A symbol of love, promise and commitment, an engagement ring is the most important piece of jewelry gifted by a man to the woman in his life. A conventional engagement ring has a diamond set in a gold band. Contemporary brides have started to use gems other than diamonds and precious metals like white gold and platinum as alternates in place of traditional gold and diamond.
Solitaire: The popular traditional style amongst engagement rings, the solitaire styled engagement ring has just one gemstone/diamond set on a mount. The stone is set on a set of prongs and is hoisted above the band.
Vintage: These types of engagement rings might have a previous owner from the earlier days. These rings have high quality craftsmanship and surprisingly cost less when compared to new jewelry.
Eternity band: A metal band encircled with gemstones thus forming a continuous circle signifying eternal love. An eternity band cannot be resized.
Semi- or half-eternity band: Just like the eternity band but the precious stones cover only a part of the ring. One horizontal row of precious stones is the most popular style. This ring often has 5, 7, 9 or more stones.
Bridal set: A group of rings designed with both the engagement ring and the wedding band so that they can be to be worn together.
Three-stone ring: Also known as the past present future ring, this style has three diamonds set in a horizontal row. The three diamonds represent the past, present and the future of love.
Unique style rings - These rings are custom-made to suit the customer's taste, this ring reveals the skill and creativity of the jeweler as it is a one-of-its-kind ring. These rings are expensive as they are made- to-order.
Engagement Ring settings
Prong settings: This setting offers additional sparkle to a solitary diamond as more light is refracted. This setting is suitable for large diamonds. Six prongs are preferred to set the diamond as they hold the diamond securely. The disadvantage of this setting is that it can get entangled in fabric and hair and the prongs might get twisted.
Flush setting: A narrow hole is created in the band and the diamond/precious stone is seated in the hole. The surrounding metal presses the rim of the diamond thus offering extra protection to the precious stone. This setting gives the ring a custom-made and fashionable appearance. The stone might fall if not set right.
Channel setting: This setting offers extra protection to the stones set on the sides of the engagement ring. A groove is made in the metal band to hold a row of precious stones in between the two bars of the groove. This setting minimizes abrasion of the stone and also allows extra light to enter the side stones thereby increasing the sparkle of the ring.
Bar setting: A rod of precious metal is used to hold the gemstone instead of prongs as in prong setting. This setting is a variation to the prong setting.
Tension setting: Small groves are made in the metal band to hold the precious stones. The pressure generated from the band holds the precious stone securely. Rings made with these settings are made-to-order and cannot be re-sized and are expensive too.
Bezel setting: A metal band swathed around the precious stone at the circumference of the stone is termed as bezel setting. This is a very secure setting and is long lasting. Partial bezel settings are also available providing cover for the side stones of the ring. Bezel setting is very expensive when compared to prong setting.
Pave setting: Numerous precious stones set in thin, non-interfering prongs or in groves lend an exclusive look. This setting is getting very popular these days as the entire surface of the ring is coated with precious stones. This setting can cost you more, depending on the number of precious stones used.
Cluster setting: A collection of precious tones that form a beautiful pattern.
Invisible setting: Similar to the tension setting, but rings can be re-sized.
Mixed setting: A combination of one or more settings, the middle stone is bordered by small precious stones.
Expensive Engagement Rings
Traditional view of purchasing an engagement ring recommends that the prospective groom pick up a ring equal to his one or two month's salary. The cost of the ring depends on factors like metal used for the ring, precious stones used and designers who have designed the ring.
Antique style engagement ring
Antique engagement rings are not only unique but they have a charisma of their own. Excellent craftsmanship and attractive prices make them more alluring. Antique engagement rings are more than 50 years old. Jewelers refer to these rings as vintage rings.
Victorian antique engagement rings (1835-1900): They are set in yellow or rose gold and have both simple yet elegant designs and intricate designs. Many Victorian rings have rows of diamonds and are cut in a style called the mine cut. The Tiffany six-prong diamond solitaire was introduced in 1886.
Edwardian engagement rings (1900-1920): Platinum was the trend for crafting these antique engagement rings. Rose-cut diamonds and luminous sapphires were popular during the Edwardian era. Diamonds were set in channel settings or pave settings.
Art deco engagement rings (1920-1930): A reflection of the fashion trends in Egypt, Asia and Native America cultures, these rings were made with colorful and different gemstones. Platinum and diamond were also used to make these rings. The diamonds were cut uniquely thus giving a brilliant and luminous look. The four prong setting was very popular during this period. Art deco rings are the most popular antique engagement rings for trendy couples these days.
Three Stone Engagement Rings
An engagement ring that concentrates not just on one stone but three identical stones placed in a row is the three stone engagement ring. These rings are also popular as trinity or trilogy rings. The three stones in the ring represent the past, present and the future of the relationship of the couple to be married. Only diamonds are used in these rings and they are set in the prong setting.
These rings have three stones and are set very different from the regular engagement rings. The size of the three stones is almost the same, at times the middle stone is a little larger when compared to the other two. Round or square (princess) shaped stones are the most popular stone shapes because they suit and complement each other very well.
A variety of mineral zoisite, tanzanite is a gemstone that was discovered in 1967 in east Africa. The rich blue color coupled with a purple tinge gives the stone a trendy look. This stone can be found only in Tanzania and in no other part of the world. Tanzanite rings are highly flexible and cannot be put to rough use.
Tanzanite stones can be set in gold, platinum or white gold as per the individuals requirements. It is very hard to cut tanzanite because of its crystalline nature; trilliant cut is the most popular cut. Tanzanite is very expensive because of its rare occurrence and has to be carefully studied for cracks and dark spots. Tanzanite rings should be stored separately to avoid rubbing with other jewel pieces and to avoid damage.
Filigree engagement ring: Carved metal combined with intricate designs make these rings very different from the rest.
Celtic engagement ring: Endless knots fit in an intricate design; these are traditional rings that symbolize the union of two people. Different colored metals are wound over each other and personalized designs or initials can also be made to order.
Antique engagement ring: Excellent craftsmanship and attractive price make antique engagement rings more attractive. Typically antique engagement rings are more than 50 years old. Engagement rings made before 1950 are really unique and have a charisma of their own. Heirloom rings can be found in antique jewelry shop or online sites.
Mokume Gane engagement ring: Japanese styled rings, various metals are used to make these engagement rings. These rings are very rare to find and are expensive and cannot be re-sized.
Figural engagement rings: Rings that reproduce the shapes of flowers, plants, initials, etc.