Three Stone vs Halo Engagement Rings | Three Stone vs Halo Engagement Rings – Brilliant Carbon
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Three Stone vs Halo Engagement Rings

We all know that gorgeous center diamond has the starring role in your engagement ring. Whether it’s mined or lab grown diamond, one carat or two, round, oval, pear or princess, your diamond sparkles in the spotlight, attracting every eye in the room, and rightfully so. But the supporting cast around that center stone deserves a round of applause too.

Side stones take a design from good to great, adding brilliance, sparkle, and tons of style to your engagement ring. The two most popular engagement ring styles that use side stones to make a statement are halo engagement rings and three stone engagement rings. Halo engagement rings have small diamonds that encircle the center stone. Three stone engagement rings have two medium sized accent diamonds that flank the center stone.

Each of these classic engagement ring styles has a royal pedigree. Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with a halo engagement ring with a blue sapphire center stone that used to belong to Princess Diana. Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle with a three stone engagement ring with side diamonds that used to be Princess Diana’s stud earrings.

In a recent survey of newly engaged couples by Ringspo, 19% of couples said yes to halo engagement rings and 14% opted for three stone engagement rings. These side-stone stunners are the top two most popular designs after the plain vanilla solitaire engagement ring.

We have many customers who are debating between a three-stone engagement ring and a halo engagement ring. Here are all the things to consider about halo and three stone engagement rings, the pros and cons of each style, and how to decide which one is right for you.


Three stone lab grown diamond engagement ring

Three Stone Engagement Rings

The idea behind three stone engagement rings is a simple one: three times the diamonds means three times the sparkle. Because the diamonds are in row, they create a line of brilliance with more impact than a single stone. In jewelry, we call this superpower “finger coverage” and three stone engagement rings have it in spades.

Three stone engagement ring have another superpower: romance. This style has a secret sentimental meaning encoded in its design. The three gems symbolize past, present and future. This is shorthand for “today I love you more than yesterday but less than tomorrow.”

Diamonds, whether they are mined or lab grown, are priced per carat. Larger sizes are more per carat. Let’s say your three stone engagement ring has a two carat center stone and two half carat side stones, for a total of three carats. That blaze of brilliance will cost less than a solitaire with one single three carat stone. And the finger coverage will be off the charts, even more dramatic than the solitaire.

One possible drawback of a three stone engagement ring is that the side profile can be scalloped, which may mean that a wedding band can’t stack flush against your engagement ring. (This is probably why Meghan Markle famously had her engagement ring from Prince Harry redesigned. She wanted to stack it with the eternity band he gave her when Archie was born.) At Brilliant Carbon, we designed our bestselling three stone engagement ring with a tapered band that allows it to stack beautifully with your wedding ring. Another drawback is that the two side stones make a three-stone diamond ring setting cost more than other settings. That’s where lab grown diamonds truly shine. You can now afford the lab-grown diamond three stone engagement ring of your dreams.

Our favorite variation of the three stone engagement ring features three round lab grown diamonds, the diamond cut that has the most brilliance. The fact that all three diamonds have the same shape emphasizes the symbolism of past, present, future. But you can choose your favorite fancy shape to create your own personal version.

Three Stone Engagement Ring Advantages

  • Timeless design that will never go out of fashion.
  • Excellent finger coverage
  • Cleaning and maintenance is easy
  • Works with many diamond shapes

Three Stone Engagement Ring Disadvantages

  • Three diamonds can be expensive unless you choose lab grown diamonds
  • Simple styling means it doesn’t look very unique
  • Some are difficult to stack with wedding bands
  • If the setting is too high, pockets and gloves can be challenging


Lab grown diamond halo engagement ring

Halo Engagement Rings

If you love feminine details like embroidery and lace, you’ll appreciate the decorative design of halo engagement rings more than the simple silhouette of three stone engagement rings. The delicate pave that encircles the center stone of a halo engagement ring gives this design a delicate vintage look. But it also has another optical effect. The ring of pave that embraces the center gem also makes it look larger and more brilliant. Even a relatively small center stone looks dramatic in this design. The effect is most pronounced when the center stone, accent gems, and setting metal are all white, so white gold is the most popular choice for halo engagement rings.

Like the three-stone engagement ring, the halo engagement ring also has a romantic meaning. Halo designs symbolize that your love is the center of everything in life. Choosing a large carat size for the center stone emphasizes the scale of your love. Lab grown diamond halo engagement rings are much more affordable than halo engagement rings set with mined diamonds, allowing you to trade up to a larger carat size, giving your halo engagement ring more sparkle and brilliance.

There are a lot of ways to make a halo engagement ring unique. Different shape center diamonds give this design a dramatically different look. A round halo engagement ring is classic. A pear halo engagement ring is more adventurous. An oval halo engagement ring emphasizes its vintage inspiration. The size of the halo in proportion also gives the design a very different look. A halo engagement ring with a plain band emphasizes the center cluster.

Halo engagement rings are easy to wear because the outer ring of the setting embraces and protects the center stone. But all the intricate details require more maintenance too. The settings for the small diamonds, with so many delicate prongs, can loosen over time. When you clean your halo engagement ring, lightly tap each small stone to make sure that it’s still tightly held in its setting. If any stone moves, be sure to take it to a jeweler to be tightened. One drawback of a halo engagement ring is that it can sometimes be more difficult to pair with a wedding band. It’s also a bit more challenging to clean halo engagement rings because there are more nooks and crannies where dust can collect.

Halo Engagement Ring Advantages

  • The halo accentuates the center stone and makes it look bigger
  • Many different styling options for a unique look
  • Available in designs for different shapes of diamonds
  • Has romantic vintage heirloom styling
  • Halo protects the center stone from damage

Halo Engagement Ring Disadvantages

  • More dressy and less versatile than a simpler setting
  • More challenging to stack with a wedding ring
  • Requires more cleaning and maintenance
  • Costs more than a setting with no accent stones
  • If the setting is too high, pockets and gloves can be challenging


Pear lab grown diamond halo engagement ring

Halo vs Three Stone Engagement Rings: Which is Right for You?

When it comes to deciding between a halo or three stone engagement ring, there’s no wrong answer. It comes down to what you prefer. If your style is modern and tailored, you will probably prefer a three stone engagement ring. If you like delicate details, you’ll probably prefer a halo engagement ring. Thanks to the affordability of lab grown diamonds, you no longer have to sacrifice style and the size of the center stone to get the engagement ring you want. You can express your own style and choose what you really want. At the end of the day, both styles are beautiful and meaningful symbols of your love and commitment.