Halo Ring Setting: Pros & Cons and Choosing the Right Style for You

The heavenly appeal of the halo setting...

Some women feel they were born to sparkle, and the creation of the halo ring setting is a testament to this.✨ Crafted with scintillation in mind, halo settings are the ultimate display of a diamond’s shiniest qualities.

Halos also give wearers several ways to show off pieces of their personality through color, shape, and style.

Round Diamond on a Halo Ring Setting
  • What constitutes a halo ring setting?
  • How does this design compare to other settings?
  • And, how can you find the halo setting that best suits your personal style?

Let’s discuss the origins of the halo ring setting, variations of the design, and where to buy your own beautiful ring.👇🏻

Basics: What is a halo ring setting?

Despite a recent spike in popularity, the halo diamond ring setting actually dates back to the Georgian era in the early 1700s. At that time, the center diamond was only slightly larger than the diamonds or pearls that surrounded it. This changed with the Victorian era fashion of the mid-1800s, where brightly colored center stones dazzled in halos of white diamonds, imitating flowers.

However, the halo designs we’re most familiar with today come from the Art Deco period of the 1920s. Here, concentric circles and geometric patterns revolutionized the halo setting, with smaller diamonds used to create elegant halos. Recently, jewelry designers even reinvented the classic perception of the halo with the hidden halo setting. In this piece, the halo of diamonds sits below the center stone, adding a touch of sparkle without going overboard.

Halo Ring Setting Illustration: White, Yellow and Rose Gold

Halo ring settings throughout history come in all shapes and sizes, but the main ingredients are always the same! All halo settings are made up of three main components: the center stone, a halo, and the shank.  

The center stone is the highlight of any halo setting, and it can be any gemstone imaginable. Shapes can vary as well, with most purchases consisting of pear, marquise, oval, cushion, and round shaped stones.

The halo, typically crafted with pave diamonds, encircles the center stone, providing protection and extra brilliance. Similar to the variety of possible center stones, there is no one halo style. They can be round, square, or any shape in between, and the gems used in the halo can be uniform or vary in size. There can even be more than one halo!🤩

Finally, the shank is the band of the ring. While the function of the shank is always the same, the bands on a halo setting can vary by style. There are split shanks, twisted shanks, plain metal, pave, and so many more options.

We’ll discuss the various halo ring setting designs in our next section.

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Different styles of halo ring setting

⚠️People often overlook the versatility of the halo setting. In reality, there are several configurations for the halo design, and each one offers consistent sparkle with a touch of class.

Here are some factors designers use to create unique halo settings and examples of various styles:

Amount of halos

Halo settings are not limited to just one halo. While the single halo is the most common style, there are also double halo settings and even triple halo designs. Some designers even offer colorful halos to surround your center stone. The Tiffany & Co. Soleste with its pink halo is a gorgeous example of how subtle colors can completely change a halo ring setting.

Halo shape

Although the traditional halo is round, this design is not limited to just one shape. Often, designers will fit the halo to the shape of the center stone, such as the popular pear, oval, marquise, and cushion halos we see today. Even Ariana Grande’s halo setting engagement ring from ex-fiance Pete Davidson was a stunning, 3-carat pear!

Pear-Shaped Double Halo Style Ring

Or, designers can visually change the shape of a center stone with a differently shaped halo. For instance, cushion halo settings on round diamonds can make the center stone appear four-sided. Or, diamonds of varying shapes may be used around a center stone to create intricate displays that mirror the Art Deco period. A popular design is a halo that makes your ring look like a flower and brings a softer, natural element to your style.🌸 Katy Perry’s engagement ring from Orlando Bloom is an extravagant example of the floral halo setting.

You can even opt for a hidden halo setting, which provides understated glamour while staying true to the tenets of the original design. A hidden halo is perfect for the wearer who loves just a splash of extravagance!

Colored gemstones

Halo ring settings are not limited to just diamonds. In fact, some of the most beautiful halo settings incorporate vibrant gemstones to add a splash of color to an already decorative piece.

A halo of white diamonds is bright enough to bring out the rich colors of several gemstones, including sapphire, aquamarine, ruby, and emerald. But, the added metal of the diamond halo means even soft gems like pearl and opal can be used as center stones. As previously mentioned, you can even opt for a brightly colored halo instead of a traditional white diamond one.

Colored Sapphire Gemstone Halo Style Ring

Even celebrities can’t resist the allure of colored gemstones. In fact, one of the most famous halo settings in the world is Duchess Kate Middleton’s elegant sapphire halo engagement ring. Or, check out Anna Faris’ yellow diamond engagement ring surrounded by petite pave diamonds as well.

Band style and metal setting

While the halo ring setting is its own design, the gemstones within it can be set in various ways. A halo may be a prong, shared, or even bezel setting, and each one provides a unique style.

Additionally, the color of the metal can completely change the look of a ring. Because a halo setting has multiple pieces, each one may be made of a different color alloy, creating a mixed-metal look that can suit any occasion.

The shank can also come in multiple designs, such as twisted, split, pave, or a simple metal band.

Fine details, such a filigree or milgrain, can also drastically change the appeal of a halo setting and provide a vintage aesthetic.

Halo setting vs. Other ring settings

So what sets the halo ring setting apart from other styles?🧐

While every design has its benefits, the halo setting definitely holds its own against the solitaire prong, bezel, and tension settings.

A smaller stone may appear larger in a halo setting compared to the same gem set in a solitaire prong setting. Prong settings are also better for diamonds of exceptional quality, whereas a buyer can get away with a lower quality stone with a halo, as its features aren’t as easily discernible. A halo setting also provides more protection for your center stone, but you do have a higher risk of losing accent stones. Higher settings like prong and cathedral settings also take more damage during daily activities, as the diamond sits higher above your hand.

