Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
If you're in search of a unique engagement ring that feels one-of-a-kind but isn't too pricey, then you really can't go wrong with a cluster engagement ring. Made with an assortment of stones in different cuts and sizes, these rings are interesting to look at and often feel unexpected.
"Cluster rings are usually asymmetrical and incorporate different shapes and colors," jeweler Sarah Ortega of Sarah O. Jewelry tells Brides. "There are multiple main stones (no main center stone) creating a multi-focal point."
Meet the Expert
Sarah Ortega is a New Mexico-based jeweler who created the brand Sarah O. Jewelry.
There are two types of cluster rings. One kind, which is particularly trendy at the moment, features a few different stones in different cuts and colors (think Emily Ratajkowski's engagement ring). The other kind features a cluster of small stones that are put together to resemble one larger stone.
It's not hard to see why cluster engagement rings are having a moment in the spotlight. "A lot of people are drawn to cluster rings because they want something non-traditional, and it allows them to create something totally unique," Ortega says. "Also, it's a nice way to incorporate sentimental stones, like birthstones or heirloom stones." Cluster rings are perfect for the indecisive bride: If you can't pick between a round diamond or a pear-cut gemstone, you can have both.
Here's a look at some of the most gorgeous cluster engagement rings available that will leave you seriously reconsidering the solitaire ring you had your eyes on.
What to Know When Shopping for a Cluster Engagement Ring
If you want to create your own cluster ring, Ortega strongly recommends working with a talented designer. "They can advise you on choosing stones, settings, and creating the actual design," she says.
Many people say that one of the pros of cluster engagement rings is that they're cheaper. This is usually because they don't have one large center stone, so while they do feature several stones, they're all smaller and less expensive. But Ortega notes that this isn't always true: some cluster engagement rings can be pretty high up there in terms of cost.
Cluster rings that feature multiple kinds of stones definitely have a more modern look to them, so if your goal is to get something that seems classic, this might not be the ring for you.
Do cluster rings require any special care?
Depending on the stones and settings in your cluster ring, Ortega notes that it might require extra care. "Again, this is where a trusted designer can help guide you to choose what works best for your lifestyle and preference," she says. "Plus, they can give you the best cleaning and care tips for your particular ring."
How do you pick a wedding band that matches a cluster ring?
"If your cluster engagement ring has a lot of diamonds or gemstones in the design, you may want a metal wedding band with none or minimal gemstones to further highlight the engagement ring," Ortega says. "If you are going to pair a cluster ring with a band, it might be good to have that in mind when you are choosing/designing. This way, you can make sure both rings complement each other."
What are some of the cons of cluster rings?
How can you make a cluster ring look more classic instead of trendy?
Ortega recommends using white diamonds and sticking to fewer stones instead of mixing a lot of different ones. "The cluster style engagement ring can seem like it needs a lot of stones, but in reality, you can add just a few accent stones to achieve the same cluster look, while maintaining that classic feel."