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Halo Settings: Class and Creativity

This ring style offers an array of options for creating a diamond center that looks larger, as well as creative ways to personalize your engagement ring.

Drawn to large, elegant engagements rings that music and entertainment celebrities (even a real royalty) have recently been sporting? If you want to make a big splash on a budget, many would-be brides are intrigued by the beautifully radiant halo ring.

Wonder why?

At the center of a halo ring is a gemstone encircled by a collection of round pavé or micro-pavé diamonds (sometimes faceted color diamonds). As these pavé stones flash with light, it draws gaze and focuses attention on the center stone.

A halo setting makes a high-carat center diamond look huge –making a half-, third-, quarter-carat diamond look up to a half a carat bigger. With a halo ring, no matter the budget, you'd get a bigger bang for your buck.


Kate Middleton, in 2010, showed off her dazzling engagement ring: a glamorous sapphire-center stone surrounded by a diamond halo. It was, in fact, the same ring worn by her husband’s mother, Princess Dianna. Not surprisingly, halo settings had since then become a popular choice among brides.

The halo engagement ring was first introduced in the 1920s when the style called Art Deco became famous. Its current prominence made it the most favored style of engagement ring –second to the classic solitaire. Halo settings are almost as classic as solitaires, but with a classy twist.


Olivia Wilde's Brilliant cut 2ct diamond is surrounded by emeralds


The most definitive look is one with a big stone sitting on a narrow, clean band. Imagine a round, colorless center diamond bound by a circle of colorless pavé stones on a platinum or white gold ring. "White on white" makes a stunning statement. This look is also a classic when paired with a cushion- or princess-cut diamond.

You can also choose to have pavé on the shank (the part that wraps around your finger) or leave it bare. To follow the tenets of Art Deco, the stones on both sides of the shank must be equal in number–creating symmetry. With or without pavé, this will give your ring a classic halo look.

If the classic design isn't quite your thing, there are numerous options and it's best that you look at pictures of modern halos online. It's all about the details if you want your very own, personalized look. Here are things you'd want to consider:

Center Stone

You can choose between colorless or fancy-color diamond and other precious stones (sapphire & tanzanite are top choices). If on a budget, you can go with a cluster of pavé (or small) diamonds, instead of a center stone. You end up with the same carat weight of a single, big stone at a MUCH lower price.

The Center Stone's Cut

While princess-cut and round center stones are classics, emerald-cut, ovals, and even pear & marquise diamonds are also great options. The pointy edges of pears and marquises (which turn women off as they catch & break/chip) are somewhat softened when "circled" by a matching halo. Radiant cuts (a combination of elegant emerald shape & the glittering brightness of a round) also give you the extra "umph" you desire.

Number of Halos

If you prefer extra bling, the classic single halo has birthed double (even triple) halos. A triple is three rows of pavé circling the center stone. Each row of pavé makes the ring look three times bigger –which makes sense IF your center stone is very small.

Color of Pavé

Contrasting pavé gemstones gives your ring a custom look –ranging from subtle to outrageous. Rubies and sapphires surrounding a colorless diamond are beautiful options. Or go with the reverse: a fancy vivid-yellow diamond center stone circled by colorless diamonds.


Pavéed or bare, is entirely your choice. A shank without pavé creates a simpler, cleaner look. The thickness/shape of the shank also adds to the overall style. If you want more bling, then have it pavéed. You may also consider a split shank with options for straight split and entwined.

Just a tip: as fingers get bigger as we get older, making ring removal & replacement will be a challenge. A shank full of stones could make resizing difficult. Leaving a little space will allow your jeweller to later on cut and open the metal.

Metal Preference

Jessica Biel's Halo is made with blackened platinum, giving it a vintage look with a modern twist.

The finest choice for the halo setting is platinum or white gold. But as you explore more, you may find that yellow gold is a great complement for diamonds with some yellows in them as it tones down the tint (white gold would highlight the difference). Two-tone settings can be a perfect choice, too.

Rose gold is increasingly gaining popularity as an engagement ring metal as it lends a vintage feel –with its pinkish, soft color enhancing assorted-color gemstones like a green peridot.

Other than its versatility in design for customization, halo setting makes a gemstone appear as much as half a carat larger than its actual size. PLUS, halos give extra glitz and glam to any ring –making them fit for every wedding's princess.

JW Schwarz Diamonds and Jewellery has a stunning array of Halo rings available to order now. Want to develop your own design? Chat to us today.

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