A halo engagement ring design features a center stone surrounded on all sides by smaller diamonds or gemstones. Second in popularity to a solitaire engagement ring style, halos accentuate the beauty of the center stone and can make it appear larger. There are a few different types of halos and it lends itself well to different stone shapes, metal and other embellishments.
Halo Ring Settings
The first halo rings can be traced back to the Georgian Era in Europe (1714-1837) where round diamonds encircled a slightly smaller center stone, and the Victorian Era (1837-1901) where colored gemstones were often used to imitate a ring of flowers. The modern halo setting originates from the Art Deco Era in the 1920’s, known for its emphasis on symmetry and geometric patterns.
This style of setting is called a halo because the center stone is surrounded by a “halo” of smaller diamonds or gemstones. These accent stones are typically round pavé or micro-pavé diamonds (or colored gemstones) that flash with light and draw your attention to the center stone. A classic halo setting features a single row of accent diamonds surrounding the center stone, but halos can be created in all shapes and sizes, not just round. A double halo features two rows of diamonds or gems around the center stone.
A hidden halo hides its sparkle below the center stone giving the illusion of a solitaire when viewed from the top. Halos add extra sparkle to any ring, are versatile and easy to customize, and can make your center stone appear larger than it actually is. If the center and accent stones are different colors, then the halo draws more focus toward the center stone through a contrast of colors and brilliance.
Halo Engagement Ring Styles
The center stone can be a colorless diamond or other gemstone, and while round and princess cuts are classics, a halo ring can feature ovals, emerald cut and even pear or marquise shapes. Choosing contrasting pavé accent gemstones can give your ring a more unique look like surrounding a center diamond with rubies or sapphires, and on the reverse, you could encircle a sapphire with diamonds like Kate Middleton’s ring that once belonged to Princess Diana.
A classic single halo can be doubled and even tripled, with each circle of accent stones making the ring look bigger. You can also pavé part of the shank (the part that wraps around your finger) or leave the metal bare. Additionally, you could choose a split shank, entwined, pavéed or not. The most common metal choice is white gold or platinum, but you may discover yellow gold or even rose gold is the perfect complement to your choice of stones.
A halo will make a center diamond look larger, which saves money on the actual stone, but it’s not always the more budget-friendly option. More metal and more gems mean that this style is more expensive than a solitaire or three stone setting. The shape of a halo can also make it difficult to pair with a wedding band, and special care should be taken, as the smaller surrounding stones can fall out easily.