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A halo setting is a style of ring that features a center diamond surrounded by smaller ones.
The main gem can be nearly any cut, from round or princess to marquise or pear. If you’ve narrowed your choice to a halo setting, your options don’t end there.
Let’s explore 11 types of halos settings to help you pick what’s best for you.
1. Single Halo
A single halo setting features a center diamond surrounded by one layer of gems. There are multiple variations of the single halo, where the diamond can be surrounded by a circle, square, or diamond of gems. In addition, the diamond doesn’t have to be round.
The accents or pave diamonds can encircle a square-, pear-, or rectangular-shaped diamond.
For example, the single halo setting below features an oval cut diamond.
While oval cuts are easily mistaken for round diamonds, the halo accentuates its shape to make the alternative style more apparent.
The single halo can also contain gems that aren’t traditional colorless diamonds. The diamond can be complemented by blue sapphires, red rubies, or green emeralds.
Its only criteria is one center gem surrounded by one level of smaller gems.
From there, you can choose the shape, colors, and types of gems that best fit your style.
2. Double Halo
A double halo is similar to a single halo except there are two layers of gems surrounding the center one. An initial decision about a double halo engagement ring is whether you want the levels of gems to match or contrast each other.
For example, you can select a colorless diamond, a ring of blue sapphires, and then a layer of small colorless diamonds. The blue will stand in stark contrast to the colorless ones and create a layered look.
The double halo setting below includes only colorless round diamonds.
Between the two layers and the accents on the shank, its total carat weight (CTTW) is much higher than if it were a solitaire. The 74 diamonds forming the double halo and lining the ring have a CTTW of 0.46.
One of the reasons many buyers choose this type of halo for an engagement ring is because the piece can appear larger at a fraction of the cost.
If you wanted the ring’s CTTW to be two carats, there are a few options.
The first is to choose a solitaire setting, where the CTTW is contained in one diamond.
Depending on the quality of the diamond’s color, cut, and clarity, it could cost between $9,000-$30,000.
Secondly, you could choose a single halo, where the diamond is about 1.75 carats and the halo contains the other 0.25 carats. The diamond could cost between $7,000-$20,000, and the setting anywhere from $1,500-$3,000.
The third option is a double halo, where the center diamond is 1.5 carats and the other 0.5 carats makes up the double halo. Prices for that center diamond begin around $4,000.
As another example, this halo setting has a CTTW of 5/8 and costs $1,883.
That’s around the same price you’d pay for a single diamond that’s colorless and eye-clean.
This demonstrates how a double halo can be an affordable option that still provides a high CTTW.
3. Triple Halo
A triple halo continues the patterns set by the single and double halo and adds a third level of diamonds for an even larger surface area.
They’re less popular than single and double halos but draw attention with its significant shine and elaborate design.
Take a look at this triple halo setting.
There are so many surrounding gems that the main diamond is lost in the middle. If you’ve chosen a large diamond for your ring, I recommend opting against a triple halo setting for this reason.
It won’t earn the prominence it deserves.
If you’re looking for the type of halo that provides the highest CTTW for the lowest price, this could be your best option because the CTTW is spread across many small diamonds.
Its price remains low relative to the entire carat weight being in one diamond, but it’s possible additional layers draw attention away from the main diamond.
One downside of the triple halo engagement ring is its width can be uncomfortable to wear. The three layers can spread across your entire finger, so if you have thin fingers, it may brush up against them.
This bulky triple halo setting provides an example.
Another issue with triple halos is the difficulty of repairs and maintenance. The gems are often placed tightly together, so if a few fall out and get lost, it’s not easy to find an exact fit to replace them.
Additionally, dirt and debris more easily accumulate in the nooks of each layer in a way solitaire settings avoid.
4. Hidden Halo
Hidden halo rings are a unique design that looks like a traditional solitaire at first glance. The distinguishing factor is the halo is not placed directly around the center diamond.
Instead, it wraps around the bottom of the setting below the diamond.
Notice how the hidden halo is most visible when viewing the ring’s profile.
If you look at the ring from the top view, you’ll likely miss the halo.
That means if you’re the one wearing the ring, it won’t be as noticeable, but others who see the ring from the profile view will notice the small gems at the base of the setting.
It’s become more popular in recent years because it combines the aesthetic of a traditional solitaire with the trendiness of a halo.
The hidden halo provides the opportunity for unique pairings between the gems and shank. Ring shanks come in various metals such as white gold, rose gold, and platinum.
You can choose the color and shape of your gems to best complement the metal.
For example, you can have colorless diamonds form a halo around a rose gold band, or blue sapphires wrap around platinum to contrast the silver.
