Of all the jewelry a woman wears in her life, two pieces remain a day-to-day constant: her engagement ring, and later, her wedding ring. While the latter is often a simple band of precious metal, engagement rings worn with it gives the wearer a chance to add some sparkle and personal style to everyday looks. That means that the more personalized and enduring the style, the more she’ll grow to love it over time.
Whether it’s a bride-to-be daydreaming about her perfect engagement ring or her soon-to-be fiancé hunting for a beautiful stone, looking to the styles of top engagement rings of all time for inspiration is a smart move. While these can and do incorporate fresh modern bridal jewelry trends, they also reflect wearer satisfaction over a lifetime, or even generations of wearing, in some cases. These popular engagement ring and stone styles are, like you and your partner, a match made for life. Whether you prefer traditional or simulated diamond jewelry, here are the ten must-see styles and faceted stone cuts that have stood the test of time and emerged as winners.
Favorite Engagement Ring Fashions: 5 Timeless Stone Styles
Weddings, partnerships, and love stories change all the time, but the engagement ring - in all of its many forms - remains a beautiful constant as a promise symbol. The connection a couple shares shines true through the familiar and delightful design perched on a bride-to-be’s finger, and some combinations of stones and settings are almost always in high demand. These five top engagement rings represent designs that dominate lookbooks and bridal jewelry trends, season after season:
So iconic that even the engagement ring emoji copies the style, this relatively simple design allows the cut stone to shine bright. Without intricate shoulder work on the band and a minimalist setting, sparkling facets in popular cuts (e.g. round, oval, marquise, and pear) can be seen at every angle. This classic solitaire design works best when the selected stone is fairly large with excellent clarity, as it will be the undisputed centerpiece of the ring. Note: with solitaire rings, professional jewelers recommend having the ring cleaned and inspected each year to ensure prongs don’t become bent or compromised.
Vintage looks are making a beautiful comeback, which means that mingling cut stones - such as pairing a Nexus Diamond™ alternative with deep blue sapphires - offers an eye-catching result. Whether the vintage inspired paired stones are symmetrical or asymmetrical, the beautiful hues add a depth of character to the finished ring, making it a stylish and stunning alternative to the familiar pairing of colorless or white cut stones with yellow or white gold. Deep sapphire blues, lush emerald greens, and warm ruby reds are all popular choices, as are lesser-known champagne, topaz, and aquamarine-hued stones.
Elegance defines the halo engagement ring, a sleek and brilliant take on the pavé look. Halo engagement rings typically use aesthetically-appealing round curves that complement a large center stone with a row or rows of smaller pavé stones. These outer stones may be reasonably large and visible, or use a “micro pavé” technique and with a white gold, platinum, or palladium setting that makes their edges blend seamlessly. When this effect is used, the ring gives the appearance of a larger, multi-faceted stone rather than several, making it an excellent way to add brilliance to modestly-sized cut stones.
Pear shaped engagement ring stones tell a beautiful visual story, particularly when they’re paired with the halo effect or stone-adorned bands. Whether the point of the “teardrop” center stone faces towards or away from the wearer is a matter of personal preference, but the shape adds movement and an eye-catching effect that’s always in vogue. Some modern brides prefer a pear-shaped stone for their engagement ring because it’s easy to wear every day, adding a cocktail ring-like element to their fine jewelry selections, albeit with a special, enduring meaning they treasure for their perfect ring.
The oval engagement ring setting looks best on a wearer with moderate-to-long fingers, as the silhouette will play up her hand’s natural features. While some oval solitaire-like settings do offer their dazzling presence, oval cuts are most commonly worn with accented settings that feature other stones, engraving, or metalwork. For couples looking for a large solitaire, an oval shaped cut stone engagement ring offers a tempting alternative. The wide surface area and slender width deliver sensational glittering facets with a better budget fit than other popular cuts.
Most Popular Engagement Ring Stone Cuts: 5 Looks To Love
An engagement ring’s design, much like the promise it represents, is the manifestation of both love and marriage. The stone it holds represents the brilliance and fire of passion, the warmth of companionship, and the comfort of love. As a piece of precious jewelry destined to be worn every day, selecting a complementary stone cut transforms a beautiful engagement ring into one that’s truly worthy of your love story.
