Engagement Ring Styles vs Engagement Ring Setting Types

In this engagement ring style guide we’d like to untangle all the different terms that are used to describe engagement rings. The differences between engagement ring styles and the terms jeweller’s use to describe different types of engagement ring settings can be confusing.

If you are looking for information on engagement ring trends, we’ve written about whether you should worry about them or not here.

First we will explore different kinds of engagement ring styles before moving on to explore different types of engagement ring settings.

Engagement Ring Style Guide

Classic Engagement Rings

Most people are pretty familiar with classic engagement rings. It is the type that immediately comes to mind when someone mentions the words engagement rings. In general terms this is the four prong or six prong ring set with a round, brilliant cut diamond in either white gold or platinum.

Vintage Inspired Engagement Rings

While some may choose to find or refurbish an antique engagement ring, others may choose to create a new ring that is vintage inspired. The description “vintage inspired” can refer to any style period of history, common styles being Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco.

Someone might want to create a new ring inspired by a vintage style because they want to incorporate modern materials in a vintage style. Another reason could be that, while the style is exactly what you’re looking for, there could be concerns about the security and longevity of an antique ring.

Boho or Romantic Engagement Rings

This may be the most difficult ring to describe in our engagement ring style guide. You could say, you know it when you see it.

A Boho or Romantic engagement ring has a certain softness, a kind of whimsy to it. They are often in a warm metal such as yellow or rose gold and featuring diamond accents. Unusual gemstones or unusual gemstone shapes are also often incorporated.

Nature Inspired Engagement Rings

Nature is an infinite well of creative inspiration. We create many rings inspired by the beauty of nature.

A subtle way to incorporate inspiration from nature would be to incorporate a stylized element such as the setting in our Tulip engagement ring. You could also be inspired by a sense of nature such as in our Rose Garden engagement ring. Or, if you prefer, you can also replicate the rougher textures or less finished appearance of nature by creating a more organic engagement ring.

Modern Engagement Rings

A modern engagement ring will tend to have either clean or fluid lines. Smooth, reflective surfaces with little detailing are also common.

Modern engagement rings tend to be in white gold which is most recent innovation of all of the metal alloys. Although some modern styles incorporate coloured gemstones, most will feature diamonds.

Engagement Ring Setting Types

The next section of our engagement ring style guide will explore different types of settings. A setting can refer to the component that holds a stone and it can also refer to the ring itself. We will look at both ways that the term is used here.


The term solitaire describes the entire ring.  It refers to a ring that has only one gemstone with no other accent stones.

There are so many different kinds of solitaire, a solitaire can be created in any of the styles we talked about above. So, for example, you could have a classic solitaire, a nature inspired solitaire, a modern solitaire etc.

Often, because it only has one gemstone, a solitaire engagement ring will be set with a larger or more impactful gemstone.

Three Stone Engagement Rings

As the name implies, a three stone engagement ring has three gemstones. This term is also used to apply to the entire ring.

And as with a solitaire, a three stone engagement ring can be created in any style. Typically the centre stone will be slightly larger than the two side stones. Although they most often feature three diamonds, the centre stone also may be a different colour than the side stones or vice versa. Another option would be to have a different shaped centre stone flanked by two stones of a different shape.

Halo Engagement Rings

A halo engagement ring can refer to the over all type of ring and also the setting. A typical halo engagement ring will feature a “halo” or border of small gemstones framing the centre stone.

There can also be multiple borders such as double or even triple halos. Usually the halo gemstones are round but the centre stone can be of any shape. Sometimes people choose a halo style to increase the visual impact of the centre stone.

Cluster Engagement Rings

The distinction between a halo engagement ring and a cluster engagement ring is somewhat arbitrary. Typically jeweller’s will refer to a ring as a cluster ring if the gemstones that surround the centre stone are large.

The term is used to describe the ring as a whole and can be created in any style.

Toi et Moi Engagement Rings (aka Two Stone Engagement Rings)

The toi et moi or two stone style is very trendy at the moment due to many celebrities opting for this type of setting. The term is used to describe the entire ring and can be created in any style.

The main feature of a toi et moi ring is that it features two stones as a main focus. Usually the gemstones will be different and often different shapes but they can also be exactly the same. There just needs to be two main gemstones to be considered a toi et moi.

Accented Engagement Rings

Perhaps the most catch all category of the entire list, an accented engagement ring just needs to feature smaller gemstones that in some way accent the centre stone.

The term is used to apply to the whole ring and can be made in any style. The accent could be as simple as adding pave (term meaning “paved” like a paved road of diamonds) set diamonds to the band of the ring or if could be a creative arrangement of gemstones that compliment the centre stone in some way.

Split Shank Engagement Rings

While most engagement rings feature a single band, a split shank engagement ring features a split in the band. The term split shank will be used to refer to the band in the ring, it does not apply to the type of setting.

A split shank is usually chosen due to personal preference and can be created in any style. A person may choose a split shank if they prefer a wider band but don’t want the ring to be too heavy.

Bezel Set Engagement Rings

The term bezel set is used to describe the type of setting, not the ring as a whole. A bezel setting has a frame of metal that surrounds the gemstone.

A bezel will often be used in modern engagement ring styles. They are also popular for comfort and security reasons.

Cathedral Engagement Rings

The term cathedral engagement ring is used describe a certain type of setting and also the ring as a whole. It’s more of a technical term.

Jeweller’s use it to describe the type of ring that has arms or ramps of metal that flair up from the band to connect it to the centre setting. Similar to the flying buttresses of medieval cathedrals, hence the name.

High Set Engagement Rings

More of a general category rather than a technical term, high set engagement rings refer to rings with a high set gemstone.

Reasons that people may choose to have their gemstone sit high could include wanting to ensure their wedding band will sit flush against their engagement ring band and also to create maximum light exposure and impact for their centre stone.

Some reasons people may choose not to have their ring have a high setting include increase risk of damage and potential to get in the way during everyday life.

Low Set Engagement Rings

Again, a low set engagement ring is a general category rather than a technical term. It refers to the desire to have your gemstone sit as low as possible within the ring band.

Reasons that people may prefer a low set engagement ring include comfort and less risk of damage.