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. Some are even surrounded by other types of gems.
If you’ve narrowed your choice to a halo setting, your options don’t end there.
Let’s explore eight 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.
I landed on a solitaire setting for my wife’s engagement, but I’ll admit: If I had chosen another type of setting, I would’ve opted for a single halo, just like the one above.
The extra diamonds increase the total carat weight (CTTW) without a substantial increase in price, and they add to its brilliance.
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 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.
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.
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.
This bulky triple halo setting provides an example.
As you can imagine, another issue with triple halos is the difficulty of repairs and maintenance because of the sheer number of diamonds on the piece.
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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
9. 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.