Delarah Banner

Three Stone Engagement Rings – A Quick Guide

Bride with three stone ring

As Wedding Know How editors, we write about things that we love and we think you'll like too. We have affiliate partnerships and sponsorship and may generate some revenue from these at no cost to you.

Three stone rings, also called trilogy or trio rings, are a popular setting for engagement rings. There are a lot of benefits in choosing a three stone ring, including cost and symbolism, which explains its rising popularity.

Here’s a quick guide to buying three stone engagement rings and why they make an excellent choice.

Delarah Banner

Advantages of Three Stone Rings

Three stone rings have a lot to offer when it comes to engagement rings. Here are some reasons why they should be on your radar:

  1. Three stone rings offer value for money and a lot of savings
  2. They’re highly symbolic
  3. They have added sparkle and more diamond for you to look at
  4. They’re versatile with endless design options

What is a Three Stone Engagement Ring?

Three-stone princess cut ring

Classic three stone ring with princess cut diamonds.

See this ring here

Simply put, a three stone ring is a ring that features three gemstones. The designs can vary but the traditional three stone ring design features a center stone flanked by two smaller side stones.

While round diamonds are the most popular choice for three stone rings, any diamond shape, size and color can be incorporated as well as colored gemstones. This makes the three stone ring design one of the most versatile with endless stylistic options.

No one really knows when the first three stone ring was crafted, but it’s a ring design that’s been around for a long time. The tradition and significance of a three stone ring, however, has its roots in a De Beers campaign from back in 2001. While initially they marketed these rings as anniversary rings, today they’re popular as engagement rings.

Meaning of Three Stone Rings

Bride wearing three stone ring

The three stone ring design is not just beautiful but also highly significant. It’s one of the most meaningful engagement ring designs, which is partly reason for its appeal.

Here are some of the interpretations of the three stone ring design:

  1. Present, Past and Future – The three stones could represent the present, past and future of the couple. If the three stones are of the same size, it could imply that each stage is equally important, while a larger middle stone could suggest a focus on the present. If the stones are graduating in size from small to large, this could be a representation of how the couple grows together on their journey through life.
  2. Friendship, Love and Fidelity – Another interpretation is that the three stones stand for these three important features of a good relationship. If you have friendship, fidelity and love, what else do you need?
  3. The Holy Trinity – For the religiously inclined, the three stones could represent the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, to guide and mentor the couple through life. It shows that religion comes first and everything else takes second place.
  4. Open To Interpretation – You can assign your own meaning to the three stone ring, depending on what matters to you.

Three Stone Ring Styles to Choose From

You’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to three stone rings. There are endless ways to vary the design, resulting in unique and stylish three stone rings.

Here are some of our favorites. These are just some of the types and styles of three stone rings, but there are many more out there:

1- Minimalist Three Stone Ring

Minimalist three stone ring

Minimalist three stone ring design.

See this ring here

Nowhere does it say that you’re three stone ring should feature large stones and an eye-popping design. If you’re into minimalist aesthetics, the three stone ring adapts perfectly. Choose a simple metal band featuring three stones as per your heart’s desire.

2- Diamonds and Gemstone Three Stone Ring

Diamond and blue sapphire 3 stone ring in white gold

Diamond and sapphire three stone ring.

See this ring here

Diamonds might be the most popular engagement ring stone, but you can always add some color in to your design with a gemstone like sapphire or ruby. This way, you still have the traditional look of a diamond ring with a splash of color. Also, vary up the diamond shapes for a more appealing look. While traditional three stone rings featured stones of the same shape, mixing it up gives you more options, a unique style and a modern looking ring.

3- Traditional Three Stone Ring

Traditional three stone ring in rose gold

Traditional three stone ring.

See this ring here

The most traditional three stone ring designs featured a round center stone with two side stones that together equaled the weight of the center stone. So, if the center stone was around 1 carat, the side stones would roughly be .50 carats each. This is a classic look with great symmetry and ideal for anyone who loves a classic style.

4- Raw Diamond Three Stone Ring

Raw diamond three stone ring close up in gray background

Raw diamond three stone ring.

See this ring here

If you’re drawn to the rustic, natural look of raw diamonds and yet like the classic symbolism of the three stone ring, combine these to create a ring like no other. Rough diamonds are unique, with no two looking exactly alike. This gives a highly creative, avant-garde ring style that is very contemporary and yet so natural.

5- Vertical Three Stone Ring

Vertical three stone ring in yellow gold

See this ring here

Three stone rings are typically horizontally placed but turn the style on its head with a vertical design. This is highly contemporary in style while still retaining the meaningfulness of the ring’s style.

6- Semi-precious Three Stone Ring

Labradorite three stone ring

Labradorite ring with moissanite side stones.

See this ring here

Semi-precious stones often go overlooked for engagement rings because of their lower hardness and value. But a well-chosen stone can make your ring sing. Think turquoise, citrine, labradorite, topaz and aquamarine among others. Granted, these stones might not be the hardest options out there, but they each provide a very unique look. Also, you can add more meaning by choosing birthstones or gemstones that correlate to an important month, like when you two first met.

Saving Money with Three Stone Rings

One benefit of the three stone ring is that it gives you a lot of diamond at a low cost. How does this work, you ask?

The thing about diamonds is that they increase in price exponentially with the increase in carat weight. A 1 carat diamond costs much more than two .50 diamonds.

A three stone ring will incorporate three smaller sized diamonds, instead of one large center diamond. These stones will cost less than a single center stone with the combined weight of all three said stones.

To test this, compare this 1 carat diamond with this .40 carat diamond which are similar in almost every way except in weight. The difference in price is a whopping $6210!

Another way to save with three stone rings is that because the diamonds are smaller, you can play with the combinations of the 4Cs, choosing lower grades without compromising on the look.

How to Choose the Diamonds for Your Three Stone Ring

If you’ve decided to go with diamonds for your ring, the main thing to note is that the three diamonds should work harmoniously together. If one stands out because it’s slightly yellow, you’re ring is going to look off-putting.

All three diamonds have equal significance in a three stone ring, here are some tips to help you choose your stones:

  • Choose all three stones from the same color grade, unless you’re looking for a contrast in the stones.
  • Don’t worry as much about the clarity grade but instead look to see if the stones have any visible inclusions. If they look clear to your eye, that should do the trick.
  • Choose the shapes carefully if you’re going for different types of stones. Three different shapes would give you a very unique, avant-garde style. Make sure that the side stones complement the middle stone in shape.

Where to Buy Three Stone Rings

An engagement ring is a huge purchase and probably the most important piece of jewelry you’ll ever buy. Make sure you purchase from a reputable and reliable store.

If shopping online, we recommend the following retailers for their solid track record and high-quality products.

James Allen – They offer a wide variety of three stone ring settings and high-quality diamonds. Inspect each stone carefully with their unparalleled Diamond Display Technology and get help from their Diamond Experts.

Blue Nile – Massive inventory and large range of three stone ring styles. They offer great after sales policies and customer service.