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Types of
Engagement Rings

Which Type of Engagement Ring is Right for Me?

When choosing your dream engagement ring, it’s important to understand the terminology when it comes to different types of ring settings and styles. The ring setting and style will greatly affect the comfort, visual impact, and wearability of the ring you choose!

Ring Styles vs. Ring Settings

Ring settings refer to the specific and more technical elements that define the different types of engagement rings, while ring styles are more general ways to categorize the look and feel of engagement rings. For example, a solitaire ring is a type of ring setting that includes only one center gem and no accent diamonds or gemstones on the band, and solitaire rings settings are considered a classic ring style.

6 prong engagement ring and diamond wedding band

Ring Styles

One advantage of buying your engagement ring from an online jeweler is the expanded access you get to different types of rings. At Brilliant Earth, we offer almost every ring type imaginable – and if we don’t have a style you want, we can custom design a ring for you.

Traditional & Elegant

Many people gravitate toward classic ring designs like solitaire settings. To add a bit more refinement or to ensure the center diamond is set especially low, consider a trellis setting or a basket setting. For a touch more glamour, add a row of diamond accents on the band or consider a setting with secret or hidden diamond accents (diamonds set in the gallery or undercarriage of the ring that are not visible from the top). Three stone engagement rings are another classic alternative to the traditional solitaire.

Three dazzling halo engagement rings with diamond accents

Stylish & Outgoing

If the wearer wants to dazzle, they might love a setting that holds the diamond higher, or perhaps one that features sparkling pavé-set diamonds on the band of the ring. Halo engagement settings are also very popular for those looking for that “wow” factor and visual impact. Halo settings add a circle of diamonds around the center diamond to add sparkle and make the center diamond appear larger and more sparkling.

Natured inspired engagement rings

Outdoorsy & Nature Loving

Are you 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 you. For an active person, consider a setting that holds the diamond lower to the hand. A bezel setting, with a thin metal band that hugs the diamond all the way around its girdle, is also great for keeping a diamond protected.

Two vintage and antique engagement rings

Romantic & Timeless

Do you love all things romantic and vintage? Consider ring settings that feature milgrain details, filigree or scrollwork patterns, intricate galleries, or dainty bands. Engagement rings highlighting baguette diamonds or delicate diamond accents are also a dreamy choice.

Modern engagement rings

Modern & Contemporary

Do you appreciate modern, fashion-forward style? Look at sculptural rings – rings that experiment with nontraditional forms. If you want to forgo the traditional center diamond altogether, consider a band with beautiful details like engravings or unique shapes. Or add a touch of color with a semiprecious gemstone.

Cushion cut, round, and emerald cut diamonds

Unsure?

If you feel unsure or overwhelmed, consider selecting a diamond but proposing with a temporary engagement setting. This approach allows you to test out the perfect setting. If you are looking for more inspiration, view our top 20 engagement rings page, which highlights our customer favorites. You can also get ideas from our engagement ring trends blog to discover what styles are popular this year.

Precious Metal Options

As you choose an engagement ring 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 they typically wear for clues. Click below to learn more tips and tricks to choosing a precious metal.

Metals Guide

Ring Size Options

The most accurate way to determine ring size is to have your partner measured by a professional jeweler. But if that’s not possible, don’t be concerned. There are other approaches you can take. Using our online ring sizing guide, you’ll be able to determine your partner's ring size. Our guide contains at-home methods and secret ways to measure ring size. We also offer complimentary ring sizers and a free 30-day resize policy.

Ring Size Guide
Classic engagement rings

Ring Settings

When choosing your ring setting, it is important to know the terminology to use to search for and describe the style you are hoping to achieve. Learn more about the different parts that make up an engagement ring.

  • Prong: Prongs are the small pieces of precious metal used to secure diamonds and gemstones in the ring. Classic prongs will look like small beads of metal that have been formed around your center gem to hold it in place. Claw prongs are a variation of classic prongs that extend the metal to a point for a sleek and elegant look. Most engagement ring settings offer either four or six prongs to hold the center gem. For the security and structural integrity of your ring, it is not recommended to request fewer than four prongs.
  • Peg Head: A peg head style is soldered separately onto the ring shank, holding the diamond a bit higher. The majority of peg head settings feature either four or six prongs securing the center gemstone.
  • Integrated Head: A ring with an integrated head is cast as one continuous piece of precious metal, and center gemstones will typically sit lower and more flush with the band.
  • Basket: A basket setting features prongs that secure the gemstone in a basket shape. A popular choice, it optimizes the amount of light to pass through the gem, while keeping it set low.
  • Trellis: A trellis setting features interwoven prongs that create an elegant design and secure the gemstone low in a basket.
  • Compass Point: A compass point setting features a center gemstone that is held securely in place by four precious metal prongs on the North, South, East and West sides of the gem.
  • Bezel: A bezel setting features a stone that is fully surrounded by a thin border of precious metal, which holds the gem securely in place. This setting accentuates the gemstone for a contemporary look.
  • Channel: A channel setting features diamonds or gemstones gracefully held in place between two parallel walls of precious metal for a smooth, elegant look.
  • Bar: A bar setting is a variation on the channel setting in which gems are held securely in place between parallel vertical “channels” of precious metal.
  • Cathedral: With a cathedral setting, the center gemstone is framed between elegant archways that gently taper upward towards the center gem.
  • Pavé: Pavé is French for “paved,” and refers to the accent diamonds and gemstones that have been used to “pave” a ring’s band. Pavé engagement rings feature gemstones set closely together on the band for a dazzling, diamond-encrusted look. The diamonds are held securely in place by small beads of precious metal. Types of pavé rings include micro-pavé, French pavé, petite pavé, scalloped pavé, and pavé halo engagement rings.
  • Shank/Split Shank: A shank refers to the “shoulders” of a ring’s band, that lead up to the center gem. With a split shank design, the band on either side of the ring divides into two before joining with the center gemstone.
  • Solitaire: A 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.
  • Three-Stone: As the name implies, a classic three stone ring typically features a larger center gemstone framed on either side by slightly smaller or equally sized gems. A three stone setting has historically been thought to represent a couple’s past, present, and future.
  • Halo: In a halo setting, the center gemstone is completely encircled by smaller accent diamonds, which enhance the center gem for a glamorous look. A diamond halo can greatly add to the overall sparkle and visual impact of your center gem.

Types of Engagement Rings FAQs

The most popular engagement ring setting types are solitaire, three stone, and halo diamond rings. There are virtually infinite ways to add your own unique twist to these classic styles, including with accent diamonds or gemstones and with finishing details like milgrain, hammering, filigree, or engraving.
There are typically two important rings given in a committed relationship: the engagement and wedding rings. In addition to those important symbols of love and commitment, couples may choose to give others, such as a promise ring prior to the engagement or rings to mark important anniversaries.