Go solo or come full-circle? As you shop for an engagement ring, consider which approach is right for sweeping your beloved off her feet.
Step into the bridal section of a jewelry store, and you’ll see a huge selection of wedding and engagement jewelry spread out before you. Typically, you’ll notice the store has sectioned off the rings into two types:
- Diamond solitaire rings
- Other engagement rings
The solitaire is what many people picture when they think of an engagement ring: a stand-alone, beautiful diamond in a plain or lightly adorned setting. It’s a classic design, and one that has symbolized betrothal for decades.
Imagination and budget are your only limits: you can find an engagement ring for virtually any taste, lifestyle or personality.
But there are many other choices when it comes to engagement rings: multiple diamonds or color gemstones, a three-stone diamond ring, a ring adorned with stones around its perimeter ... Another option is to choose a diamond band (often known as an anniversary band) as the engagement ring. So, what’s the right way to go? Consider these tips.
The solitaire: all eyes on the diamond
With a diamond solitaire engagement ring, the diamond steals the show — because it is the show. This ring creates a pure and striking look, an unmistakable symbol that the woman wearing it is spoken for. The single diamond may sit atop a plain or ornately designed ring, but the stone stands alone.
With a solitaire, you’ll most likely invest more money in the diamond than the ring itself.
Some reasons to consider a solitaire engagement ring:
- You’re not exactly sure what kind of ring your bride-to-be might want. A solitaire ring is timeless, and it allows women to “dress up” the ring with enhancer rings or a more ornate wedding band.
- You want to emphasize the diamond in the design. You’re investing in a beautiful diamond and want to show it off.
- The classic simplicity and elegance of a diamond solitaire ring fits your fiancée-to-be’s style and personality.
- You know that she’ll want a diamond-laden wedding band that will complement the engagement ring (and want to avoid too much flash).
Other engagement rings: a bit more bling
With other styles of engagement rings, the dazzle is in the glitter and gleam collectively achieved with many stones. Rather than go the simple, classic solitaire route, you’re opting for a ring with more design — allowing your bride-to-be to express herself through a unique style. Imagination and budget are your only limits — you can find an engagement ring for virtually any taste, lifestyle or personality. (And if you can’t find it, you can create it through a custom design.)
Some reasons to consider a non-solitaire engagement ring:
- You’re aiming for a bigger diamond look — such as a three-stone diamond ring or a beautiful center diamond surrounded by a micro-pavé halo setting.
- You want more bling for your buck — getting a larger diamond look by using many stones of differing sizes and shapes.
- You want a unique look complemented by your fiancée-to-be’s favorite color gemstones.
- You are seeking a definitive style for the ring — a vintage look or something romantic and luxurious.
Stunning but subtle
It’s common for engagement rings to look distinctively different from wedding bands or anniversary bands (which often have uniformly sized diamonds running around the ring). But there are occasions where a diamond or gemstone band is the absolute right choice for an engagement ring.
These types of ring — sometimes referred to as eternity or anniversary bands — can offer a lower profile than traditional solitaire engagement rings that uplift and spotlight one center stone, though they can provide more overall shine and sparkle depending on their design.
Because there are more of them, the diamonds or gemstones in this type of engagement ring might be smaller and less expensive, but you’re paying for more of them. You might be able to make more compromises in diamond quality with bands since the stones are smaller, too. This style is a good choice when:
- You want a unique engagement ring design for a woman who’ll appreciate something less traditional than a diamond solitaire.
- You’re buying for somebody who wants something more understated or who would prefer a diamond band instead of an elevated stone for lifestyle reasons.
Either way you go, there’s room to evolve the look based on the wedding band your fiancée selects. She can add diamonds or gemstones and create an interesting design around the engagement ring — and future anniversaries are opportunities to accessorize the rings with diamond or gemstone bands.
Don’t forget, your fiancée can stack up subsequent anniversary bands over the coming years, so there’s always the opportunity to spice things up. Consider all these factors when deciding on the right look for your bride-to-be.