Believe it or not, not everyone wants a gigantic diamond for an engagement ring. Modern and minimalist brides flock to smaller designs with teensy stones and delicate bands that are easier to style. Not to mention, a smaller ring will typically cost much less than a flashier one–you could potentially save thousands of dollars.
While small engagement rings are less attention-grabbing initially, they can be more intricate than larger solitaires with more opportunities for craftsmanship. "With bigger diamond rings, usually the stone takes up much of the ring, so there are less opportunities to add design elements," says Ashley Zhang, a fine jewelry designer in New York. "With smaller rings, you can have multiple stone cuts in one design, add accent stones like birthstones, or hand engraving."
Meet the Expert
Ashley Zhang is a fine jewelry designer with a New York City-based eponymous label, Ashley Zhang Jewelry. Her pieces have been worn by celebrities, such as Jennifer Lawrence, Bella Hadid, and Dua Lipa.
Also, smaller rings allow for more styling flexibility. "Smaller engagement rings have more potential for stacking and mixing bands. This way your bridal stack can change upon your mood or be added to over time," Zhang says. Whether you're partial to a sleek and sophisticated stone that's classically cut and in a pared-back setting, a romantic cluster ring, or one with a more distinctive off-kilter setting, there's a dainty engagement ring to suit your style.
To help narrow down your search, we're researched and hand-selected the best options available–keeping size, stone, and overall quality in mind. Those with classic tastes will love the Ceremony REN I Ring and the Zoë Chicco Horizontal Baguette Diamond Ring. Looking for a dainty yet intricate design? Our top picks are the KatKim Grande Crescendo Flare Pavé Ring and the Shahla Karimi Love V Ring w/ Pear.
Read on for the best small engagement rings.
Ginette NY Medium Lonely Diamond Ring
Update a classic solitaire ring by opting for a diamond in a bezel setting. This piece from Ginette NY, set in 18-carat rose gold, is perfect for brides with a cool-girl ethos.
Price at time of publish: $705
Zoë Chicco Horizontal Baguette Ring
Minimal, subtle, and elegant. This mini .06-carat baguette diamond ring, set in 14-carat gold, can be worn on its own or stacked with other bands.
Price at time of publish: $305
Barbela Design Diamond Jayne Ring
Two bezel-set diamonds meet vertically in a twisted, closed-loop band. It's an utterly elegant, artful choice for the modern bride set in 14-carat yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: $500
Ariel Gordon Marquise Wink Ring
This ultra-delicate option features a marquise diamond in a more modern, east-west setting. Set in 14-carat yellow gold, other gemstone options for this ring include rhodolite garnet, a swiss blue top, and iolite.
Price at time of publish: $295
Invert elongated stones for a more contemporary engagement ring style. "For gems, turning an elongated stone on its side, like a marquise or emerald-cut, will make it easier to stack with other bands or wedding bands," Zhang says.
Après Jewelry The Triple Rose Cut Ring
Featuring a trifecta of rose-cut diamonds perched on a delicate, slender 14-carat yellow gold band, this Après Jewelry design is elegant, romantic, and definitely swoon-worthy. What more could you ask for?
Price at time of publish: $1,635
Ceremony Ren I Ring
This art deco–inspired piece features a cigar-style band with a lone princess-cut diamond. This ring, set in 18-carat yellow gold, is perfect for brides who want a wider band with a structural edge.
Price at time of publish: $1,705
KatKim Grande Crescendo Flare Pavé Ring
With a sideways diamond pavé band that wraps around the finger, punctuated by a seemingly floating, single round diamond, this piece of jewelry is perfect for anyone who wants to make a statement. A work of art set in 18k yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: $6,200
Lizzie Mandler Petite Knife Edge Solitaire Ring
The knife-edge detailing on the 18-carat yellow gold band of this round-cut solitaire option adds dimension to a timeless design. Brides in the market for just a hint of sparkle won't be able to say no.
Price at time of publish: $1,420
ILA Pietro Marquise-Cut Diamond Ring
With a hovering marquise-cut diamond set in recycled 14-carat rose gold, this exquisite delicate ring is sure to wow. It's a made-to-order piece that features a super-dainty band that gives the illusion of a floating diamond when worn.
Price at time of publish: $1,995
De Beers The Promise Small Round Brilliant Diamond Ring
This dazzling 18-carat rose gold beauty features a round brilliant solitaire enclosed by two interlocking bands, one plain and one set with diamonds. A truly elegant choice for brides after that fairytale ending.
Price at time of publish: $3,300
Blanca Monrós Gómez Small White Lily Ring
The unique cluster of rose-cut diamonds differing in size, surrounded by a slim pavé band, ensures that this ring will sparkle when catching the light. This ring is set in reclaimed 18-carat yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: $2,565
Ashley Zhang Baguette Diamond Eternity Band
For fans of the eternity band, consider this textured, art deco-inspired option with milgrain detailing. Featuring a seamless loop of channel-set, baguette-cut diamonds, this ornate piece of jewelry will get you all the compliments. This ring is set in 14-carat white gold.
