A classic halo ring setting is a ring that usually features a larger diamond or gemstone center encircled by a collection of round pave or micro pave (smaller) diamonds. If you want more bang for your buck, I believe a halo ring setting is the way to go – it can give the illusion of a bigger center stone. A quarter, third, or half-carat diamond center stone can appear as a half carat or larger because of the halo!
In this guide to one of the most timeless and royal-looking ring settings I want to take a look at a few examples of fabulous halo engagement ring settings, explain pros and cons of having a halo ring, and give you some tips on caring for diamond halo rings.
Are you into cheesy engagement stories? Scroll down the page to see my very own!
- What Is a Halo Setting Ring?
- Pros and Cons of a Halo Setting
- History of Halo Rings
- Types of Halo Rings
- 13 Gorgeous Halo Diamond Engagement Rings
- Halo Ring Maintenance
- My Halo Engagement Ring Story
- The Ring Doesn't Have to be a Total Surprise
- How I Picked a Halo Engagement Ring
What Is a Halo Setting Ring?
The halo ring setting is what makes a halo setting ring stand out. A halo setting is a ring of smaller, pavé diamonds set around a larger center stone. The result is that it appears as if the center gem has a sparkling halo around it.
The halo ring can be a bit opulent for some. However, its sparkle is tasteful, elegant, and perfect for those who want to stand out. We also adore how versatile the halo setting design is. The halo can be the same or different shape than the center stone it frames. For example, you could have an oval gem in the center framed by an oval halo or a round brilliant center stone with a cushion-shaped halo.
As we’ve seen with celebrity halo engagement ring examples, nothing stops you from going bold with your center gem. Diamonds of all colors, sapphires, and other hued gems are popular options. Selecting contrasting colors for your halo gems and center stone can draw the eye inwards, enhancing the center gems’ appearance. As a bonus, the glittering ring of pavé diamonds can make your center stone appear up to half a carat more significant than its actual carat weight.
Pros and Cons of a Halo Setting
Unfortunately, the smaller accent diamonds surrounding the center stone don’t have as sturdy or bulky settings to achieve the halo appearance. This means it isn’t difficult for them to loosen, fall out, and become lost. Additionally, the halo shape gives a ring an “edge” that can easily get caught.
There are pros and cons to any style of engagement ring. In some cases, as with the halo setting, we think the beautiful style and versatility of the design outweigh the minor disadvantages. If you’re looking to add a little more sparkle and glitz to your solitaire ring, consider opting for a halo design!
- Versatile and customizable
- Accent diamonds enhance the size of the center stone
- A tasteful way to add extra sparkle to a solitaire
- A contrasting halo and center stone can offer a bold look
- It can be more expensive than other settings
- Small accent diamonds can be easily lost
- Hard to pair it with a wedding band
History of Halo Rings
A handful of celebs have brought attention to halo rings. Those include Kate Middleton’s sapphire halo ring, Cardi B’s pear-shaped halo ring, and Eva Longoria’s ruby halo engagement ring. But did you know these gorgeous rings have been around since the Victorian era? During the late 1800s, they would feature a halo of colored gems to imitate a ring of flowers.
Styles have changed slightly since Victorian times, but the design of the halo ring is essentially the same. Today’s version of the halo ring design has been popular since the Art Deco period of the 1920s. During that time, symmetry and pattern were a big deal, and brides were head over heels for the symmetrical halo framing their center stone.
Throughout the decades, halo ring settings have ebbed and flowed in popularity. It’s not that they have ever fallen out of favor, but the reasoning has more to do with their price. More metal and additional gems make these rings more expensive than their solitaire counterparts. During times of little, such as the Great Depression or World War Two, halo rings became scarcer. However, during times when society flourished, like the Hollywood Glamour phase, halo rings re-emerged as a favorite.
Today, we’ve seen a few new twists on the halo design. For example, some rings feature two halos around the center stone, known as a double halo. We also love halos arranged in interesting patterns to give the appearance of a flower motif or a celestial body. A classic halo is often the perfect way to marry modern tastes and vintage vibes.
Types of Halo Rings
You probably already know that there are various diamond cuts or shapes. Each of these can change the appearance of your halo ring. However, when choosing a halo ring setting, you also have options regarding the design of the setting. There are five types of halo rings.