Similarly, a diamond looks larger in a halo setting when compared to a bezel setting. In turn, bezel settings offer much more protection and less snagging than a halo setting. However, the extra metal in a bezel setting may cost you, especially if it’s platinum!

Finally, tension settings may offer the best light refraction for a sparkling diamond, but you’ll limit your options for matching wedding bands and diamond shapes. Tension settings have a finite group of diamond shapes they can handle, whereas a halo setting can be made for any diamond shape. Tension settings are great for anyone who wants to purchase a high-quality diamond and display it proudly, as the center stone can get lost in the collective sparkle of a halo setting.

Solitaire Ring Setting Comparisons

Wrapping up: What are the pros and cons of the halo ring setting?

Still unsure which setting is right for you? It can be difficult to decide what you value most in a ring setting, and every design has its own unique beauty!

Let’s summarize the good, the bad, and the ugly of halo ring settings:😋

Pros

  • Halo settings offer intense sparkle that’s tough to beat.
  • Typically, halo settings sit lower on your hand, meaning more protection from snagging, knocking, etc.
  • The halo itself provides additional protection for your center stone.
  • A bright halo can make smaller center stones appear larger.
  • Halo settings mask imperfections with sparkle, so lower quality diamonds appear higher quality.
  • A halo accommodates all gemstone shapes and colors, creating a unique look each time.

Cons

  • Wearers with active lifestyles may want to choose another setting, as the halo setting can lose accent diamonds with extended or rough wear.
  • Resizing can be difficult with pave halo designs.
  • Despite the endless personalization options, halo settings are increasingly common and a popular option for engagement jewelry.
  • Depending on the style you choose, halo settings may be a bit more expensive than a simple diamond on a band. However, this varies based on the metal band, amount of pave diamonds, and size of your center stone.

Our advice on buying halo ring settings

So how can you make sure you find the right ring for you? Here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for the halo setting of your dreams:

Keep size in mind

When it comes to halo ring settings, size matters in more ways than one.

Keep your finger length or that of your intended giftee in mind while shopping, as halo settings can appear bulky on small fingers. The larger the center stone, the wider the halo; stick to a one-carat gem if you’re worried about your ring looking huge.

If you have a smaller hand and still want a halo, consider a thinner gemstone shape, such as a pear, marquise, or oval halo setting. These shapes will elongate your finger while still offering the halo sparkle. Plus, the dual points of a marquise halo setting will actually draw attention outward and make a finger appear much slimmer! Or, try a hidden halo to create a smaller silhouette.

Advice on Buying the Right Halo Ring Setting Style

Match your accent stones

✅If you choose diamonds as both your center and accent stones, it may be a good idea to match their quality. If your center stone is too yellow, the color may be visible when set with a higher quality halo and vice versa. Keeping color consistent is as easy as sticking to a “colorless” or “near colorless” range of quality for both your center stone and your halo.

However, a colored center stone or halo can eliminate this problem. Another way to hide color differences is mixed metal halo settings. By surrounding lesser quality diamonds in yellow gold and higher quality diamonds in white gold or platinum, the stones will appear equally vibrant.

Think about your personal style

As we’ve discussed, there are so many variations of the halo setting that it can almost be dizzying.

Think about the features that would fit your personal style, and make sure they are incorporated in the halo setting you choose for long term satisfaction.

  • If you like a little extra bling, consider a pave band to go with your pave halo.
  • Or, if you prefer a vintage look, an antique style or Art Deco inspired ring may give you the Old Hollywood glamour you’re looking for.
  • Or, if you’re rough on your jewelry but still want a halo setting, try a bezel set halo to keep your stones intact.

There’s a style for everyone, and you just need to find the right halo for you!

Another factor to consider when looking for the right halo setting is wedding bands. Some of the more exotic halo settings don’t have wedding bands to match. Sometimes, the halo may also sit too close to your finger for a wedding band to sit comfortable flush below it. If you value having a matching wedding set, search for a jeweler that offers wedding bands that can accommodate the halo setting.

Where should I buy halo ring settings?

So where should you purchase your halo ring setting? There are several jewelers out there who carry beautiful halo designs, but these are our favorite retailers. These online shops have exceptional service plans, warranties, and business practices, and we recommend looking at their incredible selections of halo setting rings.

Shop for halo settings at:

  • James Allen
    • 24/7 customer service
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Free resizing within 1 year
    • Jewelry insurance options
  • Blue Nile
    • Secure shipping and free returns
    • Diamond price guarantee and free professional jewelry appraisals
    • Complimentary cleaning, servicing, and resizing
  • Whiteflash
    • Money back guarantee
    • One year service plan
    • Commitment to ethical sourcing
    • Lifetime trade-up guarantee
  • Brilliant Earth
    • Commitment to ethically sourced materials
    • Lifetime manufacturing warranty
    • Custom orders welcome
    • Lifetime diamond upgrade
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The versatility of the halo ring

Halo ring settings are perfect for anyone who adores the endless sparkle of diamonds.

However, this design isn’t just for diamond lovers: the halo setting is perfect for lovers of colorful gemstones as well! The style is as versatile as it is secure, and it’s a great option for anyone who wants to protect their center stone with flair.

Elegant and timeless, the halo setting is sure to dazzle shoppers for decades to come.

Are you convinced the halo setting is the right ring design for you? Are you interested in looking at other styles that may suit your fancy? Consider taking a look at our article about 15 popular ring settings to see if there’s another ring that may fit your needs even better!

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