Engagement Ring University

Read our buying guides so that you can graduate with the perfect engagement ring!

How to Choose The Style of Your Engagement Ring

Not sure about what type of engagement ring you want to get? Can’t decide between solitaire, pave, antique, tension-set? Not sure if you should go for platinum, white gold, or yellow gold?

Read this guide and we’ll do our best to teach you how to pick out the right ring!

1. How to Choose a Style/Design

First, we’ll run through each general type of engagement ring and define them. There are a lot of different engagement ring styles, from a basic solitaire setting to a three-stone setting with pave diamonds.

Here’s a list of the general types of engagement ring settings:

solitaire engagement rings Solitaire. This is the “default” type of engagement ring, consisting of a single center diamond and a plain band.
pave engagement rings Pave. These rings have a single diamond in the center and small diamonds embedded ON the band.
channel set engagement rings Channel Set. These are just like pave rings, except the small diamonds are set IN the band, inside a groove.
sidestone engagement rings Sidestone. This is an engagement ring with one center diamond and smaller, matching diamonds on either side of the center diamond.
three-stone engagement rings Three-Stone. These are very similar to sidestone rings, but there are always 3 diamonds in total (obviously) and the 2 diamonds on the side are usually larger and more emphasized.
tension engagement rings Tension. These are modern-style rings that hold the diamond in a different way from all other rings. Traditional engagement rings hold the diamond with prongs that are attached to the band. Tension-set engagement rings don’t use prongs at all, and instead leave a space in the band for the diamond and hold the diamond using tension in the open space of the band.
designer antique vintage engagement rings Designer/Vintage/Antique. They have usually been custom designed to match a certain style, such as antique, and often are a combination of one or more of the types mentioned already. Rings with etching or engraving are almost always antique-styled rings.

Which style should I choose?

Well, unless she’s going to pick it out herself, there’s no foolproof solution to picking the perfect setting. However, here are some tips to help you choose the right ring. Also, remember that there isn’t one, single, best setting… there can be more than 1 winning ring!

  • Take note of hints that are dropped (this should go without saying… :)). This is the best way to get an idea of what styles to go for and which to avoid.
  • Examine her jewelry. This is also a great way to see what style jewelry she likes. Try to get a ring that would fit in with what she already has.
  • Ask. If you don’t have to be super secretive, then you can always ask.
  • Ask friends/family. She might have dropped hints to them.
  • Use your gut instinct!¬†You should be able to have a good idea of what would and wouldn’t work well by instinct.

Things To Look For

When you’re examining her existing jewelry, try to take note of the following things:

  • Ring size. Not the most exciting characteristic, but a vital one! If you can’t figure this out, most good jewelers will let you resize your ring within a certain time period (usually, a month or two) from your purchase.
  • Metal type. Platinum, white gold, or yellow gold. For more information, see the “How to Choose a Metal” section below.
  • Style. See if she already has rings that match any of the styles above.
  • Details. Does she like jewelry with engraving? If so, an antique-style ring with engraving on the band might be a good fit.
  • Diamond Shape. If you find any jewelry with diamonds, check the shape of the diamond(s), especially if they’re not round (the most common diamond shape).
  • Finger shape/size. This might seem kind of weird, but the size and proportion of the ring can affect the appearance of the finger. Thinner rings tend to make the finger look longer, and thicker rings tend to make the finger appear shorter. This isn’t a crucially important criteria, so don’t worry too much about this one.

2. How to Choose a Metal

You’re probably not quite as worried about which metal type to pick. However, this is a something that you’ll have to choose since you’ll probably have a choice of metals.

The most common metal types are platinum, white gold, and yellow gold.

Obviously, if you want yellow gold, then go with that — there isn’t another option with the same color. However, if you want a silver color, then you have a choice of white gold or platinum. Here are some of the differences between gold and platinum:

Platinum: More expensive, but more durable and long-lasting as it resists fade and tarnish. Also, platinum is generally better for people with sensitive skin.

Yellow/White Gold: Less expensive, but more susceptible to wear. However, gold is more resistant to scratching then platinum.

You should now have a good idea of what you’re looking for when you choose your ring! We’d suggest starting your search now!