The halo engagement ring is almost as classic as the solitaire but with a stylish twist. This type of ring is one of the most popular designs today and an appealing option for those with a tighter budget.
What Is a Halo Engagement Ring?
Halo is a type of engagement ring setting designed with a central gemstone surrounded by a circle of pavé or micro-pavé stones, usually diamonds.
The circle of small diamonds in a halo flash with light and focus attention on the centre gemstone, making it appear more brilliant. For the extra sparkly effect, halo engagement rings often feature diamond pavé bands. In addition, the pavé setting of the surrounding diamonds makes the centre stone look larger. For example, by some estimates, a 0.50-carat centre diamond can look as much as half a carat larger in a halo setting.
The classic halo style features a single circle of gems around the centre stone. However, there are halo designs that have two or even three concentric circles of gemstones, where each “circle” of pavé gemstones makes the centre stone look larger.
History of Halo Engagement Rings
Although modern halo rings are more similar to the ones popular in the 1920s, the history of halo design dates back to the early Georgian times (1714 – 1837), when the central diamond was surrounded by slightly smaller diamonds or pearls.
During the Victorian era (1837 – 1901), halo rings featured precious gemstones such as sapphire as a centre stone surrounded by triangular cut diamonds. Such designs were imitating a flower. During the Art Deco period (1908 – 1935), jewellers started using various gems and diamond cuts in their designs to create pieces symbolizing wealth and sophistication. The most popular halo ring designs featured sapphires, rubies and turquoise.
In the 1950s, halo engagement ring designs became much more luxurious. However, as jewellery design developed during the 1980s and ’90s, classic halo engagement rings declined in popularity. Nevertheless, as there has been an increased demand for vintage items in the 21st century, halo rings made a comeback, and now they are on the wishlist of many brides-to-be.
Pros and Cons of Halo Engagement Rings
As a popular engagement ring setting type, the halo offers a bold look that can feature any diamond shape, though round, oval, pear and cushion cuts tend to be the favourites. Like every ring setting, the halo has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Quarter, third or half-carat diamonds can look as much as half a carat larger.
- Surrounding stones enhance the brilliance of the centre stone.
- Halo setting protects the centre stone from side hits.
- Compliments all diamond shapes and cuts.
- A high-carat centre diamond can look enormous in a halo setting.
- Smaller stones in the halo may become loose and fall out over time.
- If the halo ring features a pavé band, resizing can be difficult.
Halo Engagement Ring Styles
If the classic halo engagement ring does not match your style, there are many other options to choose from.
The centre stone may be a colourless or fancy colour diamond or any other gemstone such as morganite, sapphire, ruby, emerald, etc. If you are on a tighter budget, you can opt for a cluster of small or pavé diamonds instead of a centre gemstone. This way you end up with the same carat weight of a single large stone but at a much lower price.
To give your halo ring a custom look, you may go for contrasting pavé gemstones. A halo ring featuring a centre diamond surrounded by colour diamonds or gemstones may be a wonderful alternative to the classic design. To make it even more personalized, consider a fancy colour centre diamond surrounded by colourless pavé diamonds.
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