Price at time of publish: $4,895
Nora Kogan Paloma Ring
Calling modern brides with spunk: This ring featuring a tapered diamond is for you. With a horizontally set baguette diamond, set in 18-carat yellow gold, this tapered, square band option is a bold (and fun) engagement choice.
Price at time of publish: $3,995
Elisa Solomon Anna Karenina Marquise Diamond Ring
This vintage, romantic ring should be promoted to heirloom status, stat. Inspired by Native American art, this ornate piece features a marquise diamond with a melee halo. The jewel-encrusted band, with baguette and melee diamonds, is set in 18-carat platinum.
Price at time of publish: $2,110
Zoë Chicco Bezel Set Emerald Cut Diamond Ring
The emerald-cut diamond in a thick bezel setting adds a rustic vibe to this otherwise delicate and simple, half-round band ring. It's set in 14k yellow gold for a hint of Grecian goddess appeal.
Price at time of publish: $2,850
Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Marquise Band Ring
Modern and fashion-forward, this solitaire marquise diamond ring in platinum is inspired by the signet design. The minimalist style is sure to please the most understated bride.
Price at time of publish: $3,000
Cartier Etincelle De Cartier Ring
Sleek, timeless, elegant. Set in 18-carat pink gold, this ring is anything but boring. Featuring an emerald-cut diamond at the center flanked by 22 round brilliant-cut diamonds, this beauty is a testament to refined simplicity.
Price at time of publish: $3,050
Jacquie Aiche Twisted Marquise Diamond Stack Ring
When in doubt, opt for a versatile diamond stack ring that looks gorgeous on its own or coupled with other finger jewels. The twisted band, available in 14-carat yellow, rose, or white gold, lends just the right amount of visual interest to the marquise diamond center.
Price at time of publish: $1,815
Catbird Odette The Swan, Supreme
The ultra-slim pavé band is the perfect backdrop to the trio of diamonds in this ring. A rose-cut diamond and two brilliant-cut diamonds are set in a 14k gold band.
Price at time of publish: $3,100
Jennie Kwon Designs Diamond Kite Balance Ring
The striking kite-shaped diamond of this Jennie Kwon piece is perched atop a slim pavé band with intricate milgrain detailing. Perfect for the fearless, fashion-forward bride, this ring is set in matte-brushed, 18k yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: $3,792
Sofia Zakia Pleiades Supreme Ring
Astrology-lovers, this ring is for you! Named after a cluster of luminous stars, this celestial-inspired ring is romantic and dreamy. Featuring a central diamond flanked by diamonds, two round and two baguettes, this dazzling beauty in 14-carat yellow gold makes it look like stars have been plucked straight from the skies.
Price at time of publish: $5,650
Gillian Conroy Marquise Diamond and Pavé Bezel Ring
We love the antique sensibilities of this half-pavé band ring with a horizontal bezel-set, marquise diamond in the center. Both elegant and rustic, this ring is set in 18-carat yellow gold with a satin-matte, almost dirty-gold finish.
Price at time of publish: $5,450
Wwake Medium Vista Ring
Varied diamond cuts and sizes create a more striking piece of jewelry. Here, an emerald-cut diamond is framed by four round diamonds. The ring, which boasts of reclaimed diamonds, is set in 18-carat yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: $6,908
Kataoka New Moon Solitaire Ring
In a stunning display of craftsmanship, this romantic option features a brilliant round diamond surrounded by a smattering of smaller diamonds on a dainty, delicate, 18-carat beige gold band.
Price at time of publish: $8,580
David Yurman Eden Petite Solitaire Engagement Ring
Fun details make a ring feel more unique, even when it's a detail unseen to the public eye. This solitaire ring, featuring a round center diamond, features discreet cable detailing on its round platinum band.
Price at time of publish: Must inquire for price
Vrai The Signature Emerald Engagement Ring
This emerald-cut solitaire by Vrai in 14-carat rose gold is a timeless option. Set slightly lower than usual, it's made to sit low on the finger for a subtle play on light and depth.
Price at time of publish: $1,050
ILA Perryn Diamond Baguette Ring
Stylish brides-to-be will love the subtly cool details of this ring. Set in 14-carat yellow gold, the two back-to-back horizontally set, tapered baguette diamonds, not to mention the barely there prongs, make this ring a work of art.
Price at time of publish: $3,025
KatKim Cosma Diamond Ring
Sharp, geometric edges make simple, timeless designs feel fresh. Featuring an octagon bezel setting and a square band crafted in polished 18-carat yellow gold, this solitaire ring is anything but plain.
Price at time of publish: $5,200
KatKim Marquise Crescendo Ring
Make a statement with this seductive 18-carat yellow gold stunner featuring a marquise-cut diamond in a pointed, open design. This is definitely a choice for the fashion-forward bride.
Price at time of publish: $3,800
Because smaller rings tend to be more delicate, they require gentler care. Zhang advises wearers to remove rings before exercise or strenuous activities and to refrain from sleeping in them to avoid snagging the prongs on beddings.
