A halo cut engagement ring is one in which the central stone is surrounded by a border, usually but not always set with smaller stones. Within this simple definition there is room for a lot of variation, and the halo cut design is used to create rings with many different looks. Because of the range of possibilities available with this design, it truly has something to offer to all tastes.
The purpose of the halo cut is to emphasize the central diamond. In this respect, the border could be compared to the frame of a beautiful painting, an item that is meant to look good itself as well as complement the thing it encloses. Strictly speaking, this border does not have to bear any stones and borders of plain metal are sometimes seen. Whether it has stones or not, this border can be any shape and while circular borders are most common for halo cut engagement rings, there are also some with rectangular, oval or heart-shaped borders.
The diamonds in a halo cut engagement ring are usually in the style called “cushion cut,” because stones of this shape look so good when placed side-by-side. The cushion cut allows some variation in appearance depending on the arrangement of the facets and the degree of rounding on their edges. There is no more beautiful design for an engagement ring than a border of small cushion cut diamonds surrounding a larger one. When diamonds are set close together so that they form a continuous layer over the metal, they are referred to as “pave set.” The word pave means the same thing as the English word but is pronounced “pah-vay.”
While the diamonds in the centre of the ring are obviously the main emphasis, the overall look can be enhanced by the design of the rest of the ring, which is called the shank. A design that is enjoying a lot of popularity these days is the split shank, in which the shank separates into two sections before connecting with the central setting.
In some cases these split shanks are left unadorned, while in others they are set with more small cushion cut diamonds. There are a few examples where the split shanks are used to hold more elaborate groupings, such as one popular design in which two smaller halo arrangements are placed on the shanks flanking the central arrangement on either side. Other variations include twisting the shanks around each other or using them to completely surround the central setting, in effect providing a second border. Different looks can be achieved by varying the size and spacing of the shanks.
With so many brilliant stones grouped together, it’s easy to see why halo cut engagement rings are becoming so popular. They have a lot of “sparkle factor” and offer a wide array of different looks. However, the stones are not the only thing to be considered. The type of metal also contributes to the look of the ring, and designers often use this to great advantage. White gold, yellow gold and platinum are all used for halo cut engagement rings, sometimes in combination. Rings with split shanks of different metals can have a stunning two or three-tone colour scheme that is guaranteed to draw compliments.
Halo cut engagement rings have always been around, but they are seeing a surge in popularity now. Shoppers looking for gorgeous, unusual engagement rings are beginning to discover that with all these possibilities, the halo design is really many different designs making up an amazing array of styles.