Unlike most decisions associated with your wedding, your engagement ring is one that will last far beyond the big day. So while of course you’ll want to choose a piece you adore right now, you’ll also want to make sure you pick a ring you’ll be happy to wear for many decades to come.
But with all the different choices out there, how do you determine what’s a fleeting trend vs. a timeless classic? All it requires is a little bit of ring education. We’ve chatted with the experts at Kristin Coffin Jewelry, a jeweler specializing in sustainable engagement rings to last a lifetime, all about some of the best options for a ring that’ll never look dated. Read on to learn more about some of the most beloved settings and shapes for timeless engagement ring bliss.
Classic Ring Settings
One of the key decisions you’ll need to make when choosing your engagement ring is the setting. Three classic options guaranteed to withstand the test of time are solitaire, three-stone, and halo – read on for the main features and pros and cons of each.
A solitaire engagement ring has a classic silhouette showcasing a single center stone – one of the most popular styles out there, it’s the design that probably first comes to mind when you think “engagement ring.” The band can be unadorned, or often seen with pavé diamonds trailing the center stone.
-Engagement rings don’t come any more classic than this. The simplicity of a solitaire is timeless, so this is one style guaranteed to never look dated.
-The versatility of a solitaire is second to none. These minimalist designs are easy to style with all different kinds of wedding bands – and any other rings you wish to stack for a more maximalist look.
-Solitaire rings work well with all kinds of diamond cuts, with round, oval, and emerald being some of the most popular – and classic – choices.
-Though many brides adore the simplicity of a solitaire, for the bride looking for a more ornate design this minimalist style may be a little bit too understated. Not to worry — Kristin Coffin specializes in adding a modern spin to the meaningful tradition of engagement rings. If a solitaire engagement ring isn’t for you, their wide selection of unique, unexpected designs is sure to have something you’ll love.
-Likewise, the fact that solitaire engagement rings are among the most popular means this may not be the right choice for the bride looking for a more unique look.
A three-stone engagement ring features a main center stone and two smaller stones (often matching in shape and size) that sit on either side. Often thought of as representing the past, present, and future, this ring style is a fantastic way to add even more meaning to such a beautiful representation of your love.
-What’s better than one stone? That’s right, three. Up your sparkle and glamor with 3x the diamond or gemstone (or both!) of your choosing.
-This style allows you to incorporate more than just one stone option in your setting. For example, if you’re wanting an aqua-teal moissanite oval engagement ring but you were born in April, you can choose your accent stones to represent your birth month.
-More stones equals more upkeep. Just make sure you talk with your jeweler about the best way to clean your three-stone ring to keep it looking brand new.
-Since all three stones will be sitting so close together, it’s important to make sure they’re of similar quality. The experts at Kristin Coffin can help you choose the gemstones and/or ethical diamonds that will look stunning sitting next to one another for years to come.
Halo engagement rings feature a center stone surrounded by smaller accent diamonds.
-If you like a ring with some extra glitz, a halo is perfect.
-A halo setting makes your center stone appear larger.
-Halo engagement rings can be pricier than simpler designs.
-Halo settings require more care and upkeep since they are inherently more intricate.
-The shape of a halo ring can make it harder to pair with a wedding band. However, when you design an engagement ring with Kristin Coffin Jewelry, they’ll design your wedding band to match your halo, just the way you want it to.
Classic Diamond Shapes
Another big decision you’ll need to make for your ring is stone shape. There are a lot of options out there, but three especially trend-resistant choices are round, oval, and emerald.
When choosing your stone, you’ll obviously also need to make choices about size, cut, color, and clarity. Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind is ethical sourcing: while conflict-free mined diamonds are certainly an opinion, another great way to make sure your stone was sourced in an ethical way is to pick a lab-grown diamond or gemstone. Kristin Coffin specializes in ethical lab-created diamonds, sapphires, and moissanite – meaning you get the same properties as mined stones, but without the environmental or humanitarian costs.
But back to the shapes – we’ll walk you through some of our favorite classics.
The most popular diamond cut, a round diamond will never go out of style. Round-cut diamonds are designed to maximize brilliance and sparkle.
One downside to this cut can be that it tends to be the least unique option. However, Kristin and her team offer unique designs to complement a classic shaped center stone such as round.
Oval engagement rings are another classic option. Oval-cut diamonds have almost as much brilliance as rounds, with the added bonus that their elongated shape has a lengthening effect on the finger. An oval cut has more overall surface area, making it look larger than a round cut of the same size. So this is a good affordable option if you prefer a setting with a large center stone.
One thing to look out for with oval engagement rings? Any oval-cut diamond will exhibit a bowtie pattern in the middle, with some being more prominent and others less. However, all of Kristin’s diamonds are custom cut for her one-of-a-kind settings, so the bowties are minimized.
An emerald-cut engagement ring is another distinctive yet classic choice. Like the oval, an emerald’s also got an elongated shape that will have a lengthening effect on your finger. While emerald-cuts are not sparkly like rounds, they’ve got a different, subtler glimmer of their own.
Emerald cuts are step cuts with a different kind of sparkle, almost like glass – perfect for those who prefer a less flashy center stone. Emerald-cut diamonds can also be less expensive than round-cut diamonds of the same carat weight.
Something to note is that because an emerald-cut diamond isn’t a brilliant cut, it’s easier to spot the inclusions (small imperfections within the structure of the diamond) in an emerald-cut.However, the Kristin Coffin team will make sure your emerald cut lab-grown diamond is cut to perfection, as all of their stones are custom cut and VS1 or higher in clarity. This means that their inclusions are undetectable with the naked eye.
About Kristin Coffin
Inspired by eras gone by and elements from the natural world, Kristin Coffin creates one-of-a-kind jewelry, made to last a lifetime and beyond. After studying metalsmithing at the University of Vermont, Kristin began selling her first designs in 2007 — growing quickly to a team of talented artisans.
Kristin Coffin pushes the boundaries of classic and timeless by using recycled precious metals, plus conflict-free and lab-grown gems and diamonds to redefine brilliance with an eco-friendly, ethical twist. They believe in holding onto the most meaningful traditions, but rejecting the jewelry industry’s dark history of harmful practices that have polluted our earth’s water and skies, and created humanitarian crises across the globe. Plus, all of their rings are meticulously handcrafted in the United States by the most highly-skilled goldsmiths.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to choosing an engagement ring that will withstand the test of time. If you’re on the search for the ring of your dreams, head over to Kristin Coffin’s website today!
All images provided by Kristin Coffin.