The selection of the center stone is arguably the most important choice when it comes to “building” an engagement ring; while accent stones or shoulder stones can always be added later, a center stone typically remains in place. Much like the height of a setting, a bride-to-be or her devoted partner should consider functionality (e.g. a lower-height prong setting for wearers that work with their hands) as well as looks in a finished engagement ring. Below are some of the most popular and timeless stone cut engagement ring styles:
The Round (Brilliant) Cut: As well-known and recognizable as the solitaire setting, the round, brilliant cut brings out the deep beauty in a cut stone, creating a sparkle that truly touches the heart. Because this cut is designed to showcase a stone from top to bottom, it’s best to pair it with a delicate, airy setting that gives it the room it needs, rather than a dense, inset style that would obscure its lower half. The beauty of a round cut is that it’s the star of the show with a surface area crafted to impress, making it a natural choice for a prong-based solitaire setting.
The Cushion Cut: The princess cut, with its notable right angles and crisp corners, remains a favorite among brides to be, but its “cousin,” the cushion cut engagement ring, offers a slightly less angular effect. With gently-rounded corners, this square-cut stone still offers plenty of surface area to catch the light in its facets, but it also plays well with side stone enhancements or a halo frame. While it has a treasured place in modern engagement ring designs, it brings a hint of art deco vibe that gives even a new ring the gravitas of a cherished family heirloom.
The Emerald Cut: While the name of the cut might suggest colored stones, it’s a misnomer: it actually signifies a gorgeous rectangular cut used throughout history to signify love. With beautiful angular corners, it follows the natural line of the finger - ideal for comfortable and fashionable everyday wear. The clean, geometric silhouette of the stone leaves plenty of artistic room for embellishments at the top and base of the stone, or along the band. These flourishes add charm to the overall look without overwhelming the stone itself, and the timeless style looks as breathtaking before the wedding as it does on the couple’s 50th anniversary.
The Marquise Cut: The true “diamond shape” cut, the marquise engagement ring marries long curves and distinct points into a shape that is equal parts romantic charm and bold fashion. Like the emerald cut, this cut’s elongated top-to-bottom shape follows the finger, but the culmination points gather in additional light to shine with every movement. The marquise is brilliantly versatile, able to sparkle in a solitaire setting or adding light to a trio (or more!) of accent stones on the shoulders or band of a ring. The elongated football shape of the cut creates an impressive surface area and an enviable carat weight that’s sure to turn heads.
The Asscher Cut: If the princess cut and cushion cut are cousins in the cut stone spectrum, the asscher and emerald cuts are as well. The asscher-cut stone offers a similar depth and visual intrigue as an emerald cut, but brings more pronounced stepped tiers and a smaller central ‘table’ to the finished product. The result is a delightfully vintage look that brings out the inner brilliance of the stone. Like the emerald cut, the asscher stone looks gorgeous perched on an ornate band, particularly if it’s vintage-inspired as well.
Finding The Best Engagement Ring To Capture Your Personal Love Story
No matter what you or your beloved’s preference, it’s important to remember that there is no single “ideal” style and there are many different types of engagement rings. If you’re in the stage of searching for best time to buy an engagement ring, remember that each piece is shaped by its wearer’s tastes, personal aesthetic, and love story. The right custom engagement ring is the one that fits not only your finger, but your heart.
1 Millette, David. “Which Diamond Shapes Are Scientifically Proven To Sparkle The Most?” The Long’s blog, June 30, 2015, https://blog.longsjewelers.com/engagement/diamond-cut-sparkle. Accessed December 4, 2019.
2 “4 Engagement Diamond Shapes That Are On Trend For 2019.” MaytalHannah.com, January 11, 2019, https://www.maytalhannah.com/diamond/4-engagement-diamond-shapes-that-are-on-trend-for-2019/. Accessed December 4, 2019.
3 “Marquise Diamond Engagement Rings.” BlueNile.com, (no publish date), https://www.bluenile.com/engagement-rings/styles/marquise-cut. Accessed December 4, 2019.
*Diamond Nexus strives to provide valuable information, while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab grown stone that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a mined diamond, with two exceptions - it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.