A Guide to Engagement Rings

Even the ever popular diamond engagement ring can come in different carats, diamond cuts, claw settings and metals. It's a minefield trying to work out what style will best suit and that's before you look at alternatives to diamonds like ruby and emerald, and whether you want a solitaire ring, a cluster or an intricate band of diamonds. Our guide below helps decipher the most popular ring styles, and advises on the best styles for different personalities and hands.

The solitaire always has been, and will likely always remain the most popular style of engagement ring. A circular stone, set on a simple band with a claw setting, this ring will remain in fashion, and will look as good as they day you purchased it, even on your platinum anniversary!

The cut of the diamond often differs, but a brilliant cut diamond, with its many facets, offers the greatest 'shine' and for this reason, is not only the most popular, but also offers the greatest wow factor. This means it's often the most expensive diamond cut, but worthy of the price tag.

Other styles include the princess cut, the cushion cut, the emerald cut, the oval cut and the marquise cut.

Jewellers Advice: These will work on any hand and finger size, but you may wish to correlate the size of the diamond with the size of hand, offering a bespoke look and feel. Go for the best colour that your budget allows for. Clarity is less obvious to the human eye therefore spend the extra money on colour over clarity.

Offering a lower carat weight in diamonds, but providing a similar affect as a solitaire, a cluster ring is a less expensive option for an engagement ring whilst still providing the illusion of a large diamond solitaire.

Clusters come in different styles, including the popular circular halo ring, pear halos, square halos.

Cluster engagement rings also work well with stones other than diamonds, having a diamond halo surrounding a ruby, sapphire or emerald for example, is a unique style of engagement ring. A well known example of this is the sapphire engagement ring of Diana, Princess of Wales which is now worn by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Jewellers Advice: It's worth noting that larger cluster rings might overpower the more petite finger and hand sizes. If you prefer more unique styles of cluster ring, look into rubies, sapphires and emeralds. This style of engagement ring will require a shaped wedding band to fit around the stone.

Representing the past, present and future of a relationship, the three stone engagement ring is timeless, and a popular antique engagement ring choice, both in a diamond only ring, and a mixed stone ring.

As with other diamond rings, you have a choice of brilliant cut diamonds, princess cut or cushion cut.

This is a versatile ring, with many size, stone and style combinations allowing for a more unique looking ring. The antique three stone  engagement rings are especially dramatic, and finding the perfect three stone gives the wearer a really special piece.

Jewellers Advice: Depending on the size of gemstone you choose, this style is dynamic enough to suit most personalities and finger sizes. These can look incredibly subtle but powerful with three smaller diamonds. You could also have a different brightly coloured gem centrally with smaller diamonds each side offering a more unique feel.

A favourite of the Art Deco era, Target rings have a geometric style that is very eye catching, and they work especially well with diamonds and another gemstone colour like ruby or blue sapphire.

 

A design from the Edwardian period, target rings are increasingly popular, and offer an alternative to the more popular solitaire style whilst still providing a striking item of jewellery for the ages.

Jewellers Advice: Similar to the cluster ring, you will require a shaped wedding band to fit around this style of engagement ring. These work especially well with a central diamond, and a coloured gemstone surrounding, giving the illusion of the bulls eye for a cupids arrow.