances.
– This style of ring can dominate a hand – slim fingers can crowded out.
– Setting features: (i) thin band to enhance the size of the diamonds (ii) tapered band to focus the eye on the diamonds (iii) Wedding ring friendly for convenience with a straight band at a later date (iv) As low to the finger as possible while allowing the ring be wedding ring friendly. (v) plain band as the 3 round diamonds are enough bling for most people.
Oval with Pear Cut Diamonds
– This has the popular oval cut diamond and a round cut diamond on each side, both smaller than the centre.
– The different shapes allow the centre oval to be the main attraction.
– This style gives both length (with the oval diamond) and width with it being 3 diamonds across the finger.
– The main features of this setting are: (i) thin band. (ii) wedding ring friendly (iii) claws holding the diamond as subtle as possible. (iv) tapered band as it approaches the diamonds.
– This is a great style for someone with larger hands (width and length). This style of engagement ring will cover a lot of finger.
– Plain thin wedding works best with this style of diamond ring.
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