A Guide to Halo Engagement Rings
They shine bright, with delicate details and a vintage vibe. It’s no surprise that halo engagement rings are the second most popular engagement ring style, right after the classic solitaire. A halo ring is a type of ring design with a large center gem is encircled by in orbit of smaller pavé (pronounced pah-vay) or micro-pavé diamonds. Pavé, in French, means “to pave,” and in jewelry, the term refers to a type of setting with small gemstones placed closely together, creating an impressive paving of shine and sparkle covering the metal.
According to a recent survey by Ring Inspo, 19 percent of couples choose halo engagement rings. Halo lab grown diamond engagement rings are particularly popular, combining a traditional style with an exciting new high-tech innovation. Is a halo engagement ring right for you too? In this guide we’ll look at the history of the halo, the pros and cons of halo rings and the best halo engagement ring styles so you can decide whether to say yes to a halo engagement ring style.
The History and Meaning of Halo Engagement Rings
Halo engagement rings have their roots in the Georgian Era from 1714 to 1837 and the Victorian Era. Rose cut diamonds and other gemstones were surrounded by smaller diamonds. The surrounding diamonds were much larger in proportion than the halos in modern engagement ring designs. Halo engagement rings were also popular in the Art Deco era, when the new emerald and baguette diamond cuts were featured in exciting new geometric designs inspired by the machine age. Early halo rings were called Entourage Rings. For example, Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring, now worn by Princess Catherine, is a sapphire ring with an entourage of diamonds. Princess Diana’s halo engagement ring revived the design in the 1980s and it returned again when Princess William proposed to Kate Middleton with the same ring in 2010.
Halo engagement rings are a symbol of protection, perfection and eternity. In heaven, halos symbolize goodness and purity of the heart. Today halos also symbolize a promise to put love at the center of everything in life, with all other concerns like work and responsibilities being satellites orbiting around it. Halo rings can also represent tradition, with your modern ring echoing the design of an antique family ring.
Halo Engagement Rings: Pros
The most important benefit of halo engagement ring designs is that they make the center diamond look larger than in any other setting. According to the Gemological Institute of America, “Adding melee diamonds around your center stone and on the shank can make the center stone look larger and add more sparkle to your engagement ring.” The light reflection from the smaller stones helps focus and draw attention to the larger center stone. The effect is strongest when the color of the center stone and the color of the halo stones match, especially when they are all set in white gold. All that sparkle distracts the eyes and the overall impact is that you have supersized your engagement ring.
According to experts, a halo visually adds about a half carat to a carat to the size of your center stone. And the sparkles and reflections of the smaller diamonds catch your eyes at different angles, resulting in an overall increase in the amount of brilliance your eyes perceive from your ring. That means you can stretch your budget, getting a big beautiful look while paying for fewer carats.
Halos also protect the edges of a center diamond. Diamonds and lab grown diamonds are the hardest substance: a ten out of ten on the Mohs Scale of Hardness but they can chip if hot by a sharp blow on an exposed edge. A protective setting, like a halo or metal bezel that surrounds the stone can help make sure that you never hit it against something.
Halo Engagement Rings: Cons
Because it’s more intricate than a solitaire ring or three-stone engagement ring, a halo engagement ring usually costs more than a simple setting. So although you may be able to get the larger look you want without having to budget for a larger center diamond, you will pay a bit more for the setting.
If you are hard on your jewelry, you may find that the small diamonds in the halo of your halo engagement ring loosen over time. It’s possible to catch them on a loose thread or hit them against something so that the prongs band slightly out of place. This is especially true of delicate micro pave halo designs with tiny diamonds held in tiny prongs. For example, Meghan Markle’s delicate pave engagement ring band has already been repaired because its gems loosened through wear. Of course, if a halo takes the brunt of a blow to your ring, it has done its job and protected your center diamond. Resizing a halo engagement ring with a pave band can also be tricky of you need to make your ring larger or smaller over the years, particularly if the halo engagement ring has a pave band.
The setting of a halo engagement ring can sometimes give it a curved silhouette on your finger, making it harder to stack a wedding band next to your engagement ring. If that’s the case, look for a curved wedding band that wraps around the center diamond. If a snugly stacking wedding band is important to you, look for a halo engagement ring with an elevated halo that lets you stack a wedding band or eternity band below the halo. At Brilliant Carbon, we love a good stack so we always make sure our halos are set high so bands slide underneath.
The Best Halo Engagement Rings
Because halo engagement rings are so popular, there are lots of design options to choose from. The most popular halo engagement rings have a round brilliant center diamond and a pave band that matches the halo. You can choose a round halo engagement ring with larger diamonds or a round halo engagement ring with smaller diamonds. We also love a round halo engagement ring with a plain gold band because it really emphasizes the size of the center stone and halo. You may find it more comfortable to wear than a pave band too.
Your favorite diamond shape also looks fabulous in a halo design, giving this style an unexpected update. Oval halo engagement rings are the most popular fancy shape version of the halo ring. Pear halo engagement rings have an unexpected asymmetry that is especially pleasing. We love personalizing a halo design by crafting it in yellow gold or rose gold, which adds a vintage look. No matter what your style, you’re sure to find a halo engagement ring that suits you perfectly.
Caring for Your Halo Engagement Ring
Remove your halo engagement ring when things get messy, like when you are gardening or kneading that homemade sourdough bread. It’s better not to wear your halo engagement ring when lifting weights at the gym or swimming at the beach. Apply sunscreen or lotion before you put on your ring. Clean your halo engagement ring once a week by soaking it in warm water with a drop or ordinary dish soap. Use a soft brush to loosen any dust that’s trapped between the gems. Let it air dry on a lint free cloth (don’t rub it with a towel that has loose threads that might catch on the prongs.) With care your halo engagement ring will be an heirloom for the next generation too.