In a floating halo setting, the center stone isn’t nestled into the surrounding ring of diamonds. The center gem sits above the halo. It’s more noticeable if you look at the ring from the side. Straight on, the lower set halo tends to accentuate the center stone. The halo also stands out as an individual design element by adding additional sparkle.
As you may have guessed, these rings can be tall and high set, making them unsuitable for those who do a lot with their hands where the ring could catch.
A flush halo setting is the traditional halo setting. The center stone sits within the encircling band of gems. This helps to increase the size of the center stone and the ring’s sparkle as a whole. They’re not as high set, making you less likely to loosen any of the smaller accent diamonds.
Unless you choose contrasting colors for the center gem and accent diamonds, the halo may detract from the unique shape of the center stone (if you choose one with such characteristics).
A double halo builds upon the single halo design by adding a second row of diamonds. This can increase the sparkle and overall carat weight of the ring. In most cases, the inner halo is smaller than the outer halo. Two halos can significantly increase how big your center stone looks.
It shouldn’t surprise you that a triple halo ring features three halos. You can alternate the gems you use in your halo, creating a contrast of colors that highlight certain features. Halo’s made entirely from diamonds will undoubtedly increase the bling factor of your ring. They can have intricate designs and present with a vast surface area, giving you the greatest total carat weight for the price. However, they can be a bit bulky and heavy to wear.
A unique twist on the traditional halo ring, a hidden halo is characterized by a halo that sits underneath the center stone. Instead of being visible when viewed straight on, the line of diamonds wraps around the bottom of the center stone’s setting and is only visible from side angles. It’s a great way to marry both the classic halo and the gorgeous standalone solitaire, equipping your ring with a glittering secret only revealed when viewed in profile.
A gemstone halo features a row of gemstones encircling your center stone as opposed to paving diamonds. Colored gems can really complement a center diamond, making it stand out. They can also add a pop of color to your ring without requiring that you choose a colored diamond or another gem for the largest (center) stone.
Alternatively Shaped Halo
Just as you can choose various cuts or shapes of diamonds, halos come in different shapes too. The pear and cushion halo are two of the most popular. However, other setting shapes include octagon, princess, hexagon, trillion, and star or floral motifs.
13 Gorgeous Halo Diamond Engagement Rings
Consider this lovely sapphire engagement ring if you're looking for a royal-inspired halo design. It's reminiscent of Kate Middleton's proposal ring from Prince William.
A center lab-created sapphire offers a blue of the purest hue, free from flaws or inclusions. It is surrounded by a twinkling halo of accent lab-created diamonds, whose clarity and color are indistinguishable from flawless natural diamonds.
The split shank band allows slightly larger accent stones on the shoulders of the ring. The contrast of the azure sapphire nestled into the diamond halo is striking. Despite the ring's substantial carat weight, it still offers a dainty and airy feel.Why I like it:
- Sapphire adds pop of color
- Nicely sized accent stones on split shank
- Beautiful contrast between blue centerstone and halo of traditional diamonds
We love a great non-traditional diamond cut, and the Asscher is just that. The Asscher is similar to an emerald but features large step facets in a square pattern as opposed to rectangular.
This cut, hugely popular in the 1920s, offers unparalleled sparkle and radiance. The unique halo of this ring only enhances the romanticism and vintage vibes of the Asscher cut center stone.
The octagon halo embellished with milgrain detailing and accent diamonds creates an heirloom piece that you'll cherish forever. Additional diamonds and milgrain on the shoulders of the band further make this ring a glittering piece she'll be happy to wear for all time.
We particularly love that the deeper setting of the milgrain halo makes the smaller diamonds less likely to be damaged or lost.Why I like it:
- Asscher cut offers vintage flair
- Milgrain detailing halo may hold accent diamonds more securely
- Unique halo patterns help this ring stand out
We mentioned how halo rings are incredibly versatile, and this ring proves it. A delicate halo encircles one of the sweetest diamond shapes – the heart. A halo of sparkling stones only helps to highlight the romantic shape that is pretty unique in today's engagement ring world. Dainty accent diamonds on the band provide a pop of sparkle while still keeping the ring feeling delicate and feminine.
