What Is A Halo Setting Engagement Ring Setting?

halo setting

In 2010 Kate Middleton raised her hand, showing off her halo setting engagement ring. It was a beautiful sapphire surrounded by diamonds. And it made the halo setting even more popular than it already was.

A halo engagement ring setting entails a ring of small accent stones encircling a larger gemstone. It creates the illusion that the center stone is larger than reality.

Halo settings have been popular for centuries. We’ll take a look at this beautiful ring and discuss if it could be the best choice for you.

What Makes Up a Halo Setting

A Halo cut diamond ring setting usually has pave diamonds. They encircle the center stone. The center stone can be just about any cut, but the round cut or cushion cuts are the most popular. A cushion cut is a square diamond with rounded corners. It is the most stunning cut for the halo setting.

Where did Halo Settings originate from?

The halo setting goes back to the Georgian era of 1714 to 1837. It was inspired by architecture. Originally either pearls or diamonds were used to encircle the center stone.

During the Victorian era, Queen Victoria brought the setting back in the form of a pin. It was a present to her from her husband, Prince Albert. It sparked the resurgence for the setting in rings. Later in the 1920s, it became the perfect setting for the Art Deco Movement.

The Hollywood stars of the 1930s and 1940s brought the beautiful halo back but it again fell out of favor until the resurgence of the Art Deco movement in the 1960s. And finally, England’s royal family reintroduced it. Princess Diana wore the beautiful sapphire halo first, and then it was passed down to Kate Middleton.

Now, the halo is firmly back in fashion. It makes a beautiful engagement ring that clearly states that someone loves you.

Why Choose the Beautiful Halo Setting

The main gemstone on the halo setting is surrounded by smaller stones. This gives it protection. If you have an active lifestyle and want your stone protected, this setting is for you.

It also creates a pretty glitzy ring. Do you want to wow your friends and family?  This setting does the trick.

Do you love vintage? Customize a halo setting to look antique-like.

If your future fiancé is strapped for cash but wants a large diamond, this setting is the way to go. The halo setting makes the center stone look much bigger. It saves hundreds of dollars. Buy a smaller diamond and accentuate it with the pave stones.

Different Types of Halo Setting

You can go with a simple band and crown it with the halo setting. Or you can mix it up customize your ring with a unique style band. There are several choices. They include:

Plain Shank: The Oldie but Goodie

This one is a classic. The simplistic but elegant band arcs up to the gemstones.

The advantage of this is there’s no competition with the center stone. It receives all the attention.

Double Floating Shank: Means Double the Beauty and Size

More can be better. Talk about making a little gemstone look huge, this setting pulls it off. The Double floating has two rows of small gemstones encircling the center stone. You’ll pay a little more for all those stones. In other words, it increases the cost of the setting. But you’ll receive the savings back.

The double floating shank makes your center stone look a half-carat bigger. Considering the actual cost of each real half carat, you’ve just saved a lot of dough. This setting is a spectacular way to enhance the appearance while at the same time decreasing your expenditure. That’s a win-win.

Rising Split Shank: Increase Diamond Real Estate

If you love glamour, this may be the setting for you. The band comes up and splits as it reaches the center stone. When looking down on the ring, it gives the illusion that the center stone is supported by two thin bands.

Diamonds, or any gemstones, align each side of the split. That’s a lot of rocks to glimmer on your finger.

Pave Diamonds are Popular

Rings with pave diamonds are always in style. It’s a great way to dress up any gemstone. Now the pave halo is becoming popular.

Think of it as a middle ground for all the halo settings mentioned.

The Best Diamond Shapes for a Halo Setting

The classic halo setting looks great with any diamond shape. But the most popular shapes are the round and the cushion. But other cuts that look beautiful include:

It’s a matter of preference. There is no right or wrong shape. This is your opportunity to make your statement and choose the shape that fits your personality.

Pros of Selecting a Halo Setting

There are many reasons why the halo setting works so well for so many brides to be. Let’s take a look.

  • Bigger Center Stone
  • Discreet Prongs
  • Using Colored Gems
  • Affordable

The Illusion of a Large Stone

One of the biggest attractions of a halo is how it complements the center stone. The pave diamonds or other gemstones accentuate the center stone and make it appear larger. The stone is enhanced by looking half a carat larger.

Who Wants to See the Prongs

Hiding the prongs is a large benefit. A standard four-point prong that usually secures the center stone disappears. Most halos have lovely designs that go to the edge of the center stone. The prongs remain but the designs make the prongs vanish from view.

Use Colored Gems to Accentuate the Center Stone

You can go one of two ways on this one. Either has a colored center stone or colored pave stones. The benefit of using colored stones is an enhancement of the center diamond. Going back to Kate Middleton’s ring, her center stone is a sapphire, and the pave diamonds make it look quite large.

Using colored stones on the pave works as well. Different gems or different colored diamonds will add a uniqueness that is all your own.

An Expensive-Looking Ring That’s Affordable

Because the center stone looks half a carat larger, it saves you from buying a larger gemstone. This could equate to hundreds of dollars. You’ll be able to purchase a gorgeous ring while saving money for the honeymoon.

Cons of Selecting a Halo Engagement Setting

The main con of the halo engagement setting is the wedding band. The shape of the halo creates an edge around the center diamond. This makes it difficult for the halo to work with the wedding band. It will rub, and eventually, the wedding band will be damaged. Replacement is inevitable.

You will need to have a wedding band made to fit the halo setting. This isn’t difficult, but it does take some planning. Some jewelers comment that this added expense negates the savings you have when you purchase a halo setting.

Some women don’t like the halo because of its bulkiness. To some, it feels more like a cocktail ring rather than an engagement ring. If you have small hands and fingers, this may not be the best setting for you.

How the Halo Compares to the Prong Settings

The prong engagement setting is probably the most popular. So, let’s compare the halo to it.

The prong setting obviously shows its prongs. It’s functional but doesn’t add to the ring’s beauty. The prongs also catch on fabric and other objects. You also need a large gemstone to make a spectacular look.

With the halo, you have the security, but you don’t have visible prongs. The stones cover them. You also don’t have to go big with the center stone to make an impression. The pave diamonds, or other gemstones, provide an illusion of bigness.

When You’re Ready to Buy

What do you want to wear forever? Look at different versions of the halo. Ask yourself which version defines you and your future fiancé. Consider what physically feels right on your finger.

Budget is important. Establish one before you go shopping and stick to it. Don’t get caught up in the moment and break the bank.

Ninety percent of the cost of an engagement ring is the diamond. With that kind of investment, you want to show it off. You also want bigger bang for the buck. The halo setting gives that center stone a larger appearance; that saves you.

Since you are making quite the investment, make sure you are purchasing from a reputable jeweler. If you are having your ring customized, you’ll want to see references. Have the jeweler show you other rings they’ve created.

Halo Engagement Settings Have It All!

Use any gemstone shape you like for your main stone. Also, remember you can accentuate your center stone by using colored stones. If you want to customize your forever ring, the halo setting is the ring for you.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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