Guide to Top Classic Engagement Rings: Timeless and Elegant Styles

Angelica Frey | April 06, 2023

A classic engagement ring is marked by simplicity and sophistication. Given that, ideally, you’ll wear your engagement ring for the rest of your life, choosing a setting that will never go out of style ensures that you will love it even decades after saying both “Yes” and “I Do.” Engagement rings featuring VRAI created diamonds are known for their classic and timeless designs, and given that they’re produced in our zero-emission foundry, you will cherish them in your heart. Book an appointment with our experts to see how much variety there is within classic styles.

What is a “Classic” Engagement Ring?

A classic engagement ring is a ring that transcends current trends in favor of timeless, streamlined designs. Styles that feature one simple band and simple prongs are, by all means, classic. “The center diamond can be prong set or in a basket, but the main purpose of that setting would be to emphasize and focus on the center diamond,” explains Queena Chang, VRAI’s chief diamond expert and a GIA graduate gemologist. Classic, however, does not necessarily mean minimalistic. “I would argue,” Chang continues, “that pavé and accents such as engravings or milgrain can still be classic.”

Do All Classic Engagement Rings Look Vintage?

It’s easy to equate the word “classic” with styles that were popular decades and centuries ago. And while some vintage-inspired styles can, indeed, be considered classic, not all classic styles have a vintage feel and vice versa. “When I think of Vintage-inspired rings, I think of specific styles that were popular for past eras of jewelry,” explains Chang. “The main difference is that these vintage designs are still inspired by a specific era, while classic rings are always timeless and transcend eras.”

Vintage-inspired designs that can be deemed classic include styles featuring Emerald or Asscher cut diamonds. The art-deco geometry and lines they create are timeless in their harmony and hall-of-mirrors effect.

What Is The Best Diamond Shape For Classic Engagement Rings?

A classic engagement ring certainly goes hand in hand with Round cut diamonds, the ultimate timeless diamond shape cut to maximize fire, brilliance and scintillation. Round diamonds complement most settings due to their inherently elegant and harmonious shape. On the other hand, however, Round Brilliant diamonds make up for 75% of diamonds sold worldwide, so if you want to retain a similar brilliance, Oval cuts are a solid alternative: not only are they less ubiquitous, but their elongated shape makes one’s hand and fingers look longer and slender. In addition, their larger surface area fully maximizes size per carat weight. Alternatively, if you favor step cuts and their elegant, lustrous shimmer, Emerald and Asscher cut suit classic settings.

What Metal Best Complements A Classic Engagement Ring?

All metals equally suit classic engagement ring settings: the main determinants are the diamond color and your own skin tone. In fact, colorless diamonds (DEF) are best suited for white gold; G-I diamonds suit all metals: white gold will hide faint traces of color, while rose and yellow gold will harmonize with the diamond’s natural hue. Diamonds with J color and beyond work best with yellow and rose gold, as those metals will make the diamond’s color characteristics elegantly stand out.

When it comes to skin tone, warmer skin tones work best with yellow gold; white gold and platinum complement cooler-toned skin best; as for rose gold, that’s the ideal metal for neutral undertones. Pairing skin tone with metal is by no means prescriptive, though: personal preference trumps undertones.

Why Choose A Classic Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Ring?

Lab-grown diamonds are a wonder of modern technology, but this does not mean they only suit modern and futuristic design. Visually, physically, and chemically, in fact, you cannot distinguish a lab grown diamond from a mined diamond. Both diamond types undergo the same growth process, and are subject to extreme heat and pressure. VRAI created diamonds are then cut and polished by master craftspeople In addition, lab grown diamonds are graded on the same exact scale and criteria as mined diamonds. The main difference is that lab grown diamonds are free of any environmental toll: VRAI created diamonds, for example, are produced in a zero-emission foundry located in the Pacific NorthWest.

Top 9 Classic Engagement Ring Styles

You can’t go wrong with classic engagement ring styles featuring VRAI created diamonds. These styles, whether they’re solitaire, vintage-inspired or sleek creations emphasizing curves, are designed to make the center diamond stand out.

Top 3 Solitaire Classic Engagement Rings

Not all solitaires are made alike. The shape and disposition of the prongs can greatly impact the overall look of your engagement ring. Our most popular classic solitaire styles are the Classic solitaire, the Signature solitaire and the Signature Six Prong solitaire. “The Signature versus the Classic is one the most common decisions customers have to make, because you're right that they are indeed very similar in their use: they feature a slender band, a solitaire, and a flush fit,” says Grace Taylor, VRAI’s Chief of Customer Experience.

“The Signature features our signature sling design, which allows the diamond to rest low on the hand while still sitting flush with a wedding band.” People tend to prefer the Signature when they want something a little less noticeable on the hand: people in professions where they're active or using their hands a lot, people who don't wear a lot of jewelry and are conscious that it will be a transition for them. By contrast, They prefer the Classic when they want something a little more elevated to showcase the diamond. The Signature Six Prong has the same characteristics as the Signature solitaire but with six prongs, but the way the prongs are placed emphasizes the rounded shape of Round Brilliant and Oval diamonds, while also keeping the stone more secured.

Top 3 Sleek Classic Engagement Rings

While still designed to draw the attention to the center diamond, sleek engagement rings have a bigger emphasis on metalwork, using arches and curves to elevate the beauty of a VRAI created diamond. These architectural designs retain a heirloom quality that goes hand in hand with a focus on craftsmanship and artistry. Bezel, Cathedral, and the Split Band all share these characteristics.

Top 3 Vintage-Inspired Engagement Rings

Vintage-inspired engagement rings are, by their own nature, about a specific time and place. However, if you combine art-deco shapes such as Emerald and Asscher cuts with any setting, the result is a timeless classic. If you crave the geometry of step cuts with the brilliance of brilliant cuts, the Radiant cut presents the best of both worlds: pairing a Radiant with two Trillion-cut side stones combines clean lines and scintillation.

Shop for Classic Engagement Rings with our Diamond Experts

While this edit was meant to give a good overview of classic engagement-ring styles featuring VRAI created diamonds, ultimately, what constitutes a classic is up to what works best with your own hand shapes and personal style. Our experts will help you uncover options that you might not even consider.