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To Halo? Or Not to Halo?

To Halo? Or Not to Halo?

Halo engagement ring with rose gold wedding band

Halo engagement rings. They’re here, they’re flashy, and they’re unapologetic. They’re also not going anywhere any time soon. While we have noticed a slight backlash with first time brides opting out of the halo effect (the style du jour is a solitaire round or cushion – a big one – on a thin and delicate diamond band) our upgrade customers have more than made up for it. Seemingly every woman who’s ready to upgrade her original ring or get a new one altogether is drawn to our gorgeous designer rings. Almost without fail it’s the models with tons of diamond micropave detailing and a halo (or two, or three.) So the halo style is here to stay for the foreseeable future, according to our customers and our favorite designers. And with the way they keep turning out new, fresh and exciting halo engagement ring styles every year, we’re certainly not complaining. The more diamonds the better! However, it does have many a bride-to-be asking herself “To Halo? Or not to halo?” As is the case with most of life’s major decisions, the best approach is a pro/con list with accompanying beverage of choice. So grab a cappuccino or mix up your favorite cocktail, and let’s explore.

Pro’s of a halo engagement ring:

Makes a diamond look larger

It’s no surprise that more diamonds = more bling. So opting for a layer of sparkling diamonds around your center stone automatically adds to it visually, and gives it the look of  much larger diamond. A halo can add up to 2 carats, visually. So it’s a favorite among glamorous brides and carat counters alike.

Makes a diamond look better

A halo, with its blinding dazzles, can distract from a diamond that’s otherwise fabulous, but maybe has a flaw or too. Let’s say it’s cut a little shallow to make it look bigger – that halo will add the sparkle it might lack. Or perhaps it’s a gorgeous color, but leaning towards the higher end of Slightly Included. Those tiny flecks of white will be camouflaged by a fabulous setting. A halo is also a great way to update a family diamond, one that’s sentimental to Great Grandma but needs to be brought into the 21st century.

Gives you room in your budget for a less expensive diamond

If, however, you’re shopping for your setting first, you can play around with how you’d like to split up the budget. Even if you get a top of the line setting, it’s pennies on the dollar for what you’ll pay for a top of the line diamond. So if you know that a big, beautiful diamond will stretch your budget beyond comfort (even using our tips) you can make the smart move and buy a smaller diamond with a great cut grade and acceptable color and clarity, then buy an amazing halo setting that will elevate the diamond of your choice.

Cons of Halo Engagement Rings:

Can be like “hanging a hat on a hat”

To borrow a phrase from someone we were chatting with on Pricescope, adding a halo to an already generously sized diamond can be a bit…much. See: any Real Housewife of Orange County. Sometimes, a larger diamond is just better left to its own breathtaking devices. Adding a halo can backfire, taking a big stone from timeless to tacky with the blink of an eye.


Halo engagement rings are the in thing – right now. Channel set princess cuts were once the only way to go, and marquise diamonds before them. Plenty of women still treasure their original engagement rings and wedding bands from decades past. The rest of them are the aforementioned ladies updating and upgrading to halo settings. This trend, while long-lasting and still strong, is a trend nonetheless. If you can’t imagine ever trading in your original ring, or updating the setting (we love you, Sentimental Bride, we really do!) then a halo may not be the right choice for you.

You Need a Matching Band

For most halo rings, the curve of the outer circle of diamonds means you need a coordinating band. For many brides, this is a non-issue – they want a band that’s made to fit their ring anyway! But if you were hoping to splurge on engagement ring and get a simple, less expensive wedding band, your options are limited. If you have one of the BIG diamonds mentioned above and plan to wear your wedding band alone 75% of the time, a notched band to fit a halo will look odd by itself. And if you love the wedding band stack like us, just know that it only works with some halo styles.

So there are drawbacks to this gorgeous style, just like there are to every ring style. The question isn’t then, halo or no halo – it’s just whether the pro’s outweigh the cons for you!


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