Halo settings are no stranger to the engagement ring world; in fact, they’ve become one of the most popular settings with their sparkly supporting role to the center gemstone. But there’s another, lesser-known, type of halo setting called the hidden halo. If that sounds mysterious or secretive, you’re on the right track because this style setting is an under-the-radar trend that may be just the stroke of unique flare you’re looking for. So how do the halo and hidden halo settings compare?
The Beauty of Halo & Hidden Halo Engagement Rings
Pros & Cons of Halo and Hidden Halo
Halo engagement rings find their origin in the early Georgian Era in Europe with an increase in popularity during the following Victorian Era. Diamonds, pearls, and colored gemstones were used as a center stone with diamonds surrounding the stone to imitate the petals of a flower. The classic halo setting of today arose during the Art Deco Era, where small, concentric circles emanating from the center stone fit the emphasis on symmetry and geometric patterns.
The more subtle hidden halo setting has a relatively new and modern history. It accomplishes a sparkly look without committing to a traditional halo design. There’s a lot to love about both types of settings, so we’ve gathered a quick glimpse at the pros and cons:
- - Halo settings offer a bold and dramatic sparkle and is an easy way to make any center stone appear larger than its size.
- - The halo setting can be customized to fit and complement any diamond shape.
- - Hidden halo settings offer a sleek yet subtle look that stuns with a surprise sparkle.
- - The hidden halo setting as a technique accomplishes the look of a solitaire from face-up, with the added halo sparkle from other angles – like two rings in one.
- - The additional pavé stones with their individual settings in the halo make it more likely to snag on clothing.
- - Resizing of pavé halo settings can be difficult and pavé stones are more susceptible to coming loose and falling out.
- - Putting diamonds on the side in a hidden halo setting makes it difficult to stack something against it since the diamonds will be able to scratch it.
- - Crafting a hidden halo setting can sometimes mean that the center stone needs to sit higher on the finger than usual.
Types of Halo and Hidden Halo Settings
As one of the most popular engagement ring setting styles, there’s a variety of ways to design a halo setting.
In the classic halo style, the width of the halo metal is the same all the way around the center stone and set with the same size diamonds. This timeless look can be seen in our Janie, set with an oval diamond in a classic halo surround.
In contrast to the straight edge of the classic halo, a scalloped halo has rounded metal around each of the halo’s diamonds. It’s a softer look that can be seen on our Talin.
The sunburst halo style exudes a sweet elegance and is commonly known as the style of Princess Diana’s famous sapphire engagement ring. Each diamond in the halo is larger than with the classic halo and is set with a prong at the top of each accent gem creating a little point, like in our Craftie.
For an even bigger statement with your ring, there’s the ballerina halo setting that uses elongated baguette diamonds extending out from the center stone to create a bold, geometric look. They often alternate lengths and incorporate different shapes, as you can see in our Caldonia.
Hidden halos don’t have as many universally known styles because it’s still such a new design technique, but it’s generally described as a complete loop of diamonds that is placed somewhere below the girdle of the center stone. The diamonds that make up the halo are set to face outward, as you can see on our Zebo and Isabella.
Why is the Halo & Hidden Halo So Popular?
The biggest appeal of a halo setting is that it can make the center stone look bigger because of the increased brilliance and additional surface area of gemstones. The sparkle of the smaller stones really enhances the ring’s overall shine and can help put a spotlight on the beauty of the center stone.
The hidden halo offers a lot of unique appeal, perhaps the strongest being that it adds sparkle from entirely new and unexpected angles. Most people only consider the look of their ring from a face-up view. The hidden halo setting reminds us that as your ring is on your finger, you’re going to catch sight of it from all different angles. So a few peek-a-boo diamonds in a hidden halo look can be a very fun way to get added enjoyment from your ring.
Both the halo setting and the hidden halo setting take the simplicity of the solitaire ring and add some unique detailing and extra sparkle to elevate the style. This is especially true with the hidden halo that can still look like a solitaire ring from the top view while appearing more elaborate from side angles.
Depending on how extensive the halo setting is, the price of a halo or hidden halo setting will likely be pretty similar. The more classic the look, the less expensive the ring. As with every other type of setting, use of more design techniques, accent stones, and additional metal will result in a more expensive setting.
While halo and hidden halo settings are not necessarily more difficult to clean, there may be instances that could require some extra care. This is dependent on the placement of the hidden halo, especially if it’s at the base of the ring or set midway on the center stone. Most important about either type of setting is to be very aware of having your ring professionally checked to guarantee loose stones are quickly caught since pavé stones are more prone to loosening in their setting.
Tips on Styling Your Halo & Hidden Halo Settings
Halo and hidden halo settings are some of the most versatile engagement ring settings you can choose. They look fantastic in any metal, with any shape diamond, and can be especially fun to use with colored diamonds or gemstones. Since there are so many options and a plethora of details that can be included, designing a halo or hidden halo ring can seem overwhelming. So, concentrate on the following foundational tips, and then build from there.
Tip 1: The size of the stones in your halo will make a huge difference on the overall appearance. Smaller stones in the halo almost offer a dense smattering of sparkle around your center stone, often looking like an extension of the stone itself. Larger stones offer more of a vintage feel or a geometric look with definite clarity between the accent and main stones. But keep in mind that larger stones in the halo may also overwhelm a small center stone.
Tip 2: Play around with layering of halos into double and even triple halos, or by adding some side halos. Our Kelley ring shows this off perfectly, featuring concentric halos cascading down to the band.
Tip 4: Choosing to coordinate (or contrast) the gemstones in your halo vs. your center stone is another choice that can have a big impact on your ring's appearance.
If you’re looking for something that can accomplish a classic, timeless look with the potential for unique and surprising details, look no further than a halo or hidden halo setting. It’s as versatile as it is secure for the center stone. If diamond sparkle is what lights you up, the halo setting is sure to dazzle you and create a delightful engagement ring!