The Ultimate Guide to Engagement Rings
Stones, settings, and styles for every bride (and budget).
Published Jan 25, 2019 10:30 AM
If you asked 100 women to describe their ideal engagement ring, you’d get 100 different answers. And that’s because the perfect sparkler is unique to each person.
Some women dream of a classic three-stone ring, others love the simplicity of a solitaire, and then there are those for whom emeralds and rubies replace diamonds altogether. Simply put: Your ring is more than just a symbol of your intention to wed your beloved, it’s a statement about who you are. So, what’s right for your mom, sister, bestie, etc., may not be right for you.
Need a little help finding “the one” (ring, that is)? We’ve got your engagement bling inspo on lock, from glitzy halos and stacked suites to colorful stones and retro showstoppers.
Whether you’re in a relationship that’s going in the direction of marriage or just want to scope out some stunners to save to your secret Pinterest page (hey, who doesn’t have a digital dreamboard?), get ready to say “I do” to these dazzling diamonds and other gorgeous gems.
For the non-traditional bride:
If something uber traditional doesn’t tickle your fancy, trade a classic sparkler for a smokey-grey or champagne diamond. And let your setting tell a story. Love the look of mixed metals? Go for it! And when a single stone won‘t do, consider clusters or a stacked suite.
For the boho bride:
If you ask us, your bling should be as free-spirited as you are. Let your personality shine with a playful ring. For the flower child, an organic silhouette with nature-inspired elements. Star-gazers will delight in celestial details.
For the minimalist bride:
If “understated” and “uncomplicated” best describe your sensibility, chances are you’re a minimalist. Simple rings are having a major moment. Think: Barely-there bands accented with a single gem. Fabulous and unfussy? Swoon.
For the glamorous bride:
Bring on the bling! Of course your center stone is the star (and in this case, the bigger the better), but when glitz is the goal, the supporting elements are also important. Up the ante with a super-sparkly halo, or add a second row of pavé for an extra prismatic effect.
Halo Diamond Ring, Sarah Chloe, $20,000 14k Rose Gold Round Double Halo Diamond Engagement Ring, Gabriel, $3,465 Masterwork Cushion Halo Diamond Band Engagement Ring in 18kt White Gold with Round Center Stone, Ritani, $4,418
For the colorful bride:
Bold personalities with a florid fashion sense deserve an equally vibrant ring. A colorful center stone such as an emerald, sapphire, or yellow diamond is an eye-catching choice. You can even up the chromatic charm with brightly-hued accent gems.
For the romantic bride:
Your engagement ring is a symbol of your everlasting love. And for romantics, it’s a prime opportunity to up the amour. Rose gold feels warm, feminine, and sweetly seductive. A round- or brilliant-cut has an inherent softness, while tiny pavé diamonds add the perfect touch of sparkle.
Round Rosette Ring – Rose Gold & White Diamond (.40ct), Anna Sheffield, $4,300 Odette the Swan Supreme, Catbird, $3,400 Pavé Split Shank Engagement Ring, Stephanie Gottlieb, price upon request
For the traditional bride:
There’s a reason certain silhouettes are considered classics. Take a simple solitaire or an elegant three-stone ring for example. Both are totally timeless. So after you love it for a lifetime, you can pass it on to your daughter. Instant family heirloom.
For the edgy bride:
If your style is more rock ‘n’ roll than romantic, why not journey to the dark side? Black diamonds are the ultimate statement for ladies who like a little, or a lot, of edge. Enhance the aesthetic with angular, geometric cuts and architecture-inspired settings.
Raziel, Digby & Iona, $3,180 4.03ct Black Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring Wedding Band Set 18k Black Gold, Front Jewelers, $3,495 Marquise Bea Ring – Rose Gold & Black Diamond (1.36ct), Anna Sheffield, $4,900
For the budget-conscious bride:
It’s no secret that diamonds are expensive. But the good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on something truly special. Brands like Angara, Brilliant Earth, and Vrai & Oro make budget-friendly beauties under $2,000.
18k White Gold Luxe Ballad Diamond Ring (1/4 Ct. Tw.) with 0.30 Carat Round Diamond, Brilliant Earth, $1,960 The Solitaire, Vrai & Oro, $1,820 Solitaire Princess Diamond Crossover Engagement Ring, Angara, $1,819
For the vintage bride:
Whether you opt for a one-of-a-kind antique (which tend to pricier) or a vintage-inspired style, brides with a nostalgia for the past will love a retro ring—from the striking symmetry of Art Deco designs to the allure of intricate Edwardian detailing.
See more “I do” ideas:
This story was originally published in February 2018, and has since been updated.