Solitaire vs. Halo Engagement Rings: Which One is Best for You?
Halo and Solitaire engagement rings have one big thing in common: they will fully emphasize the fire and brilliance of the center diamond, and have a distinct focus on the stone. However, they each have their unique characteristics, pros, and cons.
Whatever style you prefer, solitaire or halo engagement rings featuring VRAI created diamonds are timeless and modern at the same time. Our VRAI Diamond Experts can help you with any further questions you might have when you book an appointment.
What is a Solitaire Engagement Ring?
A Solitaire is a timeless engagement-ring style featuring one central diamond, without any other major embellishments such as side stones or extra metalwork on the band. There is, however, quite a bit of creative freedom when it comes to prongs and the height of the setting. You can have a classic, four-prong look, a more secure six-prong setting or even a compass setting (the prongs align with the cardinal points of a compass). Read our rings prong guide for more information. It’s a style that can withstand any fads and trends that emphasizes and spotlights your center stone unlike any other. Thanks to its sleek look, it can also accommodate a wide variety of wedding bands, from the simplest to the more ornate ones.
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What is a Halo Engagement Ring?
The Halo engagement ring features pavé diamonds encircling the larger center stone. It adds an extra brilliance and will make the center stone look up to half a carat larger thanks to the pavé girdle encircling it. In addition, halo styles are quite customizable. They can accommodate different style combinations, as you can combine different diamond cuts and shapes with the pavé halo. Consider Brilliant or Modified Brilliant cuts for unprecedented brilliance, or a step-cut center stone for some stylish contrast.
What is the Main Difference Between Halo and Solitaire?
The main difference between a halo and a solitaire is the presence of pavé diamonds circling the center stone in the case of the halo setting. Because of that, a Halo setting has more intricate metal work involved, and while getting a Halo might allow you to use a lower carat-weight for your center stone, it won’t ultimately make that much of a price difference because of that. VRAI’s Halo engagement ring with a Round Brilliant in 18k Yellow Gold, for example, starts at $1,500, the Signature Solitaire at $1,050.
In addition, not all halo settings are made alike. A Double Halo, with two concentric frames of pavé diamonds, both exponentially increases the shimmer and the perceived size of the center diamond. The Hidden Halo style, where a tiny band of diamond sits underneath the center stone, provides the best of both worlds: it adds extra glamor, but it still puts the center diamond front and center.
What Diamond Shapes Work Best with Solitaire Settings?
Any shape works great with solitaire settings. Round, Oval, Emerald, Pear, Marquise, Asscher, Radiant, and Princess will take center stage in a sleek solitaire setting. What you might want to be mindful of is the type of prongs. Four-prong settings are a timeless choice that work with any diamond shapes, both curved and geometric ones. Six-prong settings are more protective of the diamond and also harmoniously follow the curve of shapes such as Ovals and Rounds. Compass prongs complement square cuts such as Asscher, Princess, Cushion, and Radiant cuts, in what is known as a Kite setting.
What Diamond Shapes Work Best with Halo Settings?
Most diamond shapes will make a stunning halo engagement ring. “Halo, like a bezel, will do a good job of emphasizing the shape of the diamond itself. Because the halo of diamonds is made up of round brilliants, I love a halo paired with a step cut center stone like an emerald or an Asscher,” says Grace Taylor, VRAI’s Chief of Sales and Customer Experience. “For more of a vintage feel, pair a halo with a round brilliant or an oval.”
Queena Chang, VRAI’s Chief Diamond Expert and A GIA Graduate Gemologist loves pairing Pears and Marquises with a Halo setting. “Of course this will still depend on what diamond shape customers prefer, but I have found that the rim of pavé diamonds helps to soften the points on both of these shapes,” she says.
Does a Pavé Band Work both with Halo and Solitaire ERs?
A Pavé band is an alternative way to add that extra brilliance to your engagement ring, and it works extremely well both in solitaire and in halo settings. It creates an extremely pleasing effect with halos, though. “Pavé bands complement halo settings really nicely, because it looks like the whole ring is encrusted with diamonds,” says Taylor. “I find that pavé bands work really well on halos so that the ring itself doesn’t end up looking too top-heavy.”
Another way to decide whether or not you want a pavé band for your engagement ring is to reflect on what wedding ring you’ll likely pair it with. “For my customers, the Pavé will depend on what they would prefer for their wedding band,” says Chang. “Many customers want a pavé wedding band for when they are not wearing the ring, but not all customers will like a pavé engagement ring and a pavé wedding band. I tend to bring out one example for my customers to try together before they finalize their decision, as both plain and pavé Halos are beautiful in their own way!”
Halo vs Solitaire: Which Style is Better?
Both Halo and Solitaire engagement ring styles can be perfect: it all depends on personal preference. “People tend to have a really strong opinion on whether they love halos or prefer solitaires,” says Taylor. “Halos can make your center diamond look larger, so if you want something with a big look on hand it’s a great option! Halos are also a little bit more glammy than Solitaire, so if you love sparkle, they are a good way to go!”
3 Best Solitaire Engagement Ring Styles
VRAI’s solitaires put the focus on the center diamond without neglecting the architecture of the band and the setting. The Signature will put the spotlight on your center stone while also sporting a lower setting thanks to a slightly dipped sling, for ideal day-to-night wearability. By contrast, with clean lines and curved prongs, the Classic uniquely elevates the center stone for maximum brilliance. It's sleek but stable, and the way the prongs gently bow out from the center stone underneath gives you a really lovely view of the diamond from all angles. Need your stone to be extra secure? The Signature Six Prong features VRAI’s signature lower sling with six prongs for added security and a unique way to follow your diamond’s natural curves.
3 Best Halo Engagement Ring Styles
VRAI’s Signature Halo features individually-set pavé diamonds to accent and enhance the appearance of the center stone. Paired with a step-cut diamond, it creates a kaleidoscopic effect combining fire and radiance. The Floating Solitaire engagement ring features a unique setting that gently lifts your VRAI created diamond and its hidden halo, making them appear to float in air. If you’re more of a maximalist, the Halo Dome combines a dome band with two rows of pavé-set VRAI created diamonds, it has an innate heirloom quality of a ring that will be passed down through generations.
Shop for Halo and Solitaire Engagement Rings with our Experts
Both Solitaire and Halo engagement rings represent classic and timeless choices, and it might be hard to make a choice. Our experts are ready to answer any potential questions you might have.