Bold and beautiful: Ballerina settings...
When a simple halo just won’t do, try a ballerina ring setting for added sparkle instead. Ballerina settings surround your center stone in an elaborate display of diamonds that extends beyond a traditional halo, providing extra brilliance and an eye-catching appeal.🌟 Plus, there are several ballerina styles to suit most wearers, ranging from large and lavish to petite and pretty.👏🏻
So what exactly is a ballerina setting? Let’s look more closely at ballerina settings as well as 7 top ballerina styles to give you a bit of inspiration for your own design!
Basics: What is a ballerina ring?
Here’s a brief round-up of ballerina basics, from where the design originated to what it means today.
While the exact decade isn’t known, it’s believed ballerina rings appeared somewhere around the 1930’s or 1940’s during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Ballerina settings themselves became more popular around the 1950’s, and public favor has ebbed and flowed over the decades.
By the 1980’s ballerina settings were a favorite style for cocktail rings, which were worn to parties and events as statement pieces. No one knows who created the first ballerina ring, but major jewelers like Tiffany & Co., Oscar Heyman Brothers, and Boucheron have used the design in their own products over the years.
Design and meaning
The ballerina ring is a unique style, with diamonds flowing outward from a center stone. The design reflects the graceful, undulating motion of a ballerina’s tutu as she floats around the stage, bringing an air of sophistication and delicate beauty to the design.🩰
The billowy halo usually consists of tapered baguette diamonds, although newer designs may include other diamond shapes. The center stone may also be a diamond, but sapphires, rubies, and other colored gemstones are popular picks as well.
Ballerina vs. Halo ring setting: What’s the difference?
Ballerina and halo settings are rather different, though their basic design may seem very similar at first. In reality, the ballerina style is like a cross between a cluster ring and a halo setting.
Both styles feature a halo of diamonds around a center stone, but their respective halos are built rather differently. Halo settings include one, two, or even three halos of small accent diamonds, and they’re typically round in shape for a subtle boost in size. In contrast, ballerina setting rings traditionally use tapered baguette diamonds, creating a larger, grander halo.😻
Speaking of center stones, halo and ballerina settings both incorporate center gems of all shapes and sizes, ranging from popular round, oval, and marquise shapes to squared silhouettes like emerald, radiant, and Asscher. However, the diamonds of a halo setting hug the center stone more closely than those in a ballerina setting, making it a slightly safer style for those of us who seem to snag our jewelry on everything.🤹🏻
Halos can vary in shape when it comes to halo settings, but they usually end up with a round or soft square design. They can also form flower petals and other whimsical shapes. Ballerina settings are similar, though the undulation of the diamonds is what creates variety. The stones may create a cross shape, a round silhouette, or something in between, and it often depends on whether other diamond shapes are incorporated in the ballerina halo.
If you can’t decide between these two styles, you can actually find rings that use elements from both halo and ballerina settings! We’ll discuss this at length in the next section.
7 ballerina ring setting styles to inspire you!
While the ballerina ring may seem like a one-trick pony, there are many ways you can switch up the design of this setting to create something entirely your own. Here are 7 of our favorite variations when it comes to ballerina settings:😎
Classic tapered baguette ballerina style rings
You can’t go wrong with a traditional baguette ballerina ring. This classic style surrounds the center stone in a halo of tapered baguette accent diamonds with the smaller ends facing the inner gem. The result is a halo that expands as it stretches outward, filling any available space and producing a mirror-like glow.
This style looks beautiful with a colored gemstone in the center, and the sapphire example above showcases just how stunning and regal the traditional ballerina style looks. Tapered baguettes can also be used to create uniquely shaped halos that add a touch of personality to the overall design.
Baguette and round diamond ballerina settings
A ballerina diamond ring with a baguette halo can also be paired with the most popular diamond shape—the round brilliant diamond—to create a sweet yet classy piece. By combining the elongated baguettes with round diamonds that visually increase the ring’s size, this ballerina style gives you more bang for your buck.
The shape of the center stone and where the baguette and round diamonds appear on the halo can also change the overall shape of the ring. For instance, this ballerina ring with an oval center stone takes advantage of the tapered baguettes’ length by adding them to the top and bottom of the halo rather than along the sides.
Colored gemstone ballerina rings
As we mentioned in the first style on this list, ballerina rings with colored center gemstones are gorgeous and can amplify the beauty of the design. Whether the gem is your favorite color, your birthstone, or just a stone that means a lot to you, having a colored gemstone in your ballerina ring gives anyone viewing your ring a small glimpse of your personality.😋
The morganite ballerina ring above is a feminine choice for wearers with delicate tastes, but there are so many colored gemstones to choose from that are equally lovely. Sapphires are a popular choice, but emeralds, rubies, amethyst, aquamarine, and citrine are also fine stones for a ballerina setting.
Ballerina and halo hybrid rings
By combining halo and ballerina rings, you get a piece that sparkles far above the rest! A ballerina halo setting adds a small circle of diamonds around the center stone just below the ballerina halo. The effect is a more brilliant, scintillating piece that still has the mirror-like glow of the ballerina halo to produce a subdued shine.
