What are the Pros and Cons of Buying Halo Engagement Rings?

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What are the Pros and Cons of Buying Halo Engagement Rings?

One of the most popular styles of diamond engagement rings is the halo engagement ring. Halo engagement rings take their name from the word "halo"—a circle of light around a planet or star that results in refraction or reflection through the ice in the planet's atmosphere. While there are many varieties of halo engagement rings, they all have a center stone surrounded by a circle of smaller stones. When shopping for an engagement ring, it's essential to consider all the pros and cons of halo engagement rings.

Like many fashion trends, the halo engagement ring has several features that appeal to brides and grooms, although this style is favored more by women. A halo engagement ring is eye-catching and offers a higher total carat value for a lower price than the same carat value in a solitaire. The halo of diamonds makes the center diamond stand out from the setting. This style can be adapted to differently-shaped center diamonds in any metal—silver, gold, white gold, or platinum. And while diamonds are usually chosen for an engagement ring, any precious stone can be used in the center or the surrounding halo. If the bride and groom prefer a simple ring style, they most likely won't like the fussiness of the halo engagement ring. It may be more difficult to keep the individual stone settings clean, and since halo engagement rings are trendy, they may go in and out of style.

What is a halo engagement ring?

A halo engagement ring is a setting style that has been used for many years. The design features a center stone, most often a diamond, that can be cut in a variety of ways, including:

  • Round brilliant-cut diamond
  • Princess-cut diamond
  • Oval diamond
  • Radiant-cut diamond
  • Cushion-cut diamond

The center or focus diamond is then surrounded by smaller stones—the halo—which can also be set along the ring band. The halo can consist of one or two rows of smaller round or pavé stones that accent the cut of the center stone. Halo rings can also come with two focus stones which are then surrounded by a halo of smaller stones.

The ring's center stone and the halo stones do not have to be diamonds. When other stones are used, the contrast in color just adds to the beauty of the setting, making a truly stand-out presentation.

Halo vs. no halo ring

While a halo ring always looks good, there are some pros and cons to consider about halo engagement rings.

Halo ring pros

  • The halo of smaller stones makes the center stone look bigger than it would without the halo.
  • The halo adds total carat value to the ring but costs less than a single stone of the same carat weight.
  • A halo engagement ring is glamorous. Its collection of round- or pavé-cut stones adds sparkle and shine to the center diamond and catches the light within many facets.
  • While halo engagement rings are trendy, this trend goes in and out of style which can give the ring a modern or vintage look.
  • Halo rings are created and set with precision and skill by expert jewelry makers to make your diamonds look their best in combination.

Halo ring cons

  • Trends come and go. That means while halo rings are trendy now, they won't always be trendy. This means your ring will be a statement of which period of time—the 2020s—you got married.
  • Lots of brides-to-be will be wearing a halo engagement ring style because it's trendy. You can make your ring unique by customizing the design.
  • Looks like glitter. It's true that the halo style is similar to glitter in the sense that it captures the light due to its many facets.
  • It's too fussy and hard to clean. If you like the look of a clean, simple design, then the halo engagement ring is the wrong design for you. It may be slightly more difficult to clean but modern technology can clean your ring at home easily.

No halo ring pros

  • Classic style. No halo rings—solitaire engagement rings—never go out of style. They have timeless appeal.
  • Non-halo rings can be any type of design. There are numerous engagement ring styles that you can emulate or modify. You can choose a vintage or art-period style. You can create your own ring design. The choice is endless.
  • Customized for you. Unique. You can create a ring design with a unique variety of elements that no one else will have if you prefer a one-of-a-kind engagement ring.

No halo ring cons

  • May be more expensive. This is relative. A halo engagement ring's total carat weight will be less expensive than a similar weight and cut in a solitaire stone. The halo makes the center stone look bigger, so a comparable single stone can cost more. Ultimately, the cost is based on the color, cut, and clarity of the diamonds in any engagement-ring style. Higher quality and rarer colors and cuts will increase the price.
  • May be considered boring. Calling an engagement ring boring is purely subjective. Every bride and groom has a style and size of engagement ring they like. If your bride likes simple, clean lines in her fashion choices, a halo engagement ring isn't the right selection.

Reasons why you should choose halo engagement rings

There are several reasons why brides and grooms should consider buying halo engagement rings.

1. Halo engagement rings look bigger.

The addition of the halo surrounding the center stone makes the entire ring and the center stone look bigger. This means that the appearance of the diamond looks bigger than it is due to the extra facets of the stones in the single- or double-row halo.

This appearance phenomenon is called the Ebbinghaus illusion. Essentially, a circle surrounded by smaller circles looks bigger than it does alone. This illusion holds true for gemstones in a ring setting.

