Choose a Ring
To choose a ring setting, you’ll need to select a style, metal, and ring size. You’ll probably devote most of your attention here to picking a style given the multitude of options.
Choose a Setting
One advantage of buying your engagement ring from an online jeweler is the expanded access you get to ring styles. At Brilliant Earth, we offer almost every ring style imaginable – and if we don’t have a style you want, we can custom design a ring for you.
Many people, however, do not begin with a specific style in mind. For these shoppers, the challenge is narrowing down the possibilities. With such a wide range of options, how do you choose?
Consider what fits her lifestyle and personality best. In addition to your budget, her personal style and her daily activities are the main considerations that should guide your selection of a setting. Here are recommendations that match personality traits with various styles of engagement rings:
- Traditional & Elegant
Classic Solitaire Engagement RingA classic solitaire setting is timeless and showcases the center diamond without any distraction. Solitaires, which are rings that feature one center diamond, are the most popular style for engagement rings. The most traditional solitaire features a plain metal band. To add a bit more refinement or to ensure the center diamond is set especially low, consider a trellis setting (which features interwoven prongs) or a basket setting (with prongs suspending the diamond in a basket shape).
- For a touch more glamour, add a row of diamond accents on the band or consider peekaboo diamonds (diamonds set in the gallery or undercarriage of the ring that are not visible from the top). Three stone engagement rings (in which each stone represents past, present, and future) are another prevalent alternative to the traditional solitaire. View our Classic Collection and our collection of solitaires.
- Outgoing & Glamorous
Glamorous Engagement Ring If the wearer wants to dazzle with glamour, she might love a setting that holds her diamond higher, or perhaps one that features sparkling pavé-set diamonds on the band of the ring. Halo engagement settings are also very popular. Halo settings add a circle of diamonds around the center diamond to add sparkle and make the center diamond appear larger. View our Glamorous Collection and Halo Settings.
- Outdoorsy & Nature Lover
Nature Inspired Engagement RingIs your significant other a nature lover or someone who is happiest outdoors? Ring settings with organic elements in their designs such as leaves, vines, and flowers may suit her well. For an active woman, consider a setting that holds the diamond lower to the hand. A bezel setting, or a thin metal band that hugs the diamond all the way around its girdle, is also great for keeping a diamond protected. Be inspired by our Nature Collection.
- A True Romantic
Antique Engagement RingDoes your partner love all things romantic and vintage? Consider ring settings that feature milgrain details, filigree or scrollwork patterns, intricate galleries, or dainty bands. View our diamond engagement rings featured in our Antique Collection. Or, if your partner loves unique one-of-a-kind items from the past, consider an authentic antique engagement ring. Brilliant Earth has one of the largest online collections of antique rings, and it is constantly being refreshed.
Modern Engagement Ring
- A Contemporary Woman
- Does your beloved appreciate a modern, fashion-forward style? Look at sculptural rings – rings that experiment with non-traditional forms. If she’s more practical-minded, consider a bezel setting -- a thin metal band that hugs the diamond all the way around its girdle. Add sparkle with channel-set diamond accents on the band. View our Modern Collection.
- If you feel unsure or overwhelmed, consider selecting a diamond but proposing with a temporary engagement setting. This approach allows her to select her own perfect setting. Women take part in over 60% of engagement ring decisions, so rest assured you are not alone. If you prefer to surprise her and are just looking for more ideas, view our Customer Favorites or Top 20 Engagement Rings, which feature our most popular rings from every collection. You can also get inspired by our Top 10 Pinned Rings by discovering what styles are trending on Pinterest.
Other Features To Consider
When selecting the perfect ring setting style, there are several design features to consider.
- Accents & Finishes
- Settings may be accented with smaller diamonds or sapphires, for a splash of color. Other types of accents include beading along the edges (milgrain detailing) and engraving with threads of gold or platinum (filigree engraving). Diamond accents come in all shapes and sizes, and can be set with a variety of methods – including pavé settings, channel settings, bezel settings, flush settings, and prong settings. Although it is often possible to engrave the inside of an engagement ring, it is more common to engrave the wedding ring than the engagement ring.
- Center Stone Setting
- Be sure to look at the center gem in multiple views to see how it is set. Is the stone perched high, or is it set closer to the finger? A higher setting (such as a cathedral peg head setting) adds drama, while a lower setting (such as a bezel setting or trellis ring) can be more practical. The gallery (or undercarriage of the head of the ring), may feature intricate detailing, or even diamond accents.
- As you browse by collection or decide on features, you’ll get closer to a decision. But don’t hesitate to ask us for advice. We’re able to answer any questions you may have!
As you choose a setting, it is important to decide on the type of precious metal for the ring.
Your significant other may prefer a specific color of precious metal (yellow, white, or rose), or a specific type of metal (gold, platinum, or palladium). Look to see what jewelry she typically wears for clues. Platinum, white gold, and palladium are all silvery-white and more or less identical in hue. For a golden look, choose yellow gold. For a rose or pink hue, choose rose gold.
The two most popular metals for engagement rings are platinum and 18K gold. Platinum, the rarest of metals, is a mixture of 95% pure platinum and 5% alloys. It is hypoallergenic and almost never causes skin reactions. Platinum is a dense and durable metal that maintains its color for a lifetime. It gradually wears to a cool, satiny finish, so maintenance of a platinum engagement ring includes just light cleaning and surface polishing.
Slightly less expensive than platinum, 18k gold is softer, but is still very strong and resistant to scratching. 18k gold is made of 75% pure gold and 25% alloys, and has a higher gold purity than 14k gold. Different alloys create the color variations of gold – white, yellow and rose – and make the gold harder, more durable, and better suited for jewelry. (Pure 24k gold is soft enough to easily bend with your fingers.)
18k yellow gold has a rich, warm color that can make diamonds with a slight hint of yellow or brown look colorless in contrast, and it flatters many skin tones.
18k white gold is a naturally lustrous precious metal that is usually rhodium plated to add a bright, reflective finish. Because this metal’s bright white finish beautifully complements the whiteness of a center diamond, it is an extremely popular choice for diamond engagement rings. It is important to know, however, that 18K white gold must be re-rhodium plated periodically to maintain its bright, white finish, whereas platinum maintains its whiteness.
Palladium is in the platinum family of metals. It shares many of platinum’s outstanding qualities, but at more modest prices. Like platinum, palladium is a silvery white color and is hypoallergenic. Palladium rings are 95% pure palladium and 5% alloys, maintaining the same high purity level as platinum. On the other hand, palladium is a less dense metal, making it more challenging to resize or repair.
Regardless of the type of metal you choose, all Brilliant Earth engagement rings are crafted to order from recycled precious metals, thereby avoiding environmental harm. Recycled metals are identical in look, durability, and quality to newly mined metals.
The most accurate way to determine ring size is to have your partner’s ring finger measured by a professional jeweler. But if that’s not possible, don’t be concerned. There are other approaches you can take. Ask your partner’s parents or close friends about her ring size. Or, try borrowing one of your partner’s existing rings. Using our online ring sizing guide, you’ll be able to determine the ring size she wears.
Our online ring sizing guide contains some additional hints on ring size. And if you contact us, we’re happy to provide extra guidance or send you a complimentary plastic ring sizer. Keep in mind that if you purchase a ring that does not fit correctly, we’ll gladly resize it for you for free within 30 days.
Jewelry Design Guide
Our Jewelry Design Guide will help you understand important design elements, such as setting styles and finishes, which are important features to consider in the overall style of your ring. The type of ring shank or band is another important design choice which will impact not only the ring's appearance, but also the way that it feels to the wearer.