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Believe it or not, not everyone wants a gigantic diamond for an engagement ring. It's true. Modern and minimalist brides flock to smaller designs with teensy stones and delicate bands that are easier to style. (You can even get in on the wedding stack trend that guarantees a chic look!) Not to mention, a smaller ring will typically cost much less than a flashier one. Potentially, you could save thousands of dollars on a minimalistic engagement ring.
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, peruse our edit of dainty engagement rings. The smaller size doesn't mean there's a shortage of stylish, unique designs: There is one for you.
Looking for the perfect minimalist ring for your big day? Ahead, check out our favorite small engagement rings along with some important things to consider as you shop.
Ariel Gordon Marquise Wink Ring
This ultra-delicate option features a marquise diamond in a more modern, east-west setting. Set in 14k yellow gold, other gemstone options for this ring include rhodolite garnet, swiss blue top, and iolite.
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.
Lizzie Mandler Petite Knife Edge Solitaire Ring
The knife-edge detailing on the 18k 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.
Jade Trau Alchemy Sophisticate Solitaire Stackable Ring
When choosing smaller rings, pay close attention to unique design elements. The hexagonal bezel setting on this 0.15 carat round brilliant-cut diamond—plus, the matte finish on the 18k yellow gold band—gives this simple solitaire ring a distinctive feel and contemporary edge.
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 14k white gold.
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 18k platinum.
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 14k yellow, rose, or white gold, lends just the right amount of visual interest to the marquise diamond center.
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 14k yellow gold makes it look like stars have been plucked straight from the skies.
ILA Perryn Diamond Baguette Ring
Stylish brides to be will love the subtly cool details of this ring. Set in 14k 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.
KatKim Marquise Crescendo Ring
Make a statement with this seductive 18k yellow gold stunner featuring a marquise-cut diamond in a pointed, open design. This is definitely a choice for the fashion-forward bride.
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.
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 baguette and round diamonds set in a 14k yellow gold band, this ring is a delicate and intricate piece of jewelry.
Blue Nile Mini Baguette-Cut Diamond Fashion Ring
This slim ring, set in 14k yellow gold, features a bezel-set mini baguette-cut diamond. It's simple, modern, and definitely stackable.
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 14k gold, is delicate, striking, and a little bit whimsical.
Bario Neal Nikko Mini Morganite Marquise Ring
This east-west marquise ring features morganite from Brazil and is set in 14k 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.
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.
- 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.