The size of the inner halo can vary, with smaller accent stones producing a more uniform look and larger diamonds creating a more natural, floral design. Colored gemstones are also a great pick for a center stone if you’re looking for a ballerina halo ring, as the color of the center gem really makes the white halos pop!🎇
Ballerina bezel settings
Ballerina settings can be delicate, but you can protect your piece by adding a bezel. A bezel ballerina ring adds an extra strip of metal around the exterior of the halo, reinforcing the design and protecting the diamonds from snagging and chipping. Because ballerina settings are often large, a bezel can defend your ring from the inevitable brush with a hard surface.
Bezel settings come in all shapes and sizes, and you can choose a bezel that best suits your center stone. Round and oval shapes are the most common, but rectangular, square, and even abstract shapes are possible.
Multi-row ballerina rings
When one halo just isn’t enough, try two instead! Multi-row ballerina settings really amp up the glam by throwing another circle of diamonds around the center stone. These pieces are often rather large, so they’re best worn as statement pieces on special occasions rather than as a daily accessory.🥂
Much like the ballerina/halo hybrid, multi-row ballerina settings look amazing with a colored center stone. The color really pops among the rows of white diamonds, although diamonds themselves can also make for eye-catching center stones.
Do you want a ballerina setting but can’t afford the average price? Try sizing down your center stone for a more affordable piece. Ballerina rings with smaller center stones sometimes look like a cross between ballerina and cluster rings, but they have the same spirit and elegance as ballerina styles.🥳 Plus, with a smaller center stone, they’re more affordable and can fit most budgets.
Most ballerina rings with small stones are more modern in design, but you can find vintage versions if you look hard enough!
So is a ballerina setting a good choice for an engagement ring? Well, it really depends. Ballerina rings are large, and they can snag or crack if they hit the right surface. With this comes the chance of diamond loss as well, which is a pricey fix.
The ballerina setting is a much better choice as a gift or anniversary ring. In truth, the ballerina setting was never intended to be engagement jewelry, and it’s best to purchase this style as a cocktail ring or special piece to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc.
Overall, if you plan on wearing your ballerina engagement ring every day, you’d be better off opting for a similar style—like halo or cluster settings—or choosing a ballerina design that is smaller and easier to manage. But, if you can’t be swayed from this gorgeous style for your wedding suite, then wear your big ballerina engagement ring with pride and just be extra cautious!😝
If you do decide to buy a ballerina setting, here are some tips regarding how to wear your new piece and how to care for it.
First, ballerina settings are typically worn on the right hand as a fashion statement to avoid anyone confusing your piece for an engagement ring. However, times have changed, and you can wear your ballerina ring on whichever hand is most comfortable for you.✅
Next, avoid contact with hard services or harsh chemicals that can damage your ring. Your gemstones and setting can be compromised if you’re not careful, so be extra gentle when wearing your ballerina setting ring and never wear it on days you’ll be working with your hands.
It’s also best to store your ballerina setting away from other jewelry in its own anti-tarnish bag. Home cleanings can be done as needed with a soft toothbrush, warm water, and a little dish soap. But, you should still bring your ring to a jeweler for regular deep cleanings and inspections, as there are several prongs and small spaces that require attention.
If you already have a solitaire ring that needs a little pizzazz, you can use ring enhancers to turn it into a ballerina-style suite! Ring guards or enhancers offer protection and personalization for your solitaire rings, and you can read more about popular styles in our ring guard guide.
For ballerina styles, you can opt for a semi halo or full halo depending on your preferences. Just one band—which can be used as a wedding band—creates a semi halo effect. Or, you can place a ring guard on either side of your solitaire to get a full ballerina ring look.
Ring enhancers come in several styles to meet your needs and fit your diamond shape, like this beautiful ring enhancer in yellow gold. Combining two of these pear and baguette ring enhancers can even recreate a full halo with room for a small three-stone ring inside! Etsy is a great place to find or order custom ring guards for your specific solitaire, but you can also find a beautiful collection of ring enhancers at Two Birch.
Ballerina rings are harder to come by when compared to popular engagement ring styles. If you’re looking for your very own ballerina setting, we recommend trying these retailers first:👁️
A great choice for new and vintage rings, 1stDibs has a wide selection of one-of-a-kind styles and variations. Many of the rings on 1stDibs are also certified and come with any relevant documentation to prove their origin, so you can rest easy knowing your piece is authentic.
Dubbing themselves the “Internet’s Family Jeweler”, Allurez takes pride in offering a smooth purchasing process and quality product. Their ballerina styles are a bit limited, but they offer several, colorful center stone options for each ring type.
Full of resellers and small jewelers alike, Etsy is a great place to start if you’re looking for a custom ring or wanting to support a small business. With one of the widest selections of ballerina rings on this list, Etsy has rings to suit anyone’s needs.
A giant in online jewelry that we’ve mentioned before, Blue Nile is always a good starting point for a more traditional online shopping experience. Blue Nile doesn’t have a ton of ballerina settings to choose from, but the ones they do have are quality assured, backed by the Blue Nile promise, and come with their excellent customer service offerings.
Final thoughts: Ballerina settings
Ballerina settings are a wonderful alternative for shoppers who need more glamor than most halo settings can provide. Unique and unexpected, ballerina settings are also great for those wearers who prefer to experiment with non-traditional rings, such as rings with colored center stones or fun shapes. You can even turn your own ring into a semi or full ballerina style with the right ring enhancer, which means the ballerina style is accessible and affordable.😊
Ballerina settings are just one of the many styles available for your next ring. Check out our engagement ring guide for more inspiration, or review our diamond buying guide for specifics on how to find your ideal diamond for the right price.