It's an engagement ring that is just as sentimental as it is beautiful. The floating halo means the diamond is a little higher set but not as elevated as other rings. Overall, it's a comfortable and attractive ring she'll never want to take off.Why I like it:
- Heart cut center stone that’s sentimental and distinctive
- Fitted heart halo that sparkles without detracting from heart shape
- The thin band is feminine and easy to wear
We're head over heels for this high-contrast, unique diamond halo engagement ring. It features a double halo, which is pretty rare for halo engagement rings. But its remarkableness doesn't stop there. The first halo frames the stunning center stone in a ring of deep blue sapphires. The outer halo is created from glittering accent diamonds. It's like a pedestal of gems that draws the eye towards the gorgeous center stone.
Even more diamonds cascade down the band, nestled into a pave setting. Be aware that a double halo adds bulk, weight, and elevation to the ring. However, if you want a ring that stands out from the crowd, there is no alternative to this showstopper.Why I like it:
- Two differing halos with striking contrast
- Sapphires give royal vibes
- The pave setting adds brilliance from any angle
This is another brilliant example of a double halo that uses unique design elements to highlight its beauty. The center diamond's pear, or teardrop shape, is built upon two sparkling halos of petite accent diamonds. Instead of obscuring the eccentric shape of the center stone with a differently shaped halo, the encircling bands repeat it.
Atop the delicate shank covered in yet more glittering diamonds, the centerpiece of this ring looks stunning. Keep in mind if you catch the base of the centerpiece on anything, you could get a slight jab from the pointed top. Additionally, there are a lot of small diamonds to lose with this ring. However, it's undeniably, uncommonly beautiful.Why I like it:
- Uncommon shape that makes the ring stand out
- Perfect for brides who want a vintage-inspired ring
- Two halos for added sparkle
Wow. This ring makes us feel all sorts of things. It's romantic and vintage, like a ring Sam Heughan of Outlander would give to Caitriona Balfe. We're smitten with its antique charm created by the Marquise cut, a cut that dates back to King Louis XV of France and the eighteenth century.
The halo blends in so well, amplifying the center stone size that you may not notice it at first. It’s there, though, atop a row of glittering diamonds that adorn each of the band's shoulders. Elegant claw prongs help to make this higher set ring quite secure. Modest with a hint of modern, we love this timeless design.Why I like it:
- Traditional cut, making it a timeless choice
- Halo blends well to enhance the size of the center stone
- The claw prongs add security
This ring is sure to make you pause. Just when you thought you had seen all examples of a halo ring, this multiple moonstone and diamond band comes along to sweep you off your feet. Each celestial moonstone drop has its own sparkling halo reminiscent of the stars in the sky. They almost completely cover the graceful band for an all-over sparkly look.
You'll notice that the shape of the moonstones differs, alternating oval and pear. It's a beauty that will beckon for a closer look. It's versatile, classic, and chic and you can wear it solo or stack it with another ring or two.Why I like it:
- Moonstones are designed in an incredibly beautiful uncommon twist
- Alternating shape of the stones add intrigue
- Individual halos provide the perfect pop of radiance
Sometimes, simple is best. Okay, so this ring isn't exactly simple, but it does have a lovely classic design that feels sleek and effortless. A traditional round halo beautifully frames a timeless round brilliant diamond. The center stone is perfectly nestled into the halo, which helps to amplify its sparkle and size.
The shank is also laden with diamonds, tucked into a pave setting. Uncomplicated and undemanding, this ring will feel natural and look breathtaking. It's a shining example of why halo rings have been so popular for so long. It’s also perfect for the bride who loves solitaire rings.Why I like it:
- A timeless choice that’s ideal for the classic bride
- The center stone setting allows light to enter from all angles for added radiance
- The design doesn’t allow catching the ring on something, such as a piece of clothing
This ring is a must if she's a nature lover or a bride who wants to incorporate the classic floral motifs of halo settings. Its centerpiece is a traditional halo crafted from a glittering round center stone framed by a round halo of sparkling accent gems. But it's the band that will indeed steal the show.
Each is adorned with a sparkling center and floral motifs of rose gold, creating an awe-inspiring pattern. The edges of the band are set with shimmering round stones. It's an exquisite ring that isn't easily missed when adorning her finger. As each "diamond" is a Jeulia Stone, this may not be an heirloom piece, but we love that it's budget-friendly.Why I like it:
- Floral details harken back to historical halo rings
- The rose gold adds femininity to the color
Want bold and beautiful on a budget? Consider this sterling silver ring. Its durable and robust band is covered in glittering CZ stones for a radiant look. The scintillating center stone is surrounded by two halos. Similarly, the split shank band features a third, centrally located band covered in more stones than you can count!
