If you can envision your sweetheart getting down on one knee and saying YES to forever with your favorite person, you’ve probably already started thinking about your dream engagement ring. Rocking that sparkly new ring is oh-so-exciting, but the choices can be overwhelming!
If you’re not sure which style would suit you best, scroll through our handy (no pun intended) guide for more info on all the most popular engagement ring and wedding band styles. Whether you plan to go ring shopping together at a local Houston jewelry store or just want to give subtle hints and let your S.O. surprise you, we hope this guide helps!
The Most Popular Engagement Ring Gemstone Cuts
Round cut: a classic circle shape also known as “standard round,” this cut flatters all fingers and because of the cuts made to the diamond and the way light reflects off those facets, is also the most sparkly!
Cushion cut: somewhere between a circle and a rectangle, the cushion cut has rounded edges and corners and offers exceptional brilliance with a vintage aesthetic. This style is flattering on wider fingers.
Oval cut: a universally flattering cut for any hands, ovals have great brilliance and uniqueness.
Princess cut: the square shape that looks great on any hands, the princess cut can be both classic or contemporary, depending on how it’s set.
Emerald cut: with its mirror-like, elongated rectangular cuts, the linear facets on emerald-cut diamonds create eye-catching flashes of light rather than a typical dazzling sparkle. This cut is totally vintage in nature and has a finger-elongating effect.
Asscher cut: known for its exclusive X shape, the Asscher cut is similar to the emerald cut because of its mirror-like, step-down facets and overall brightness, rather than sparkly brilliance. This cut is perfect for the bride who appreciates Gothic or Art Deco style.
Pear cut: another elongating style, the pear cut resembles a teardrop and offers a dainty, timeless look.
Marquise cut: similar to a football shape, the marquise cut is less popular and a great choice for the bold, one-of-a-kind bride!
PRO TIP: Keep in mind that elongated cuts like oval, pear and marquis will offer more bang for your buck, as the surface area is large compared to the actual carat size. You’ll be able to get a larger-looking diamond for a lower price.
The Most Popular Engagement Ring Settings
Solitaire: the most popular, classic style where the diamond shines alone on a simple metal band and is held up by metal claws known as prongs (typically 4 prongs, but for larger stones, 6 prongs is a great choice and offers extra security).
Cathedral: in this style, the metal of the ring swoops up on each side to “meet” the diamond, accentuating the height of the stone and offering a gradual ascension, rather than the striking-ness of a pronged solitaire.
3-Stone: a timeless setting for the classic bride, 3-stone can work beautifully with round cut, princess cut or emerald cut stones, featuring 2 equal-size smaller stones flanking a larger stone in the center. Extra-dazzling!
Channel Set: similar to the pave style with tiny diamonds all in a row along the band, the channel setting has a line of small stones set in between metal “walls”, so the top of the stones are flush with the metal and the sides of the diamonds are protected.
Baguette: a twist on the 3-stone style, the baguette is a vintage-inspired style where tapered, horizontal stones flank the center stone.
Halo: with an outline comprised of either pave-set or channel-set smaller stones around the main stone, a halo (or double halo, or triple halo!) is a great way to create the appearance of a larger diamond without the price tag.
Alternative Gemstone Colors for Your Engagement Ring
Wanting something that feels more like YOU and less like everyone else? Consider a colored stone instead of a diamond! Show off your personality – there are no rules when it comes to your engagement ring!
Sapphire: the royal weddings of years’ past have inspired many brides to choose this dreamy deep blue stone. If timeless, classic and feminine describe your personal style, a sapphire might be for you!
Emerald: striking and bold, an emerald green stone is both unique and durable and perfect for the bride who appreciates an artsy, vintage style.
Topaz: this light blue stone also comes in a white variety, which can mimic the look of a diamond for a fraction of the price.
Ruby: a wonderful selection for the boho, romantic bride, a ruby red stone evokes feelings of a fairy-tale love as well as a vintage feel, especially with a gold band.
Once you’ve honed in on an engagement ring, it’s time to pick a coordinating wedding band. Gone are the days where wedding bands have to match as a perfect set with your engagement ring. Many brides are choosing a more mix-and-match style when it comes to wedding bands, and stacking various bands together is also a popular choice! For the guys, picking a durable material is as important as picking the color, finish and thickness. Your jeweler can help you decide what’s best based on your lifestyle and needs.
Classic: It doesn’t get classier or more timeless than a simple gold or silver band accompanying your engagement ring.
Pave: Pronounced pah-vay, this French word literally means “to pave” and the idea is that the ring resembles a street paved with diamonds. The space between the tiny stones is so minimal it’s hardly noticeable, which means the sparkle factor is unreal!
Eternity: On an eternity band, the stones go all the way around the band in an “infinite” circle, symbolizing endless love. Eternity wedding bands are popularly worn as standalone rings for those who choose to forego an engagement ring altogether.
Contour: A contoured wedding band fits snugly around an engagement ring, hugging its curves and completing a matching set. This style is great for oblong stones like marquis and pear, as well.
Ready to narrow down your engagement ring search? Head to your local fine jeweler and try a few styles on, but remember, it’s smart to try on multiple ring styles. You may end up loving a style you wouldn’t have expected. Happy ring shopping!