Halo Engagement Ring Guide | Rare Carat

When most of us think of a halo, we picture an imaginary circle hovering over the head of an Angelic being, innocent child or even Cupid. When you see a halo, you instantly have a good feeling about the subject it hovers over. A halo is meant to highlight and focus on something other than itself. This is why the halo engagement ring has become one of the top five choices for engaged couples. Here are the top five engagement ring styles:

The Solitaire Remains King

4 prong white metal solitaire round diamond ring

In the world of engagement rings, there are many popular styles to choose from. The solitaire (a single diamond mounted on a simple band) is King. Its simplicity and elegance are the reasons it is the go-to classic style. Over 60% of engaged couples prefer it. One of the main reasons solitaire engagement rings are so desirable is that the stone rather than the mounting becomes the center of attention.

What is great about the solitaire is that even a .25 carat can show off its beauty without any competition from the mounting or other gems.

• Bezel. Like the solitaire, the bezel style highlights the main stone. A bezel set surrounds the stone securely in a ring of metal.

Emerald cut diamond set in a yellow gold bezel setting

• Pave. If you like a river of sparkle, the pave set is for you. It utilizes small bead-like prongs containing multiple smaller stones.

Round pave .png

• Three Stone. Typically, a three stone contains a larger center with a smaller stone on each side.

An oval center stone with two round side diamonds making up the three stone ring in rose gold

The Hallowed Halo

halo settings collection

Rounding off the top five engagement ring styles is the halo. Personally, I prefer this one. The main stone is encircled by multiple smaller stones. A benefit of this look is that a smaller center can look larger. For the budget-minded consumer, it is much less costly to buy a smaller center and surround it with smaller stones rather than buying a larger single stone.

When my first wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary, I upgraded her engagement ring with a halo design. What is interesting is that is .50 carat center including all the smaller stones were ideal cut. The brilliance and spectral colors emanating from all the stones gave the illusion that the main diamond was much larger.

The hallowed halo first came on the scene in the early twentieth century. However, vintage style rings are making a reappearance in the twenty-first century. The classic style halo ring used round brilliant diamonds. Another popular stone is the princess cut. Other fancy shapes can also be used. Because of the design, the cut of the diamonds and the way they are set in the mount play an important role in the light performance of the stones.

Flexibility and Utility

The halo design offers flexibility with utility. As I already mentioned, you can vary the shape of the diamonds. The round brilliant and princess cut are the top two. Emerald, cushion, pear and marquise are also possibilities. Another option the halo design offers is to eliminate the wedding ring. Because of the head of the halo mount is substantial it is not necessary to add a wedding band. That is exactly what my wife did. Her Halo ring with all ideal cut diamonds was so beautiful it would be overkill to have a wedding ring alongside. If you are so inclined, diamonds can be added to the shank. For me, the traditional style using round brilliant diamonds surrounding the center stone and a plain band is the most elegant.

The halo design can also be used for right-hand rings which gives it more utility than the classic solitaire. I personally believe you cannot make a mistake choosing the hallow halo style.

Simple Elegance

The halo design offers simple elegance. The surrounding smaller diamonds accentuate the beauty of the center stone. Some engagement rings in my opinion can have a busy look. Because of a random pattern in setting the stones and multiple shaped stones, the eye struggles to find a focal point. If you are looking for simple elegance, the halo design may be just what you need. The solitaire will probably continue to be the default choice for the vast majority of shoppers. But if you are looking for something more but not overdone, consider the halo design. It has become one of my favorite styles over the years!


Michael Shanlian G.G., Ph.D.
Michael Shanlian G.G., Ph.D.
Michael Shanlian (aka Doc Mike) career includes jewelry appraiser, pastor, adjunct professor, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and leadership consultant. Doc Mike earned his G.G. (Graduate Gemologist) diploma through The Gemological Institute of America and his C.G.A (Certified Gemologist Appraiser) with the American Gem Society. He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Tennessee Temple University. He and his wife Susie live in St. Augustine, Florida.