Side-Stone Settings: A Full Guide + 11 Gorgeous Examples

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There’s nothing more iconic in the jewelry world than a beautiful solitaire diamond on a simple band, but some people want a little more sparkle for their own engagement ring. That’s where the side-stone setting comes into play! Offering enhanced sparkle and unlimited customization options, side-stone rings are ideal for couples who want to add a little of their own personalities or story into their bridal jewelry.🐶

So, let’s talk about side-stone settings! Including:

  • Side-stone ring basics
  • Ways to add side stones to your setting
  • 11 examples of gorgeous side-stone rings
  • Where to shop for your own side-stone engagement ring
  • Side stone pros and cons
Side-Stone Setting Engagement Ring in a Green Jewelry Box
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What is a side-stone engagement ring?

So what exactly constitutes a side-stone ring? The basic requirement for a side-stone setting is extra stones other than your center stone. They can be diamonds or colored gemstones, and they may sit within the band of your ring or flank the center stone. They can even surround or cluster around the center stone in certain instances, but more on that in a minute!🤘🏻

There’s also no limit to the number of side stones you can add. Some settings have 2 to 4 larger stones, while others use multiple tiny stones to create a unique look. So you see, other than the addition of more stones, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the possible design options for a side-stone setting!👯‍♂️

Side stones enhance the beauty of an otherwise standard setting by increasing the fire, brilliance, and scintillation of the center stone and the ring overall. You can even find side stone designs in other types of jewelry as well, and they’re a popular option for pendants, brooches, earrings, and more. Side stones are perfect for adding just a hint of sparkle or a lot of sparkle, and it all depends on how you use them.

How are side stones added to a setting?

Because side stones don’t require a specific arrangement, there are several ways to add them to your setting. Here are a few popular styles that include side stones:

In or on the band: Pavé, prong, and channel settings

Many couples choose to add smaller diamonds to their setting for an extra glimmer of sparkle. Designers may use pavé, prong, or channel settings to include smaller stones in your engagement band, so they don’t detract from your center stone but still sparkle beautifully. Pavé and prong styles require placing diamonds into small holes within the setting, so the diamonds sit on the top of the band.

In a channel setting, a long hole or channel is added to the band and the diamonds sit within it as two metal bars keep them in place. There are no prongs or beads, but rather the metal bars hold the stones securely.

There are several variations to this style that include bars, flush arrangements, or even tension to hold the diamonds within the band. Adding stones via these methods leaves lots of room for personalization, such as varying diamond shapes, cuts, and sizes, sporadic or tight arrangements, and more.

Three-stone and five-stone styles

Three-Stone Style Side-Stone Setting Engagement Ring on Bride’s Finger

A three-stone ring is essentially a single diamond with side stones, so this classic style can count as a side-stone setting as well. The diamonds may be different shapes or sizes when compared to the center stone, and they may create a seamless line of sparkle or a varied trio with both brilliant and step-cut appeal.

And, some couples opt to add an additional side stone on either side of the established ones for a five-stone setting instead. Much like the three-stone style, this setting often includes four side stones that are smaller and possibly in a different shape or cut than the center stone. Or, they all may be the same shape and cut for a more uniform look.

Cluster

Cluster settings are a unique version of side-stone styles! They create a cluster of sparkle on a simple band with their combined sparkle acting as a center stone in place of a single diamond. Or, there may be a center diamond within the setting with tiny side stones in small clusters around it on the band. The cluster setting leaves tons of room for customization, and we’ll show you some amazing cluster styles later in this article!🙌🏻

Halo

That’s right, a halo setting can technically count as a side-stone ring! When you think about it, a halo is nothing more than a ring of side stones surrounding a center diamond, so it fits the criteria. Semi halos, double halos, or even triple halos are also popular varieties of this beloved setting, offering personalization and a chance to create some striking silhouettes. We can also count ballerina settings in this design, since a ballerina ring is a more ornate version of a halo style ring.

11 Side-stone engagement rings to inspire you

How can you combine a basic setting with side stones to make the ring of your dreams? Here are a few examples of engagement rings with side stones to get you feeling inspired!

Standard side-stone ring

This dainty three-stone engagement ring is a perfect example of a standard side stone design. Two round diamonds flank the center stone to provide ample sparkle without overtaking the slightly larger center diamond. We also love those claw prongs that draw the eye inwards toward the center of the stone to remind us to admire the fire, brilliance, and scintillation these stones are putting out!

Brilliant cut combos

There’s nothing more sparkly than a brilliant cut diamond, but what about a brilliant cut center stone with brilliant side stones? That’s a lot of brilliance!🎸 This oval engagement ring with side stones has round and marquise accents that only add to the fire, brilliance, and scintillation of the brilliant-cut oval at the center. And we love the arrangement of these side stones, set a little off center of the band for a unique, small cluster effect.

Step cut combos

Step-cut diamonds are perfect for the bride who wants an elegant, sophisticated look for her engagement ring, and adding more step-cut diamonds as side stones only amplifies the grace and beauty of the setting. This emerald-cut side-stone engagement ring has a beautiful emerald center surrounded by four graduated emerald-cut diamonds. Their combined mirror-like shine is stunning, and the hints of sparkle at the tips of the stones give a little bit of that fire and brilliance as well.

