Your Guide to Engagement Rings

April 6, 2012 in handmade and vintage goods

Gem Gossip
Gem Gossip

Danielle has been a jewelry collector since she was four years old. Her career in the jewelry business officially started in 2008 when she launched her blog, Gem Gossip, which focuses on jewelry trends, antique and period jewelry, celebrity jewelry, and features exclusive designer interviews.

I work at a jewelry store, and every day I hear the same refrain: “There are just too many engagement rings to choose from, and they’re all so pretty! How can you choose just one?”

Choosing a ring is tough; it’s the one accessory you’ll be wearing every day of your married life. If you’re overwhelmed by the vast array of choices, don’t fret! Allow me to break down the top five engagement ring trends. Trust me, you’ll love them all.

The halo ring design features a diamond in the center, surrounded by smaller, full-cut diamonds. It creates the illusion of a bigger diamond, an ode to the illusion setting of the 1940s, except with diamonds rather than more metal or the “boxhead” style.


This style takes any shaped diamond in the center and flanks it with a split-shank band, with or without diamonds. The split in the shank can be subtle or dramatic, depending on its width.


Classic Solitaire

Just as it reads, a solitaire is one diamond set in a mounting with no other diamonds. There are lots of different looks possible for this timeless and versatile concept: a four-prong setting, six-prong setting, or bezel setting. A round, brilliant cut diamond in a four-prong setting is the ultimate classic. The metals can vary as well: white gold, yellow gold, platinum or even rose gold.

I consider an antique ring to be anything pre-1940s. (If I wore my grandmother’s ring from the 1950s, I would categorize it as “vintage.”) There are many styles for antique rings, and many are unique, usually set with Old Mine, Old European, or Transitional cuts.

The Art Deco period (1920s-30s) is popular right now. This style is characterized by a white on white look, provided by white gold or platinum with diamonds. Filigree and/or hand-engraving is evident throughout. Choose this style if you truly want a “one of a kind” sort of ring.

Sakura ring théili
Champagne Diamond Feather Ring Kate Szabone
Square Ring in 9K Gold Osnat Har Noy
The Golden Unicorn ring by Rabid Fox Fleathers
Square Ring in 9K Gold

Why be conventional? Embrace a non-diamond gemstone or a ring with a unique shape. Birthstones are great options for an alternative gemstone; most gemstones are less expensive than diamonds, so this could mean more money in your pocketbook at the end of the day.

On the other hand, all gemstones are softer than diamonds, so durability can become an issue — after all, you will be wearing this ring every day! Ultimately, if a ring speaks to you and it doesn’t look like a typical engagement ring, there is one one rule above all: it’s your ring, so do what you want. The importance lies in what the ring symbolizes and the memories you create while wearing that sparkler every day.