Navigating Engagement Ring Styles: Sizes, Shapes & Settings

Posted by Nate Barsky on May 11th 2018

Once you know what qualities to look for in a diamond, your next step is choosing from engagement ring styles. This includes the diamond size and shape, as well as the engagement band setting.

Taking shape: popular diamond styles

The most popular diamond shape is the classic round shape, but there are many others you may wish to consider.

Once you know what qualities to look for in a diamond, your next step is choosing from engagement ring styles. This includes the diamond size and shape, as well as the engagement band setting.

Taking shape: popular diamond styles

The most popular diamond shape is the classic round shape, but there are many others you may wish to consider.

Round diamond

The traditional engagement ring style, almost 75% of diamonds are sold in this shape. Round diamonds are a timeless classic and forgiving in cut, clarity, and color.

Princess diamond

Flattering for anyone with long fingers, the princess diamond can be either square or rectangular. It is the second most popular shape for engagement rings.

Oval diamond

This shape is perfect for anyone with small hands and fingers.

Marquise diamond

This shape is perfect for making a small diamond look larger enhancing a woman’s fingers, making them look long and slender.

Pear diamond

A pear shape diamond resembles a teardrop and looks stunning as earrings or a pendant. In a ring setting, the pear shape is perfect for a small hand.

Heart diamond

Not usually found in a ring, this shape is used in various pieces of jewelry.

Emerald diamond

A rectangular diamond with angled corners, this shape is best suited for a quality cut with premium clarity and color.

Asscher diamond

A relatively new shape that is similar to an emerald except that it is square in appearance.

Radiant diamond

Forgiving when it comes to flaws, perfect as a solitaire engagement ring or accompanied with surrounding stones, the shape is usually available in sizes above 1 Carat.

Cushion diamond

An older style diamond cut most often found in used and estate jewelry.

Choosing your diamond size

When it comes to diamonds, most people focus on size. Whether this is appropriate depends on your future bride’s taste. For petite women with small hands, smaller diamonds (0.75 Carat or smaller) may be appropriate.

For women who have longer fingers or larger hands, a larger diamond may be more appropriate. Take a look at the jewelry she normally wears. Is it flashy? Elegant? Understated? Your future bride’s personal style should guide your choice regarding the size of the diamond.

The average engagement ring size in the United States is between 0.30 and 0.40 Carats. There are several elements that affect the overall presence of a diamond. The larger the diamond, the more likely you will see imperfections or discolorations. Find a diamond that has the right mix of sparkle, color (G, H, or higher), and cut before you worry about how large the diamond will be. In general, it’s hard to notice the difference between a 1.00 Carat diamond and a 0.94 Carat diamond.

The price range for these sizes can be anywhere from $1,000 to $11,000, with larger carat sizes costing more. You will need to determine your budget ahead of time and then stick to it. Regardless of your budget, you will find a large assortment of diamonds available.

Ring settings: highlighting a ring’s sparkle

Now we have to choose how the diamond will be set on the ring. There are various options, from classic and elegant solitaires to halo and sidestone settings that really glisten in the sun. Not every diamond shape will fit in every setting, so you have to make sure the diamond you pick works in the setting’s predetermined shape. At Barsky’s, we can make almost every setting work, but if you have a question, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

The most popular types of metals used for ring settings are:

  • Platinum
  • 18k White and Yellow Gold
  • 14k White, Yellow, and Rose Gold
  • Palladium

Platinum is a white metal. It is heavier than gold and over time develops a satin finish that can be polished back to a bright shine.

White gold, yellow gold, and rose gold are all popular metals used in engagement ring settings. Your choice is dependent on your bride’s personal taste.

18k gold typically comprises 75% gold and 25% other alloys. It is usually more affordable than platinum and is easy to polish.

14k gold is the most popular choice for engagement rings and typically comprises 58% pure gold and 42% other alloys. It offers great value for the cost and is less expensive than 18k gold. It wears well and is easy to clean and polish. The yellow-gold color is not as strong in appearance in 14k yellow gold than it is in 18k yellow gold.

Palladium is a natural white metal that is also a hypoallergenic alternative but is lighter than platinum.

Barsky Diamonds has a vast selection of engagement ring settings to choose from in our gallery. We offer onsite custom design should you want to create your own unique engagement ring.

Popular engagement ring styles: putting it all together

The most popular style of engagement ring is the single solitaire. This is often what you see in pictures and drawings of engagement rings. After the solitaire, rings that feature accent stones are very popular. These rings increase the “wow” factor of the sparkle and can often accentuate a smaller center diamond. Most accent stones are diamonds, but sapphires and rubies are also possible.


Halo styled ring

The center diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds


Pavé styled ring

A roadway paved with tiny diamonds


Solitaire styled ring

The iconic engagement ring style where the focus is on a single center stone.

Three stone

Three stone styled ring

A center stone surrounded by three additional diamonds


Channel styled ring

Small diamonds placed in a secure channel on the ring’s band

I’m Nate Barsky, one of a long line of Barskys who have been creating diamond engagement rings in Philadelphia’s famous jeweler’s row for over 100 years. I’d love to help you find your perfect engagement ring: Get in touch today so we can help you find the perfect ring for you.

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