The inner band can be used as a wedding band, making this ring perfect as a wedding and engagement set. Alternatively, it could offer an interchangeable look that you can switch up when the mood strikes. Whether you're on a budget or looking for a ring to don when you're not comfortable wearing your more expensive set, this beauty certainly fits the bill!Why I like it:
- Impressive appearance
- It works perfectly as an engagement/wedding set
- Not as pricey as similar designs
Halo Ring Maintenance
You can gently clean your halo ring at home anytime. However, getting a professional cleaning and inspection at least once a year is generally recommended. The accent diamonds are often susceptible to damage or loss due to their small size and less robust settings. Additionally, debris can quickly become trapped in the small spaces between the halo and the center stone. A jewelry expert will be able to clean your ring thoroughly and repair any damage to keep it looking as gorgeous as the day you slipped it on your finger.
- Use dish soap and warm water to soak your ring for ten to fifteen minutes.
- Next, use a soft cloth to scrub your ring gently.
- Rinse clean with warm water and dry with a microfiber towel.
Refrain from using harsh cleaners or rigid scrub brushes, which could damage your jewelry.
Jewelry experts also recommend checking for damage whenever you clean your ring. Look to see if any of the diamonds are loose or missing. Also, look for damage beneath the gallery if you have a wedding band that was not explicitly fitted to sit around or under your halo setting ring.
The gallery is the area below the halo and center stone setting. It will be very prominent if you have a floating halo. If your wedding band was not specially made for a halo, the two rings will probably bump and rub against one another quite frequently. Typically, this can lead to damage to the gallery.
If you notice anything amiss, take your ring to a jeweler for evaluation.
My Halo Engagement Ring Story
When my husband (Andrew) proposed to me, it was very romantic on top of a tower in Florence, Italy. He popped the question with a lovely two carat fake rock he bought off Amazon. I’ll explain why in just a minute. Let’s just say he set the bar really high and made a monster out of his future diamond loving wife.
I’ll never forget about a year into our courtship Andrew asked me if I liked sapphires. At the time I didn’t really know much about a sapphire, although I had a hunch it was similar to the big blue stone Kate Middleton wears on her finger.
I ran back to a couple of my co-workers to analyze why he would have asked me that question. You get kinda crazy when you first start dating somebody, not to mention the years of being bombarded with diamond ring marketing jingles. Nonetheless, I knew that ‘a diamond is a girls best friend’ and this princess didn’t want no sapphire!
From: Blue Ridge Mountains Engagement Shoot
Back to the story. Fast forward to our 5 week European vacation in 2013, with two of those weeks spent crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the Celebrity Silhouette. Andrew didn’t want to buy a real diamond ring because of the risk that it could get lost or stolen while in transit. I think that was a smart decision. There are enough unknowns when traveling, and having to look after a high priced piece of jewelry should not add to the stress while on vacation.
The picture is of my husband the night we got engaged. I don’t think he even knew that we were standing next to a Tiffany & Co. store, and I thought it was a perfect photo op. I still needed to a real ring after all!
The Ring Doesn’t Have to be a Total Surprise
I’ll never forget an acquaintance telling me that before getting engaged, she had never talked with her boyfriend about what kind of ring she wanted. Of course, the moment they found themselves on a romantic beach in Hawaii with a gorgeous sunset, her boyfriend was down on one knee. All she thought was, “Oh, I hope it’s not a dolphin shaped ring!”
I still laugh to this day.
I will always remember my own dolphin ring moment. On top of a tower in Florence, when Andrew was down on one knee, for a slight fraction of a second I thought to myself: “Oh, please don’t be a sapphire!”
I have to give him credit, it was not a sapphire or a dolphin shaped ring.
How I Picked a Halo Engagement Ring
We returned home to North America and made an appointment with my family’s jeweler in order to choose the halo engagement ring setting that we both loved and was within budget. That was very special to me. Sigh, it wasn’t a two carat rock like my fake Amazon ring, but it was pretty darn shiny!
Growing up I was always drawn to a princess cut solitaire. However, in recent years I have fallen hard for the vintage style of halo rings. Below is a photo of the halo diamond engagement ring that I ultimately selected!
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Despite her dreamy wedding blogger lifestyle, Meredith's day job is running ClassicVeils.com and a full-time mom to an active toddler. If she could, Meredith would spend her days taking cruises, helping animals in need, and watching Big Brother!