2. Budget-friendly engagement ring

Engagement rings can be expensive and are an investment in the future. Due to the illusion that the center stone is larger than it truly is in a halo engagement ring, a groom can spend less and get more. There is always the catch that as you increase the number of carats in any diamond ring, it gets more expensive. That includes halo engagement rings.

3. More sparkle and shine

Because of the number of facets in a halo engagement ring—facets in the center stone and in the halo stones—a halo engagement ring catches and reflects the light intensely, much more than a solitaire engagement ring. This means that as the bride-to-be is wearing the ring, more people will notice it. If you want a lot of light and sparkle in your engagement ring, a halo ring is an excellent choice.

4. Highlight and complement the center stone

The addition of the rows of smaller round or pavé diamonds that form the halo around a center stone works well with many different shapes of center stones. You can have a more standard round diamond in the center, but you can also have a pear-, princess-, oval-, or square-shaped center diamond in your halo ring. You can discuss your design ideas with your expert jeweler to find the best halo ring style that is right for you.

5. Protection for the center diamond

It's true that most bridal pairs invest a considerable amount of money in an engagement ring for themselves. The biggest part of that investment is used to buy the larger center stone in a halo setting. In addition to the look and style of a halo engagement ring, the halo of smaller stones also protects the center stone from harm, loss, or damage. While diamonds can take a lot of wear and tear due to their hardness, they can also become lost if a setting becomes loose from knocking your ring hand into other objects. Because the halo is around the edge of the main stone, it's more likely that you will potentially lose a small halo diamond due to wear and tear. Having the halo protects the setting for the center stone.

6. Choose a unique design

A halo engagement ring is just the overall category of an engagement ring you can choose. Within that category, there are numerous options. Some of these options include:

  • Size and shape of the center stone
  • Size and shape of halo stones
  • Type of stones
  • Quality of stones
  • Color of stones
  • Type of metal for setting and band
  • Style and thickness of ring band
  • Hidden accent stones
  • Halo stones set into the sides of the band
  • Two center stones instead of one
  • Style of setting and ring band

All of these options mean that every bride and groom has the opportunity to create a halo ring design that has all of the features desired at the budget they can afford to cherish for years to come.

7. Beauty for many years

Even though halo engagement rings are trending right now, that doesn't mean that they won't look just as beautiful when the bridal fashion trends change. A halo engagement ring style has been worn throughout history, including during the Victorian era (approx. 1820–1914). Halo engagement rings were also popular during the Art Deco period beginning in the 1920s.

A halo engagement ring is a beautiful symbol of love that will draw attention and sparkle brightly throughout your life. You can buy it knowing that it is a classic style of engagement ring.

Types of halo ring settings

The center stone in a halo engagement ring setting can be almost any shape and cut. However, the halo setting also has several varieties.

  • Single halo setting–A single row of gemstones surrounding a center gemstone. The halo can be in the shape of a square, circle, or diamond.
  • Double halo setting–Similar to a single halo with two rows of gemstones instead of one. Each row can contrast or match each other.
  • Triple halo setting–This setting adds a third row of gemstones and is less popular than the single and double halo settings.
  • Hidden halo setting–Looks like a solitaire, but has halo diamonds below the main stone wrapped around the setting.
  • Gemstone halo setting–Halos can be made from diamond or any other gemstone for more accent and color.
  • Pear-shaped halo setting–Halo around the center pear-shaped center diamond is also pear-shaped.
  • Star-shaped halo setting–The star halo setting features a combination of two halo diamond sizes put together in a star shape around the center diamond.
  • Octagon-shaped halo setting–Halo settings can surround practically any shape of diamond or gemstone.
  • Hexagon-shaped halo setting–A setting in which the center stone is surrounded by a hexagon-shaped halo.
  • Floral-shaped halo setting–This setting makes the ring resemble a flower with the edges of the halo curved like petals.
  • Floating halo setting–This halo setting features the center diamond set into prongs that are separate from the halo. This setting can potentially catch onto more things because it's raised.

Key takeaways

  • A halo engagement ring has a center stone surrounded by a "halo" of smaller stones.
  • Halo engagement rings have intense sparkle and shine due to the number of facets.
  • You can personalize your halo engagement ring in several ways including color, shape, type of metal, type of gemstones, and number of halos around the center stone.
  • While halo rings are trendy right now, they are also designed in a classic style that has been worn throughout history.
  • Halo engagement rings can be lower in price than a solitaire with the same total carat weight, however the price increases as you look at larger and higher quality stones.
  • A halo ring is the right choice for the bride-to-be who has flair, is fashionable, and likes to stand out in a crowd. It isn't the right choice for someone who loves simple lines and shapes.


Take your time shopping for your halo engagement ring. Ensure that you are working with an experienced jeweler and designer, and ask them about how to care for the ring, if it's safe to wear when participating in sports, and what to do if you notice any stones becoming loose. While the halo protects the center stone from damage, that doesn't mean you want to damage or lose the gemstones in the halo.

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