Inspiration

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage

There’s something missing from that old playground k-i-s-s-i-n-g song, isn’t there? Right between love and marriage? We’ll give you a hint: it’s shiny and exciting and goes well with proposals.

Ah, yes. The engagement ring! That much-coveted, widely-discussed, and painstakingly-researched (on the part of many buyers) jewel of a lifetime. It’s a known symbol of love and engagement, but it’s also a statement and representation of style, is it not? With such a wide availability of styles, it can be difficult to narrow down that exact style, which is no piece of chocolate raspberry wedding cake. But never fear! We’d like to share with you some of our favorites—in 3 splendid categories—to get you started on your hunt for the one.

One is the Loveliest Number

When did the words just and solitaire become a package deal? It’s never “just a solitaire.” Because, while an engagement ring in its simplest form, the solitaire style is powerful, enduring, and more varied than you might think.

Let’s talk about prongs, for instance. Take a gorgeous one-carat diamond and cradle it in a four-prong setting. Delicate and uncluttered, it dances on its own like no one’s watching (except, everyone is watching). Now make that a six-prong a setting. Now eight. Do away with the prongs altogether and hug the center stone with a bezel. Can you believe it looks so different? Makeover (and makeunder) possibilities abound.

If those aren’t enough options already, look to different diamond cuts for an even greater range. Cushion-cut, oval, princess, marquise—just a few of the biggest names. For stones with elongated shapes, see if you prefer the way it looks set east-west—that is, so it sits horizontally rather than vertically on your finger.

So, let’s re-work that just part of our vocabulary a little. Oh, this? It’s just a fabulous half-bezel solitaire with a low setting that’s perfect for my active lifestyle. Or, this is just a two-carat solitaire with a high, six-prong setting that catches the light just right and requires sunglasses for viewing. See what we did there? So much better.

 

50 Ways to Say Halo

Unless you’re completely new to the engagement ring hunt, odds are you’ve seen an endless number of halo designs. And there’s a reason why the instant classic is so popular: The style can range from simple-and-sparkling to totally over-the-top, packed with major detail, diamonds, and even colored gemstones. The halo is the Madonna (or perhaps Lady Gaga?) of engagement ring styles: It’s constantly being transformed and reinvented.

Less is more more your thing? Select the simplest of styles: a crisp round frame of diamond accents that encircles the center stone. Different still, select a cushion-shape halo: Its rounded edges transform the look into something that almost looks square, so you get the princess-cut style while maintaining that extra sparkle from a round center diamond. More, still? How about the double halo, with a center stone so nice, it’s circled twice? Oh, but you signed up for the Level 10 Glitz package? Well then you obviously want to add some color—pink diamonds, sapphires, tsavorites—to that inner halo. Your taste is truly marvelous.

And don’t even get us going on shanks: straight, split, knife-edge, twisted, triple, etched, pavé-ed—the options are more varied than a five-star breakfast buffet. So, why yes, a great number of brides do demand halo engagement rings, that doesn’t put you at risk of seeing your duplicated on someone else at a party. The only thing each halo engagement ring has in common is its base element: the halo. From there, the style possibilities are as varied and unique as the bride who wears it.

 

Define your style.

The Time Traveler

Be it the straight lines and rich colored gems of the Art Deco era, Edwardian’s delicate filigree, or Art Nouveau’s floral accents, vintage and vintage-style engagement ring styles offer truly inspiring elements.

You’ll find solitaire and halo styles in this category have been dressed to the nines in their most intricate and exquisite attire: shanks are detailed with beading, etched, or in open lines of lace; blue sapphires embrace the center stone in angular frames or sweeping halos; profiles range from low and slim settings to bursting silhouettes.

Vintage styles, with their artful flair and penchant for romanticism, have a dedicated fan club of brides for obvious reasons (that they are entirely dreamy is only one of them). As ornaments of the past, they’re a charming option to symbolize your hopes and plans for the future.

So, there you have it: in a nutshell, you’ve got options. Many, many beautiful options. Oh wait—we haven’t talked metal yet! Oh, you’re good with platinum, then? Because we’ve got rose, and yellow, and…oh, we’ll let you get to it. But if you need help deciding, we’ll be here. And come on back when you’re ready to discuss wedding bands—as you may have guessed, we’ve got some ideas.

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