When we hear about an engagement ring the first image that comes to our minds is that of a smooth golden band with a big, solitaire diamond on top of it. However, there are many more types and styles of engagement rings out there.
One of the more popular styles nowadays is the halo engagement ring – a beautiful design that comes with a lot of advantages. Let’s take a look at what the halo setting is, the pros and cons of the setting and how to buy.
What is the Halo Setting?
The halo setting is as simple to explain as it’s complicated to craft – it’s a halo made of small diamonds (or other gemstones) around the center stone of an engagement ring.
These smaller gemstones can vary in size and the halo itself can be shaped in various designs, but if it surrounds the centerpiece diamond – it’s a halo setting.
What the halo setting does is to enhance the center stone, making it appear larger and more brilliant than it is. It’s an excellent way to uplift a diamond of lower quality and elevate a high-quality diamond even more.
Another benefit of the halo setting is that it protects the centerpiece diamond from knocks and scratches. Because it surrounds the center stone, providing a buffer, it minimizes the stone’s exposure.
If the halo is poorly made with mismatched stones or poorly crafted prongs, or if the centerpiece diamond is indeed so small that the halo stones overshadow it, then the halo setting can look unimpressive. As long as the halo is well-done, however, it’s almost always a benefit.
Design and Styles of Halo Settings
Double halo sapphire ring. Check price here.
Halos are typically made with layer of smaller stones, but you’ll also see 2-4 layers surrounding the diamond for an impressive look. These settings can also feature different stones for the halo, which can add color and texture to the design.
Sapphire halo with diamond center stone. See this here.
The more popular halo designs feature a diamond center stone with a diamond halo but designs with gemstone halos and diamonds or diamond halos and gemstone center stones are also very stylish and unique.
No type of halo is technically “better” or “worse” – it’s all a matter of personal taste and preferences. Even a single-layer halo will offer a fair bit of protection and stability to your centerpiece stone so you can simply choose whatever looks and feels better to you. Some people like more grandiose halos while others prefer more modest ones or none at all.
The History of The Halo Setting
Most engagement ring styles and settings have quite old histories that can be tracked to the ancient days of jewelry-making. Of course, back then people used simpler and less-effective techniques, but older equivalents of most ring settings can still be identified.
The same goes for halo rings which can be dated back to the 1700s. The oldest true halo rings can be dated back to Georgian times (1714-1837) with smaller centerpiece diamonds or pearls. However, it wasn’t until the Victorian era (1837-1901) when halo rings became truly popular.
More modern halo rings with their chic and elegant designs were made in the 1920s – since then, the halo setting has remained more or less the same in principle and execution, with modern designs cropping up every now and then.
What’s the Right Diamond Shape for A Halo Setting?
Unique baguette halo ring. Check price here.
As you can see from our examples above, halos can be made around diamonds of any shape. The halo stones themselves are usually round but there are also halo stones with different shapes such as the baguette ballerina halo ring featured above, which makes for a very unique look. There are quite literally no restrictions to how a halo must look.
Factors to Consider Before Buying A Halo Setting
The two main things to consider when choosing a halo setting for your ring are the quality of craftsmanship and your own subjective preferences.
When checking the quality of the halo ring, look for uniformity in the diamonds or gemstones used for the halo in terms of color and clarity. If one diamond is of a different color grade than the others, it will stick out like a sore thumb. Likewise, ensure that the color of the halo matches that of the center diamond. If you’re center diamond is a colorless stone, but the halo contains warms tints, this will be clearly visible as it’s easy to compare the two against each other.
The other thing to look for is the integrity of the prongs holding the diamonds. Check that all the diamonds are of the same height and firmly held in place by their prongs.
In terms of design, consider what type of halo you prefer and then make sure to find a reputable jeweler that can craft or offer it in a good enough quality and at a fair price. Other than that, there shouldn’t be anything else preventing you from having the perfect halo engagement ring.
How To Clean A Halo Setting
One of the main issues with halo rings is the same as with any other “complicated” ring setting – it creates a lot of spaces where dirt and dust can accumulate and that makes it harder to clean.
To get around this problem, clean your halo ring periodically so that there’s no dirt buildup. All you need is warm water, a mild soap and a soft piece of cloth. Regular, gentle washes once every couple of weeks should wash away any dust and dirt from your ring and keep it in a tip top shape.
A pro tip is to use an electric toothbrush with a sensitive brush head to clean the ring. This will be faster and more efficient, taking away all the dirt and grime that could be hiding in the sneaky spots of your ring.
Pros and Cons of the Halo Setting
Stylized vintage halo ring. Check price here.
In conclusion, halo settings are a gorgeous and fascinating way to enrich almost any engagement ring. Here are our pros and cons lists to better visualize things.
- Halo settings boost the appearance of most centerpiece stones and can make rings with smaller carat diamonds look much more impressive and sparkly.
- Halos are a budget-friendly way to get a gorgeous engagement ring – instead of getting a bank-breaking 2-carat diamond you can get a standard 0.9- to 1-carat diamond and surround it with a beautiful halo.
- Halos offer additional security and protection for the center stone.
- Halo settings can be crafted both with and around various shapes and types of gemstones, not just round cut diamonds.
- By using different color gemstones in a halo setting you can build beautiful contrasts with the centerpiece stone or with the ring’s metal.
- The smaller halo stones can sometimes dislodge and fall off if they are hit. Then again, that’s a better alternative than having your centerpiece diamond get hit and crack.
- Halo settings, like most other intricate settings, are harder to clean than solitaire diamond rings.