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In the last decade or so, mixing metals has become one of the most enduring fashion trends. So, if you’re thinking about getting engaged sometime soon, remember that these days you’re not limited to combinations as simple as yellow gold bands and bright white diamonds. Why not choose two ring metals for a unique two-tone look?
What Is a Two-Tone Engagement Ring?
A two-tone engagement ring is a ring composed of two different metals. The most common combinations are platinum and yellow gold, however, a two-tone ring can feature any combination of yellow, rose or white gold.
“Two-tone rings can symbolize the coming together of two different lives. However, most often two-tone rings just speak to style preferences,” notes Slisha Kankariya, co-founder of With Clarity. “Sometimes, white gold prongs are chosen with a yellow gold shank or band. The white gold prongs blend more easily with the diamond, allowing the shine to come through more.”
It’s this more intense “shine” that Jillian Sassone, principal designer of Marrow Fine, credits as the paramount appeal of the two-tone engagement ring. “We love how the two-tone look works for lighter color stones, and we typically incorporate the technique when working with white diamonds,” she explains. “It helps the prongs around the engagement ring blend in with the diamond, accentuate its whiteness, and make the look altogether seamless so as not to overpower the beauty of the gemstone(s) being used in the ring design.”
Whether you’re looking to start a wedding ring stack with something that sets the tone, you’re finding it hard to land on one specific engagement ring setting, or you’re just really into mixing metals, you can’t go wrong with a two-tone engagement ring. Below, get to know some of our favorite two-tone looks and what to consider before you shop for one on your own.
Blue Nile Polish Two-Tone Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring
This white and rose gold rendition is the perfect example of two trends—band-style rings and mixed metal accents—colliding in the best way possible. The golds are polished to such a perfect finish that they highlight the diamond brilliantly, a tried-and-true trademark of the two-tone design.
Thelma West Jubilant Ashoka Ring
Speaking of band-style rings with mixed metal treatment, this ring features a 3-carat flawless Ashoka cut diamond set in platinum. The matte 18K white gold exterior and sparkling 18K rose gold interior exemplify everything we love about a two-tone look, including being a great gender-neutral engagement option.
Briony Raymond New York Serena Emerald & Diamond Ring
Handmade platinum and 18K yellow gold mounting make this engagement ring a total statement piece. The trapezoid diamonds flanking the natural cushion-cut emerald provide a nice counterbalance to the mesmerizing bauble, while also blending seamlessly into the band.
Jean Dousset Chelsea La Vie en Rose® Solitaire Engagement Ring
The oval diamond in this handcrafted Jean Dousset ring is limitless opposite the three rows of brilliant-cut rare, natural Fancy Vivid Pink Argyle diamond pavé on the band, bridge, and gallery. Opting for the two-tone iteration (beyond the simple 18K rose gold version) makes the white center stone even brighter and more luminous.
Ashley Zhang Victoria Rolling Engagement Ring
Sometimes two-tone goes beyond a single ring, like this Ashley Zhang platinum and 18K yellow gold twin design. The traditional six-prong solitaire engagement ring is interlocked with a pavé diamond band for a great blend of matte and sparkle that can accompany any wedding band.
Marrow Fine Old Mine Cut Solitaire Engagement Ring
Unique but timeless, this engagement ring features an old mine cut white diamond set in white gold prongs with a yellow gold band. It’s super simple, but that’s what makes it so easy to style—you can couple it with pretty much anything to build an enviable ring stack.
Kwiat Cushion-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring With Two Yellow Diamond Half Moon Side Stones
This three-stone ring is a serious triple threat with yellow half moon diamonds flanking the white cushion center stone. By utilizing like-colored prongs (platinum for the white diamond and 18K yellow gold for the setting) the diamonds are brighter, respectively.
Ring Concierge Whisper Thin™ Three-Stone Oval Engagement Ring
This three-stone diamond ring features an oval-cut center stone and oval side stones on the thinnest yellow gold band in the market. Since the oval side stones are slightly smaller and the shank is so slim and sharply contrasted (hello yellow gold!), your diamond will look even bigger.
Mark Broumand Round Brilliant-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
This two-tone diamond engagement ring displays tremendous brilliance due to its triple excellent grading in cut, polish, and symmetry. It is accented by a halo of round brilliant-cut diamonds as well as one row of shimmering micro pavé diamonds around the 18K yellow gold shank. In other words, it’s a whole lot of sparkle and strength in gold.
Brilliant Earth Two-Tone Cluster Diamond Ring With Infinity Design
This yellow and white gold ring features a round brilliant diamond surrounded by a six-strong cloud of stunning diamond accents. And since the band is yellow, it really allows the intricacy of the white gold cluster work to pop, along with the personalized and otherwise-missed infinity symbols in the gallery.
Ashley Zhang Edith Asscher Cut Engagement Ring
This vintage-inspired baguette halo ring features a slim band in 18K yellow gold contrasted with a baguette halo and diamond set in platinum. The eight baguette diamonds with tiny round brilliant-cut diamonds at the corners are framed by hand milgrain—and any wedding ring can fit flush against the band without taking away from the mesmerizing geometric facade.