Mixed cut combos

You can always combine brilliant and step cut diamonds for a ring that gives you the best of both worlds! Take a look at this marquise side-stone engagement ring: the elongated baguette side diamonds combine well with the long, marquise center stone to create a silhouette that will elongate short fingers and offer abundant sparkle and shine.

Five stone styles

A more elaborate take on the traditional three-stone setting, a five-stone variation adds two more diamonds around the center stone for amped-up sparkle. Like in this oval five-stone engagement ring, the stones tend to be a bit larger than what you’d find in other side-stone designs. However, these diamonds are graduated to create a sleek silhouette that not only provides maximum sparkle but also offers a polished look for any occasion. And there’s even a beautiful wedding band to match!

Minimalist setting

Smaller settings are becoming all the rage, and side stones give couples an easy way to add a smidge of flair to otherwise simple solitaires. Take a look at this unique minimalist marquise side-stone setting for example, the two tiny round diamonds perfectly complement the marquise center stone without drawing too much attention, and we love how this display of small diamonds is so sweet yet so sparkly!

Colorful side stones

You can also use side stones to bring a splash of color to your ring! Engagement rings with sapphire side stones are the most popular, but there are plenty of ways to switch up your design. This moissanite side-stone engagement ring features two alexandrites and two blue-gray sapphires as side stones, providing some cool color to bring out the moissanite’s icy white tones. And if you want just a hint of color, you’ll adore this diamond ring with opal side stones that seem to glow with subtle rainbow hues as you move them around.

Cluster style

Cluster rings are arguably the most customizable style of side-stone setting as you can mix and match shapes and sizes to create one-of-a-kind clusters on your engagement ring. For example, this emerald-cut engagement ring with side stones offers a very classic take on the cluster style, bringing four round diamonds of different sizes to bunch up around each side of the center stone. But, it’s rather different when compared to this pear side-stone engagement ring with a mint sapphire center surrounded by brilliant marquise diamonds in a fan pattern. Whether you choose to spice things up with your cluster side-stone setting or keep it classy, you’ll love how much personality you can bring to this ring style!🥁

Halo setting

We’re suckers for a beautiful halo setting, and this round engagement ring with side stones in a halo formation has enough diamonds to make the whole setting sparkle with white light and rosy hues! This halo has a subtle floral appeal, with plenty of soft beads around the side stones to make that rose gold setting pop. And with 7 diamonds on either side of the already dazzling halo, how can you even look away?

Where to shop for your side-stone setting

So where can you find your own side-stone ring? There are several retailers that offer beautiful side stone settings, but here are just a few of our favorites:

Blue Nile

Why Blue Nile?

  • 24/7 customer service with diamond experts
  • Free secure shipping
  • 30-day free returns
  • Free ring resizing within first year of purchase
  • Complimentary cleaning and maintenance services
  • Special order ring services available

James Allen

Why James Allen?

  • 24/7 customer service with diamond professionals
  • Free worldwide shipping
  • Free engraving
  • Free ring sizing within one year of purchase
  • Lifetime manufacturing warranty on all ring purchase

Brilliant Earth

Why Brilliant Earth?

  • 30-day free returns
  • Free shipping
  • Ethically sourced diamonds and recycled metals
  • Free lifetime manufacturing warranty
  • Special orders and custom jewelry available

Ritani

Why Ritani?

  • 30-day free returns and exchanges
  • Free shipping
  • Price match guarantee
  • Free engraving
  • Custom ring services

And if you’re looking to create your own custom side-stone engagement ring, consider trying a company like CustomMade to design your ring from scratch!

Pros and cons of side-stone settings

So is a side-stone setting right for your engagement ring? We’ve created a short summary of the benefits and drawbacks of this popular ring design:🦸🏻

Pros

  • Side-stone designs add sparkle to your ring that can complement the main stone or create more overall brilliance.
  • They can completely change the look of a standard engagement ring design, so each one is entirely unique.🤛🏻
  • They can work with any setting style (solitaire, halo, three-stone, etc.), making them incredibly versatile accents.✅
  • There are unlimited personalization options to produce your fiancée’s ideal engagement ring.
  • You can size up or size down your side stones to fit any budget.


Cons

  • Side-stone settings may require extra cleaning depending on their arrangement, meaning more at-home cleanings and trips to the jeweler.
  • More diamonds means more chances to lose stones, meaning more maintenance in the long run.
  • If your side-stone setting contains prongs or beads, you may have to be careful to avoid snagging your ring.

Summing up side-stone settings

If you’re thinking of adding more diamonds to your engagement ring for extra sparkle, consider the side-stone engagement ring. They’re versatile, affordable, and enhance the fire, brilliance, and scintillation of your overall ring. Side-stone rings come in many shapes and sizes, but each one offers personality and a unique take on a standard setting. If you’re looking for more side stone inspiration, read our halo and three-stone ring guides for more information on these two stunning side-stone variations.

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