Ring Types

One of the most important steps in buying an engagement ring is determining your ring type. James Allen offers a variety of engagement ring styles from classic solitaires to modern tension rings. Whether you are looking for a modest, traditional ring or something flashier, James Allen has a ring type just for you.

Solitaire Engagement Rings

A solitaire ring setting features a single stone, typically a diamond with a plain mounting (usually four or six prongs). Solitaires are one of the most popular engagement ring settings. Their appeal is in their elegance, simplicity, and timelessness. Solitaire engagement rings come in a variety of sizes and styles. Some have narrower bands which have the effect of making a smaller diamond appear larger, and compliment small fingers. Others have thicker bands which allow for more options in the way the diamond is set. Many solitaire rings have ring guards (or rings wraps) which frame the center diamond, making it appear more prominent.

Pavé Engagement Rings

A pavé engagement ring is encrusted with very small diamonds all along the band to give the appearance of a solid diamond surface. Because pave-set diamonds use only tiny beads or prongs to hold them in place, very little of the metal band shows through and the diamonds appear to be free-standing. Pave settings can either go around the whole band (full pave) or stop halfway around it (half pave). Micro pave rings are even more delicate and intricate than regular pave settings. The individual stones are so small that they appear to blend together and create extraordinary fire. Typically, round brilliant or princess cut diamonds are used as center stones in pave engagement rings. Most center stones are prong-set, basket-set or bezel-set.

Channel Set Engagement Rings

Channel set engagement rings feature side diamonds that are embedded into the channel groove of the ring. A thin strip of metal secures the diamonds in place—no prongs are used. The diamonds are flush with the band and as a result, channel set rings are sturdier than other designs and less likely to snag on clothing. Channel settings are available in gold and platinum, with a variety of diamond shapes and cuts. When it comes to picking the right channel stones for your channel ring, princess cut is a popular choice, as its square edges ensure no gaps between the stones.

Sidestone Engagement Rings

Sidestone engagement ring settings provide a perfect complement to a center stone and typically consist of a center diamond flanked by two or more smaller-sized side diamonds. Because sidestones add size and brilliance to the center diamond, they make the overall appearance of the engagement ring more impressive and radiant. When it comes to selecting a center diamond for an engagement ring with side stones, round brilliant or princess cut diamonds are typically chosen, although most diamond shapes can be used.

Three-Stone Engagement Rings

Three stone engagement rings consist of a center diamond flanked by two side diamonds, which accentuate the size and brilliance of the center diamond.The center stone is usually set higher to complement the side stones and add depth to the ring. Round or princess cut diamonds are the most popular choices for center stones. Most center stones are prong-set, basket-set or bezel-set, as these settings effectively distinguish the center diamond from the setting.

Tension Set Engagement Rings

Tension engagement rings are a modern engagement ring setting in which a diamond is held in place by the physical force of the setting, without any prongs. In a tension ring, the diamond appears to be floating in air. As the name suggests, tension rings use the force and tension of the ring to push against the diamond to hold it in place. Tension cut engagement rings are some of the most secure engagement rings around as the whole ring works to hold the diamond in place even tighter than prong settings. Since tension cut engagements rings show off the entire diamond, the shape and cut of the diamond is extremely important. Round, princess, and emerald-cut diamonds are popular choices for tension set rings.

Halo Engagement Rings

Halo engagement ring settings feature a center gemstone surrounded by smaller, micro pave diamonds. The smaller diamonds give the appearance of size and volume to the center stone, adding to the ring’s overall sparkle. Traditional halo engagement rings are a more modern take on the classic solitaire ring, while vintage-style halo rings focus on the micro pave and milgrain detailing along the band. Halo engagement rings come in all shapes and sizes of center stones. Some feature round stones, asscher-cut diamonds, pear-shaped and oval diamonds. Halo rings often feature colored gemstones, like blue sapphires or red rubies.

Vintage Engagement Rings

Vintage and antique-style engagement rings offer the beauty and intricate craftsmanship of vintage rings with the sturdy and lasting design techniques of modern engagement rings. Vintage-style engagement ring designs often draw inspiration from various time periods and contain diamonds with modern diamond cuts, which maximize fire, brilliance, and light reflective properties. James Allen offers a variety of vintage and antique-style engagement rings in yellow gold, white-gold and platinum. Most diamond cuts are used as center stones for vintage rings. In vintage rings, center stones are usually prong-set, basket-set or bezel-set.

Wedding Sets

Wedding Sets include a matching engagement ring and wedding ring that often complement one another and are visually consistent. Typically, the band is presented at the ceremony, while the engagement ring is given during the proposal. When purchasing rings separately, it can become difficult to precisely match the wedding band to the engagement ring, especially if the ring’s design is unusual, highly intricate, or ornamental. Wedding sets, however, ensure a perfect structural and stylistic match between an engagement ring and a wedding ring. Another advantage of wedding sets is that they are often coordinated to a groom's wedding ring.

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