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
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.”
Tiffany & Co. Soleste Cushion-Cut Double Halo Engagement Ring
If you really want to make a statement, opt for a double halo like this one, which has a large, bold look to it. The matching cushion-cut center stone and double halo achieve perfect symmetry.
Price at time of publish: $19,300+
Mociun Halo Ring
This old European-cut features a round diamond center stone with a diamond halo in a shape that almost looks like a sun. The yellow gold band keeps the ring delicate, feminine, and unique.
Price at time of publish: $11,200
Jadetrau Bridal Round Halo
A classic example of a halo setting, this engagement ring is simple, gorgeous, and timeless. Opt for a rose gold band for something more trendy.
Price at time of publish: $3,000+
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.
Price at time of publish: $1,930
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.
Price at time of publish: $3,600
Bario Neal Soma Rose Cut Diamond With Blue Sapphire Halo Ring
Halo rings typically feature diamond accent stones, but this ring is proof that colored gemstones also look gorgeous. The small sapphires make this ring truly special.
Price at time of publish: $5,500
Tiffany & Co. Legacy Engagement Ring
Inspired by the Edwardian period, this traditional engagement ring features a cushion-cut center stone with a diamond halo and band.
Price at time of publish: Not listed
Vera Wang WISH Diamond Engagement Ring
This exquisite princess-cut diamond engagement ring has us swooning. To maximize the effect of the halo setting, there are even more diamonds adorning the split-shank band for a standout finish.
Price at time of publish: $6,850
Kay Diamond Engagement Ring
Photos of this beauty don't do it justice. Traditional brides won't be able to resist the sparkly princess-cut diamond center framed by a halo of diamonds and a glistening diamond band.
Price at time of publish: $2,000
Neil Lane Aquamarine Engagement Ring
If you're looking for a bit of color, this aquamarine engagement ring will be a breath of fresh air. The Cinderella-esque hue looks even more enchanting coupled with a halo of brilliant round diamonds and a curvilinear diamond band.
Price at time of publish: $3,000
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.
Price at time of publish: $1,450
Brilliant Earth Lotus Flower Diamond Engagement Ring
Add a touch of whimsy to your ring finger with this lotus flower-shaped halo design. Make it your own by selecting a diamond shape, carat size, and metal.
Price at time of publish: $1,550 (setting only)
Angara Classic Double Floral Halo Diamond Ring
Presentation is everything when it comes to this ornate ring resembling a flower. A round diamond center is surrounded by a double halo of diamonds on a 14k yellow gold band for an elevated appearance.
Price at time of publish: $2,489
David Yurman Petite Châtelaine Pavé Bezel Ring With Diamonds and Gemstones
Don't shy away from a pink tourmaline center stone if that's what your heart desires. A true David Yurman classic, this insanely gorgeous ring commands attention with a sparkling diamond pavé halo setting.
Price at time of publish: $2,250