Benefits to Buying a Halo Engagement Ring
When you start the time-honored process of buying an engagement ring, one of the first varieties you'll hear about is the halo engagement ring — it's become one of the most popular styles in recent years, to the point that some jewelers and trend observers call it "the halo craze." Two of this year's biggest celebrity weddings involved halo rings: Celebrity journalists noted that Lady Gaga's brand-new $400,000 engagement ring is a sapphire with a diamond halo; and Nick Jonas proposed to Priyanka Chopra this fall with a cushion-cut diamond surrounded by smaller baguette stones.
Don't have a six-figure budget? No problem — you can gift like a baller for a fraction of that, and a halo setting is one of the best ways to make your budget go further. Whether you've received a request from your partner or a recommendation from a relative who owns a beautiful heirloom halo, here's a quick guide to what qualifies as a halo engagement ring, the features and benefits of a halo, and how to select the perfect one.
(All of Four Mine's halo engagement rings are hand-crafted by master artisans, and because we're online, our prices are much lower than jewelry stores. And learn everything you need to know about buying an engagement ring in our comprehensive guide.)
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What is a halo engagement ring?
Think shape. A halo ring is a type of setting, in which a stone is encircled by a ring of round pavé (pronounced pah-vay) or micro-pavé diamonds. Pavé, in French, means "to pave," and in jewelry, the term refers to a pattern of small gemstones placed closely together, creating an impressive field of shine and sparkle.
Different types of halo engagement rings
Even though the halo sounds like a very specific type, there are many different variations, so you have a lot of room for personalization. The halo around the center stone could be round, squarish or diamond shaped. The band can be white, yellow or rose gold, and the band can meet the center diamond in a straight, twisted or double-ringed design. On many of Four Mine's halo rings, the stones extend partway onto the band, creating an even more stunning glittery effect.
And, yes, of course you can personalize your halo engagement ring by choosing your favorite diamond shape for the center stone. With that characteristic alone, there’s tons of variety for this type of ring, from cushion cut halo engagement rings to the classic round halo engagement rings. Some styles riding in popularity are the oval engagement rings with a halo and pear shaped halo engagement rings. But there are also some other types of halo rings with which you might be less familiar. Here's a quick guide to the lesser known styles that offer even more personalization for your halo engagement ring:
Split shank halo engagement ring
This shimmering style creates even more real estate for accent diamonds, meaning more glitz for the girl who loves glamour. With this style, the band of the engagement ring splits when it comes close to your center stone and halo. From the top, this setting looks like diamond and its halo are supported by two thin bands rather than one. It’s a popular style for its ability to catch the eye thanks to those smaller gems.
Plain shank halo engagement ring
Plenty of ring shoppers know you can’t go wrong with a classic. That’s exactly what this style is. An elegant polished band arcs gently up to the diamond and its halo, ensuring the center stone is getting all the attention.
Double halo engagement ring
On the other side of the spectrum is this style of halo engagement ring for the bride who feels that more is more. The double halo is also a dazzling way to save some dough. Yes, the setting costs more than a single halo, but the little diamonds cost a lot less than a large center stone. And since the single halo can make your diamond look a half carat bigger, you’re looking at up to a whole carat increase in appearance thanks to the double.
Pave halo engagement ring
Although the plain shank halo has been the favorite for some time, the pave halo ring is catching up quickly. It’s the gorgeous middle ground for these different ring settings. The extra accent diamonds only extend part way down the shank of the ring. It’s the sweet spot between extra sparkle and timeless elegance.
Benefits of halo engagement rings
The biggest benefit of the halo engagement ring is that it can make the center stone look bigger. This can save you money on the center stone. A halo setting can make the center stone look up to one-half carat bigger, which can translate into hundreds of dollars of savings. (Learn more about carats, and how to choose an engagement ring size, here.)
The pavé design also creates intense sparkle. Smaller stones also cost less, so you get even more sparkle for your buck. One overlooked benefit of the halo is that the surrounding stones offer protection for your center stone (because, yes, they can get damaged).
Are you ready to buy a halo engagement ring? At Four Mine, we have expert gemologists on staff who are highly experienced in working within budgets to find the right ring for each couple. They can walk you through a diamond's GIA certificate — which lists a diamond's carat size, measurements and ratings on various qualities — so you'll know how to best concentrate your budget.
How to buy a halo engagement ring
So you're thinking of buying a halo engagement ring. That might sound like a reality competition show coming to Fox, but in actuality, the process doesn't have to be anywhere near stressful. We're here to help!
First, feel good about your choice. Halo settings — in which small accent diamonds or gems encircle a center stone, like a halo — are beautiful, popular, and a great way to maximize your budget. A halo adds sparkle to any setting, and can make a center diamond seem up to a half-carat bigger. But when it comes to a halo engagement ring, you have no shortage of options. Here are some particular concerns you should consider before buying.
Get familiar with the different halo styles available
Here's a quick rundown of halo engagement ring styles:
- Plain shank halo engagement ring: Totally classic. An elegant polished band arcs gently up to the diamond and its halo, ensuring the center stone gets all the attention.
- Split shank halo engagement ring: The band of the engagement ring splits as it approaches the center stone and halo. This style is popular because it creates more real estate for eye-catching accent diamonds.
- Pave halo engagement ring: Pave accent diamonds only extend partway down the shank of the ring. It’s the sweet spot between extra sparkle and timeless elegance.
- Double halo engagement ring: A dazzling way to save some dough. It's more expensive than a single halo setting, but the added accent diamonds cost much less than a large center stone. Since the single halo can make your diamond look a half carat bigger, you’re looking at up to a whole carat increase.
Decide which fits your/her style and personality the best
Like tattoos or Kardashians, halos can be subtle or flashy. Think about what you'll actually want to wear forever. The most important consideration here: Will you go with smooth shank or pave? There is no right answer; it all depends on your personal style. And smooth shank doesn't mean "boring," nor pave "flashy" — we offer hundreds of styles in each setting, and you amp up or dial down the drama as much as you'd like.
Think about the total size of the center of your ring
Whether it's a single or a double, the halo adds size. If you think your finger will be overwhelmed by 3 carats, you'll want to go smaller on the center stone, otherwise the halo will exceed that size.
Consider how your center stone will match the diamond halo
Although we're big fans of some of the near-colorless diamond grades — they can save you a lot of money — you can only go so low when choosing a halo engagement ring. That's because if there's a big difference between the grade of the halo accent stones and the grade of your center diamond, it will be noticeable, which may not be ideal.
Are you ready to buy a halo engagement ring? We're here to walk you through the process! At Four Mine, we have expert gemologists on staff who are highly experienced in working within budgets to find the right ring for each couple. They can walk you through a diamond's GIA certificate — which lists a diamond's carat size, measurements and ratings on various qualities — so you'll know how to best concentrate your budget.Contact Us