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In 2010, Kate Middleton showed off her sparkling new engagement ring: a stunning sapphire center stone sitting in a diamond halo setting. It should come as no surprise that, ever since then, halo settings have become an incredibly popular choice among brides.
What Is the Halo Setting?
The halo setting is a ring of small accent stones, typically pavé diamonds, that encircle a larger center stone. Halo settings can be the same shape as the center stone, or they can be different, such as a cushion-cut halo circling a round diamond.
Halos add extra glitz and glimmer to any ring, and clearly, they are fit for a princess. Not only are they versatile and easy to customize, but this setting can actually make a diamond appear as much as half a carat larger than it actually is. We talked to jewelers Rohan Agrawal and Adam Patrick to learn more about this showstopping setting and how to care for it.
Meet the Expert
Scroll down to learn about the pros and cons of halo settings and what to look for when shopping for a halo engagement ring.
Pros and Cons of a Halo Setting
The biggest appeal of a halo setting is that it complements the center stone well and makes your ring appear larger. “The halo setting is designed to accentuate the beauty of the center stone by adding size and brilliance in an affordable way,” says Agrawal. “If the center and accent stones are two different colors, then the halo setting draws more focus toward the center stone. It enhances its visual appeal through a contrast of colors and brilliance.”
While a halo setting will make a center diamond look larger (something that saves money on the actual stone), it’s not always the more budget-friendly option. “More metal and more gems mean that the style is more expensive compared to simpler designs, like solitaire or three stones,” Agrawal says.
Special care should be taken with halo settings, as the smaller diamonds surrounding the larger stone fall out easily. Also, because of the shape of a halo and the way it creates an edge around the center stone, the setting makes it a little difficult to pair an engagement ring with a wedding band.
What to Look for in a Halo Setting
• Are there certain cuts of diamonds that pair well with a halo setting? While any cut works with a halo, a round diamond is the most popular option. It creates perfect symmetry. Agrawal also loves an emerald-cut center stone for its visual impact. “The linear faceting of the emerald-cut has a pleasant contrast with round-shaped accent stones," he says.
• Can other stones be used for a halo setting? Yes, halo rings are great if you want to incorporate colored stones in your setting. “Many halo rings have beautiful emeralds, pearls, or rubies as the center stone, which, design-wise, makes it more interesting," says Patrick.
• How can I maximize the look of my halo setting? If you want a halo setting specifically to make your center stone look larger, Agrawal recommends choosing one with diamonds of the same quality (color, cut, and clarity) as the center stone. “A contrast would pronounce the differences between the center and accent stones and lose the desired effect,” he says.
How to Care for Your Halo-Setting Engagement Ring
A solution of dishwashing soap and warm water will help remove any dust, particles, or cosmetics that have accumulated on your ring. You can let your ring air-dry or use a soft cotton cloth to dry it. While it's fine to clean the ring yourself once a week, it's recommended to take your halo engagement ring to a jeweler once or twice a year for a more thorough cleaning and to review any problems with your ring.
Halo rings are more intricate due to the number of smaller diamonds around the main stone. “Ideally, with this kind of ring, you would want to get a wedding band made to fit around or under the engagement ring,” Patrick says. “If you don’t, the two will inevitably rub against one another, and over time, will wear away the gallery underneath. It’s an extra consideration, as you need to factor in that you will be repairing or replacing the wedding band at some point if you don’t have one made.”
Now, scroll through the stunning halo-setting engagement rings below.
Anna Sheffield Round Grand Halo Rosette Ring
A round center diamond is surrounded by pavé diamonds in this traditionally modern halo setting. The rose gold band makes it a touch more feminine.
Capucinne Moonstone Engagement Ring
This engagement ring features a moonstone center stone, ideal for someone who wants a classic look but doesn’t want a diamond. The emerald cut with the sparkling halo has a beautiful geometric look.
Gillian Conroy Art Deco Double Halo Hexagon White Diamond Ring
This art deco-inspired ring features a rare hexagon white diamond with a sparkling double halo of tiny white diamonds. It has a low profile and sits flatter to the finger.
Jared Royal Asscher Diamond Engagement Ring
There's something majestic and charming about an oval-cut diamond engagement ring, especially when it's accompanied by a sparkling infinity-shank band. But wait, there's more. Two additional rows of round diamonds circle the center diamond for a head-turning look.
Vrai and Oro The Halo Ring in 14k Rose Gold With Pavé Band
Cue the romance: A timeless beauty like this deserves to be front and center. This 14k rose gold halo ring features a trillion-cut diamond center and surrounding pavé diamonds.