Angara Floral Cluster Diamond Two-Tone Engagement Ring With Milgrain
The floral pattern here is breathtaking, without a doubt, but even more striking is the knife-edge shank in rose gold, adorned with pavé set diamonds. The intricate milgrain work (in both 14K rose and white gold) creates gaze-worthy intersections of pink and white lines that make the diamonds look like they’re floating!
Victorian Two-Tone 14K Rose Gold and Platinum Vintage Bypass Engagement Ring
Sitting in the two-tone platinum and rose gold setting is a beautiful chunky old mine cut diamond encircled by winding shanks and inset accent diamonds. There isn’t a hard and fast break from the platinum part of the shanks, either. It’s a very soft transition into brushed metal rose gold. If mixing metals is like second nature to you, then this one might have your heart!
MiaDonna Hoyt Two-Tone Engagement Ring
Have you ever seen a split shank two-tone band? It’s pretty wild, but also seriously stunning! Set with a round-cut center stone in a wrap-around bezel, this ring is otherworldly. If someone is looking at your finger, they really can’t tell where the white gold starts and the yellow or rose gold begins!
James Allen Platinum and 14K Yellow Gold Two-Tone Pear Shaped Swirl Tension Setting
The tension setting is a perfect match for the two-tone interpretation because both aim to do the same thing: highlight the center diamond or gemstone. In this case, the effect is super distinctive, statuesque, and fashion-forward. Although the shape isn’t really conducive to adding a wedding band, this type of ring can stand on its own.
Allurez Moissanite & Diamond Antique Style Engagement Ring in 18K Two-Tone Gold
The diamond-lined “collars” on this ring are our favorite part—providing definition to the sparkling 1.5-carat weight moissanite center stone. Add to that two smaller diamonds set within the band’s two-tone 18K gold open-scroll design and 18 additional small diamond accents and the antique vibe gets a dose of modernity and extra fire.
Marrow Fine White Diamond Moval Georgia Engagement Ring
We’re already fans of the moval-shaped diamond, which essentially takes all of the beauty of the oval cut and the marquise cut and blends it together, but this ring’s adaptation of it is so fierce. The white gold border on the yellow gold band creates a signet-style look that can be worn anywhere.
Suzy Levian 14K Two-Tone White or Rose Gold and Brown Diamond Halo Ring
With a gorgeous round-cut brown diamond and an array of white diamond accents, this ring handset in 14K white and rose gold is the epitome of feminine grace and strength. The French filigree handwork carves incredible detail and beautiful depth across the band, while the brilliance of the diamonds and luster of the high-polish finished gold exude effervescence.
With Clarity Exquisite Natural Diamond Ring
We did say that two-tone engagement rings were more about the style factor than the symbolism, but this princess cut ring hits a little differently. The coiled rose gold band joining with a pavé diamond-set white gold band is a beautiful representation of two lives coming together for a wedding and forever after to come.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Two-Tone Engagement Ring
Unlike other unique ring designs that have a standard look, two-tone engagement rings really don’t have a template. You’ll want to see at least two metals used in the ring design (i.e. platinum and 18K yellow gold, 18K white and yellow gold, 18K white and rose gold). You can also look for a ring that brings in embellishments (collars, side stones, etc.) using alternative golds. You can explore options that weave dual tones into the shanks of the engagement ring. Or you can embrace a minimalist version of the trend with just a solitaire setting, a yellow or rose gold band, and a diamond set in like-white prongs such as platinum or white gold.
While you can play with the two-tone trend in many ways, it still isn’t the most sought-after look, notes Kankariya. “Two-tone rings can be harder to find, as it is not an overly common look. Additionally, two-tone rings can require some additional time for jewelers to craft. Finally, if trying to customize a style to incorporate two metals, jewelers may charge more for the customization,” she cautions.
If you’re worried about the long-wear potential of your two-tone engagement ring, fear not. Zhang reassures us that two-tone rings are just as enduring as their single-tone counterparts, despite some industry chatter about the softness or durability of some metals. “We only work in 14K, 18K, and platinum. While these metals have subtle variations in their hardness, I personally don't believe there will be much of a difference with wear,” she vouches. “If you are going to scratch your ring, or not treat it properly, all metals will wear relatively the same.” So if you keep up with proper ring maintenance and protect your prized possession fiercely, you should be able to wear it for as long as you wish!
How much does a two-tone engagement ring cost?
Any custom work that a jeweler puts into the process has the potential to add up, but for the most part, yellow, white, and gold metals are comparable in price. If you choose platinum as one of your metals, that’s where you might raise the price tag.
Are certain gemstones more appropriate for this ring style?
Almost any gemstone can be incorporated into a two-tone engagement ring, but diamonds are the most popular. In terms of diamond alternatives, moissanite will look good in any setting that a diamond would typically look good in.
Does the trend have staying power?
Across the board, our experts say that the two-tone engagement ring trend and bigger picture approach of mixing metals are here for the long haul, especially if it has anything to do with larger white stones. New York-based fine jeweler Ashley Zhang hypes up the look with confidence, saying “it gives your diamonds a bright white appearance and affords you flexibility to mix your collection of jewelry throughout the years.”