Think Beyond the Classics: Explore Eight Types of Engagement Rings

Engagement rings, they’re not what they used to be—and that’s a good thing. Though the three C’s (carat, clarity, cut) are still at the forefront of the discussion, your true love may fall in love with a colored stone, an unusual setting, or an eternity band just as much as a classically designed diamond ring.

We’ve drawn up a guide that aims to cater to everyone looking at engagement rings, whether you’d rather spend your money saving up for a future home or you’ve always dreamed of your wedding and know you must have that diamond solitaire, no matter what. And though many prefer a modern approach, vintage engagement rings are proving more and more popular as well. The luxury website 1stdibs.com notes a 47% increase year-over-year in the purchase of vintage engagement rings on the site, the highest category being Art Deco at 54% year-over-year. “This is a period that will never go out of style—it is timeless,” says Cristina Miller, CCO of 1stdibs.

Regardless of how you approach it, though, the whole process can be daunting and the experience alienating. “Being open about the process is the best way to make sure you get exactly the right thing,” says jeweler Brent Neale, who often works with clients on custom engagement rings. “Perhaps there’s a cut you’ve never seen in person or an unusual way to set the stones, or maybe it’s one stone instead of three. Or perhaps you never thought about color! It’s a big investment, so I say explore it all.”

Best in Value

Setting an engagement doesn’t need to break the bank.

Cartier 1895 wedding band

Fenton Laurel band diamond 18kt white gold

Mejuri Italic cluster ring

J.Hannah demi signet (diamond)

Double Stones

Two stones create a graphic and timeless design.

Jemma Wynne bespoke diamond oval and emerald two-stone ring

Repossi Serti Sur Vide 18k white gold and diamond ring

Katkim Duét Asscher ring

Shay diamond emerald and pear twin ring

Nontraditional

A classic design may not work for every future bride.

Solange Marry Me written ring

Spinelli Kilcollin 18k yellow gold 3-lined diamond ring

Melissa Kaye Aria Blake ring

Precious Gemstones

An impactful—often cost-effective—forever way to add color to your jewelry collection.

Vale Jewlery Evelina ring with sapphire

Rosa de la Cruz 18k rose gold, garnet, and sapphire ring

Alison Lou 14k gold, lab-sapphire, and enamel ring

Custom

For those who are lucky enough to have a family stone to set or want something completely unique.

Brent Neale one-of-a-kind round diamond gypsy with pear sides

Jessica McCormack bespoke engagement ring

Jade Trau bespoke engagement rings

Stephanie Gottlieb band and a half engagement ring with round diamond

Vintage

Designs from decades past that never age.

Macklowe Gallery three-stone platinum ring with diamonds

Beladora Art Deco diamond ring in platinum

Stephen Russell Edwardian platinum & diamond navette ring

Fred Leighton Art Deco pink sapphire, onyx, and diamond ring

Visual Tricks

Any jeweler will tell you a way to increase the perceived size of your center stone is to add a halo—pavé diamonds being the traditional option and enamel being a more modern approach.

Selim Mouzannar 18-karat rose gold, enamel and diamond ring

Tiffany Soleste round brilliant engagement ring in platinum

1stDibs Art Deco diamond and black enamel ring, circa 1925

Jessica McCormack moonshine diamond & sapphire daisy ring

Classic

Options for the traditionalist.

De Beers DB Classic trio emerald-cut diamond ring

Grace Lee petite crown bezel diamond ring

Kwiat cushion-cut diamond engagement ring

Harry Winston solitaire, emerald-cut engagement ring

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