If you’re getting ready to pop the question, you might be wondering if you should shop for a halo or no halo engagement ring.
First of all, my friend, you need to start here. You gotta figure out:
(And extra credit) Why you should shop for a diamond, not a certificate.
Now that you’ve met your core requirements, you can start stalking her Pinterest boards or going back through all the rings she’s tagged you in on Instagram. Ideally, you’ll begin to notice a theme. It may be that she loves rose gold, or white gold, or two-tone. Perhaps it’s all oval, all day. Or maybe she’s really REALLY into lace shanks (those are the twisty ones that look like the infinity symbol.)
And, if you’re lucky, she’s very specific about saving either halos or solitaires, with no in-between. However this creature is a rare breed, and the vast majority of women have a small sampling of either halo or no halo engagement ring dreams tucked away somewhere. So now it’s time for a story.
Two of my good friends just got engaged. He proposed at sunset in Croatia on the day of her parents’ 30th anniversary because he is a perfect man. He also texted me a few months ago to start ring shopping and became the conductor of quite the engagement ring crazy train. He asked for my input, because DUH I’m clearly the second coming of Harry Winston. I gave him my crash course (a verbal assault that merges all of those blog posts above) then sent him the screenshots I’d dutifully saved over the last year of every ring she’d tagged me in/sent to me/ snapchatted me. They were all double halos of the soft square variety with lace shanks or split shanks. Done deal easy peasy.
EXCEPT, my girlfriend broke Rule Number Three. So her sister, who was also involved in the ring shopping process, had her own Top Secret Photo File from the new bride – and they were all princess cut or cushion cut solitaires on a micropave band. Her best friend, AKA accomplice #3, had a similar portfolio, comprised solely of round brilliant diamonds on shared prong diamond bands. We, the girlfriends, were flummoxed. He, the groom, took all the different styles into consideration, then proceeded in the only logical manner: he compared the halo or no halo engagement ring pros and cons, made an educated decision, and decided to own it and surprise his future wife with a ring he knew she’d love. A square radiant cut in a 4-prong platinum setting with a shared prong diamond band and micropave wrapped gallery. (He nailed it, obviously.) So let’s run down those pros and cons that I did with him.
Halo Engagement Rings
- Halo engagement rings make your center diamond look bigger. If you want maximum visual impact but you’re on a budget (as most of us are) a halo will give you the look you’re hoping to achieve for a lot less.
- They add sparkle. A halo can add sparkle to a diamond with lackluster shine, or even a D-Flawless diamond. Regardless of stone quality, you’re going to add hundreds, even thousands, of tiny, light-catching and bouncing diamonds that will majorly up the glitter factor.
- They are SO romantic. Halos give you a larger foundation for incredible details. The gallery and side perspectives on a halo usually boast extra special design touches. Partly because they can, and also because they need to fill up all that space.
- All those tiny diamonds present more opportunity for loss and damage. With micropave especially, you can all but expect that you’ll need to replace these small diamonds several times over your ring’s lifetime. The cost is nominal, but all that lost time with your ring “in the shop” may dissuade you.
- A halo will age you, someday. Today you’re a beautiful blushing bride and you don’t think twice about revealing your age. Someday you might, but your halo will announce it for you. Halos nod to a very specific point in bridal history, and like the marquise cut diamonds of the 80’s, they’ll give a strong hint about your age.
- They can look busy. I was messaging with some other diamond enthusiasts on an engagement ring message board (#nerdalert) and one woman was debating whether she should halo-fy an inherited B.A.D. The other commenters were evenly divided, but her concern was valid: would it be like “hanging a hat on a hat?” Some engagement ring designers execute a halo with the subtlety of Liberace. Not all are guilty – and they can be done beautifully (see the DBRL Insta for reference.) But it’s something to consider.
No Halo Engagement Rings
- Can you say classic? When most people think of engagement rings, they think of the e-ring emoji (but the IRL version. I think. I hope.) This is the classic solitaire – a round brilliant diamond set in 4-6 prongs of platinum and a thin, gently tapered platinum band. A solitaire will never go out of style.
- A no halo engagement ring doesn’t have to mean a solitaire though. A three stone engagement ring looks gorgeous with or without a halo, but the latter version is a tried and true favorite of the biggest names in bridal – Graff, Lorraine, et. al.
- Their beauty will cost you a pretty penny. One large diamond is more expensive than the combined weight and sparkle power of hundreds of tiny diamonds. This is why a ring with 2 CTW (carat total weight) will be at least half the price of a 2 carat solitaire. Even a three stone style or awesome bypass ring will cost you more, because there are fewer, larger diamonds. More importantly, you need to ensure that those diamonds are high quality. Without a halo to distract from any flaws, no halo engagement rings lay it all bare for everyone to see.
- Some would argue they’re “plain.” To them I present Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Exhibit C. No halo engagement rings are just as customizable and diverse as halo engagement rings, but they do provide a sleeker, less diamond-heavy look.
When it comes to the halo or no halo engagement ring decision, the most important choice is yours. Regardless of the popular opinion of the day, you (or your intended) is the one wearing the ring for the rest of, oh, forever. If you love it, you’ve made the right choice.