5. Gemstone Halo
Most types of halos on rings use small diamonds as the halo, but that isn’t your only option. Instead, the halo can feature colored gemstones.
Whether your style is rubies, emeralds, or sapphires, you can complement a colorless center gem with color.
This gemstone halo setting features sapphires surrounding the main diamond.
Their deep blue pairs well with the diamond in the middle, so each part of the ring commands attention.
One of the trendier styles for a gemstone halo is a double halo, where one layer is gemstone and the other is colorless diamonds.
For a truly sparkling aesthetic, add diamonds down the shank.
A gemstone halo can also reduce the price because many other gems are cheaper than diamonds.
6. Pear Shaped
A pear-shaped halo shows the center diamond and halo don’t have to be a circle. Among the unique shapes is a pear diamond, also called a teardrop.
It’s a brilliant-cut diamond, so it’s designed to maximize sparkle, but its distinguishing features is the elongated shape similar to an oval or marquise cut.
Check out the image below of a pear-shaped halo.
The halo diamonds are packed closely to the center gem for a cohesive aesthetic. They form an outline around the main diamond that highlights its shape.
It can also make it appear larger without adding the carat weight that can raise the price.
The cut is less expensive than other cuts such as round or princess, so you can increase its size and still spend a comparable amount were you to choose another shape.
7. Star Halo
Most types of halos settings on rings feature diamonds that are all the same size. There’s the center diamond, which is larger, surrounded by multiple accents or pave.
But in the case of a star halo, this standard doesn’t always hold.
Instead, the star is formed by combining two sizes of diamonds. They alternate to create a star-like effect with the center diamond in the middle.
Other variations, like this one, include halo diamonds that are all the same size.
But the way they’re positioned still form the star.
Star halos are one of the most rare types, so it’s difficult to find many variations. One way to update its style is to change the band’s metal, such as to 14K rose gold or platinum.
Halo settings aren’t limited to a round or even square shape. In fact, halos can be formed in nearly any shape, even one that’s different from the center diamond.
An octagon halo follows that design concept.
Check out the example below with round-cut diamonds.
There are 22 small gems enclosing the main one. The metal placed around them forms the octagonal shape.
It provides the right balance of blending in with the main diamond to increase the brilliance of the overall piece, but it also creates a contrasting shape to enclose the gem.
Like other types of halos on rings, the shank can feature diamond accents all the way down or come in metals such as 14K white gold, rose gold, and platinum.
Another variation of the shaped halo is a hexagon. It’s a similar design as the octagon, but the diamond is placed inside a hexagonal halo, often made of colorless diamonds.
The halo setting below provides an example.
The metal encasing the halo diamonds forms a clear hexagonal shape that complements the round diamond at its center. Similar to other types of halos, it adds a layer of protection for the main diamond.
One way to distinguish it from similar styles is a double hexagon halo.
It can feature a smaller center diamond surrounded by two layers of accents encased in a hexagon.
Like other double halo variations, it can sit wide on your fingers, so it’s not recommended for someone with thin fingers.
10. Floral Halo
Floral halos resemble a flower. The center diamond is surrounded by 10-15 smaller, round diamonds, and the metal around it rises and falls over their curves.
The diamond in the middle is often round, but it doesn’t have to be this shape.
Most designs feature solid colors, but there are also options that include small bits of metal between each stone that match the color of the band.
Check out the floral halo setting below.
It’s considered a vintage, feminine style setting. This type of halo is available in the usual metals of 14K rose gold, 18K white gold, and more.
It has similar advantages to other types of halos, where it’s designed to create the appearance of a larger diamond without the resulting price increase.
11. Floating Halo
A floating halo is contrasted with a flush halo. While a flush halo features a center diamond flushed within the halo itself, in a floating halo, the diamond is separated from the halo and held above it by the prongs.
The space created between the halo and center stone is a modern, elegant look that could be right for your particular style.
Its advantage is it draws more attention to the center stone.
One reason buyers don’t choose a halo style is because it causes the most expensive part of the ring to blend in with other diamonds.
But in the case of floating halos, that isn’t an issue.
View this high-resolution image of a floating halo.
Notice how the center diamond sits above the halo.
It provides brilliance at two levels of the piece, giving it additional dimension not present in a flush halo setting.
This comes at no additional cost compared to the flush setting because the price is determined by the diamonds that form the halo and not where they’re located.
It should be noted this high-set ring isn’t right for everyone. It’s more easily damaged because the diamond sits higher up away from your finger.
If you have an active lifestyle or work with your hands during the day, you should choose a low-set ring.