Minimal VS Asscher Cut Diamond Ring
A solitaire ring need not be boring. A less common cut, like this Asscher-cut diamond, in a bezel setting, updates a classic and gives it a more contemporary twist. This ring is set in 18-carat yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: $6,800
Jennie Kwon Diamond Baguette Mini Equilibrium Ring
This small, vintage-inspired bauble is a showstopper. The central round diamond is bezel-set and framed by milgrain detailing. With a baguette and round diamonds set in a 14-carat yellow gold band, this ring is a delicate and intricate piece of jewelry.
Price at time of publish: $1,395
Blue Nile Mini Baguette-Cut Diamond Fashion Ring
This slim ring, set in 14-carat yellow gold, features a bezel-set mini baguette-cut diamond. It's simple, modern, and perfectly stackable.
Price at time of publish: $495
Grace Lee Petite Marquise + Pear Half Eternity Ring
Sometimes small pieces make the most impact. Case in point: The row of offset marquise and pear diamonds in this Grace Lee option, set in 14-carat gold, is delicate, striking, and a little bit whimsical.
Price at time of publish: $3,880
Bario Neal Nikko Mini Morganite Marquise Ring
This east-west marquise ring features morganite from Brazil and is set in 14-carat yellow gold. Bario Neal prides itself on transparency so you can trace the brand's gemstones from mine to market. This is a great choice for the bride-to-be who wants to veer slightly away from a traditional diamond.
Price at time of publish: $650
Van Cleef & Arpels Perlée Solitaire
The pearl-inspired, beaded curvature on this rose gold band adds a fun, playful element to this round diamond solitaire. We love the conversation-starting appeal this ring brings.
Price at time of publish: Must inquire for price
Vrai The Signature Round Brilliant Engagement Ring
It's signature classics like this solitaire engagement ring that will make your heart sing. We love the simplicity of the brilliant-cut diamond, especially when coupled with an 18-carat white gold band.
Price at time of publish: $3,300
Porter Gulch Harper Ring
This scene-stealing marquise diamond ring is utterly romantic. The light and airy design is made even more stunning by the addition of petite round and princess-cut diamonds. It's showstopping without being over the top.
Price at time of publish: $5,550
Jennie Kwon Rose Cut Diamond Cluster Equilibrium Ring
This dainty cluster ring in 14-carat yellow gold sparkles like a constellation. With three rose-cut diamonds surrounded by eleven smaller stones on a slim, delicate band, this piece is a romantic choice for brides who exude subtle elegance.
Price at time of publish: $1,575
Mociun Mini Compass Rose Ring
Old European-cut diamonds gained popularity during the art deco period. For a subtle whiff of art deco sensibilities, consider this piece by Mociun with a central diamond set in 14-carat yellow gold and flanked by six pavé-set diamonds.
Price at time of publish: $2,500
Emily Warden Designs Diamond Honeycomb Ring
This low-profile setting ring would look exquisite on its own or stacked with other bands. The unique honeycomb style consists of a trio of rose-cut white diamonds on a 14-carat yellow gold band.
Price at time of publish: $750
Stone and Strand Shield of Strength Gold Diamond Ring
Behold, a classic nine-carat gold engagement ring that will spark interest in traditional and contemporary brides alike. The round- and baguette-cut diamond center is practically begging for its close-up.
Price at time of publish: $395
What to Look For When Choosing a Small Engagement Ring
A smaller ring does not mean a lower-quality ring. In fact, given the delicate nature of your small engagement ring, you will want to pay particular attention to the craftsmanship of your ring. The cut and clarity of your stone and metal content are all things to consider as you shop for your small engagement ring.
Someone who doesn't wear much jewelry may not be sartorially (and physically) comfortable rocking a large rock. So, an engagement ring with a smaller stone will naturally feel more comfortable and wearable for the bride-to-be.
When considering a smaller ring, it's important to consider practicality. "[Some] women have jobs or activities where they use their hands a lot, such as nurses who are putting on and taking off gloves throughout the day," Zhang says. "For them, a large ring may become an annoyance for everyday wear."
How small is a small engagement ring?
Typically, a small engagement ring has a stone size of 0.40 carats or below. In comparison, a common regular-sized engagement ring is 0.50 carats or larger.
What styles are available for small engagement rings?
While a smaller ring can be more minimal in design, you can still be creative with your ring's appearance, stone settings, and cut. For instance, the Stone and Strand Shield of Strength Gold Diamond Ring offers intricate band detailing and an interesting combo of round- and baguette-cut diamonds.
How much does a small engagement ring cost?
Like most rings, costs can vary, although a smaller ring will likely cost less than rings with large stones.
Will a small engagement ring go out of style?
No, having a ring that fits your style (and your finger) perfectly will never go out of style!
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Contributing writer Laura Lajines is a writer and editor covering all things fashion. Prior to her work with Brides, she served as the senior fashion editor at the Zoe Report and PopSugar. Her work has also been featured in Elle, InStyle, Glamour, Refinery 29, Well+Good, and Barneys New York.