Every year, roughly 2.27 million people get married in the United States, which means that a similar number of people are buying engagement rings. There are almost as many engagement ring styles as there are people wearing them, so it can be completely overwhelming to start shopping for a ring for that special someone.
Don’t worry! We’re here to help. At Perry's, we carry a wide variety of engagement rings in every shape and size so you can pick and choose your favorite elements from any of them. From the type of metal to the shape, size, and arrangement of the stones, you can create the perfect ring for any person’s style and preferences. Here are a few basic styles to consider and visit our online gallery for more inspiration.
Choosing the Shape of Your Main Stone
The classic engagement ring style features one main stone in the middle of the band. Beyond that, the customization options are up to you. But the first thing you need to decide is the shape of the main stone itself.
When it comes to cutting diamonds and other gems, there are basically an infinite number of ways to facet the stone in order to change the way light shines through it, maximizing the stone’s brilliance and sparkle. Lots of jewelers have their own proprietary cuts, but they’re usually minor variations of some basic shapes. Here are some of the most common.
Round Brilliant Cut
A round brilliant cut is what it sounds like — a circular diamond cut. This is the most popular cutting style for diamonds; tweaked and refined over centuries to maximize brilliance and fire.
Shapes other than the traditional round brilliant are called fancy cuts. They’re also sometimes called fancy shapes or fancies. Fancy shapes also have names of their own, based on their shapes. The best known are the oval, cushion, marquise, emerald, and princess cut.
An oval cut is similar to a round cut, but with a modern twist. It displays the same brilliance as a round cut, but with a unique elongated shape. One added advantage of the longer shape is that it creates the look of a larger size diamond. The length of the oval cut diamond can also make the wearer’s fingers appear slimmer and longer.
A cushion cut diamond, also sometimes known as a pillow cut, earned its name from its classic rounded square shape, similar to a throw pillow. The cushion cut is a timeless classic in the diamond world and tends to show brilliance due to its larger facets. Some cushion cuts are considered “square,” in that they have the same length and width, while others are rectangular — longer than they are wide.
A marquise cut is one of the most striking shapes of diamond. It is making a comeback in engagement rings, and lends itself to some interesting and unique designs. Like the oval cut, the marquise cut often looks larger than the same carat weight round brilliant cut diamond. A marquise cut diamond is perfect for longer, more slender fingers.
An emerald cut is a romantic and sophisticated choice for an engagement ring. Rectangular in outline, with beveled corners, the emerald cut has a large table facet and long rectangular step cut facets on the top and bottom. One of the oldest faceting styles, it was first used for softer emeralds as a way to keep the gem material from chipping during the faceting process with the polishing equipment available at the time. Emerald cut diamonds have broader flashes of light versus the sparkle of a round brilliant, and any internal clarity characteristic or diamond color tint is more apparent.
A princess cut diamond is also called a square modified brilliant cut. A modern cut that dates back about 40 years, this shape lends itself to modern architectural designs. In a world filled with traditional round brilliant cut diamonds, many people love the different look of a square brilliant cut diamond. Well placed prongs can accentuate the shape and protect the sharp corners.
Choosing the Setting of Your Stone
The next big decision in the design of your ring will be the setting. Different settings will show off the color and brilliance of the stone in different ways, so it’s worth looking at a few different options.
The most classic and common stone setting is the prong setting. A prong setting is usually made of four or six prongs — with four prongs, you can see more of the stone, but with six prongs, the setting will be more secure.
A solitaire setting simply means that there’s only one stone used in the ring design, and it serves as the center of attention.
A bezel setting surrounds the edges of the stone with metal. It’s a sleek, modern look that makes a flatter profile so the stone is less likely to catch on clothing and other materials, as well as protecting the stone from damage. The downside is that the stone is more concealed than it would be in a prong setting.
A tension setting is named because the stone is held in place by the tension of the metal band, which is split in two. The stone appears to be suspended between the two pieces of metal, creating a modern, artsy look that’s amazing to behold.
The tension setting is only possible because of the precision measuring techniques of modern jewelers, who measure the stone with lasers and then cut tiny grooves in each side of the band so that the stone is held in place without prongs or bezels.
The channel setting is generally used to set accent stones in the band on either side of the main stone. Small diamonds or other gemstones are set closely together into grooves in the band, accentuating the main stone’s sparkle with additional color and intense brightness.
Similar to a channel setting, the pavé (pronounced pah-vay) setting is designed to show off accent stones. Rather than one row of small stones, pavé is generally made of several rows of tiny diamonds nested together and held in place by small beads or prongs that are nearly invisible to the eye.
Keep in mind that if the pavé is set all the way around the band, the band will be very difficult to resize — we highly recommend having your finger professionally sized before you order a ring with a pavé setting.
With a halo setting, the main stone is surrounded by a frame of smaller stones, accentuating its size and sparkle. This option is especially popular if the center stone is not a diamond — surrounding a sapphire or emerald with small diamonds creates a gorgeous contrast with the color of the main stone.
A three-stone setting is just what it sounds like — a setting based around three center stones, rather than just one. Sometimes the center of the three stones is the largest, but in many cases, the three stones are identical.
Unique Engagement Ring Styles for a Unique Bride
These cuts and settings are simply guidelines — the only limit to the way your ring looks is your imagination. You could have an oval cut center stone in a three-stone setting with pear shaped sapphires on either side. You could put an emerald cut stone in the middle of a band, offset with accent stones in a channel setting.
Whatever kind of engagement ring styles you and your future spouse have your heart set on, we can create it. That’s why we carry so much variety! You can browse hundreds of rings in our collection, taking inspiration from any features that catch your eye, and crafting your own personal ring that combines the best of what you’ve seen. And with this handy guide, now you’ll know what to ask for!