Distinctive engagement rings are having a moment. There are all the brightly colored rings that gained popularity in recent years, as well as interesting stone cuts. Perhaps the most interesting trend from the last few years, though, are stacked rings, nested sets, and reoriented stones, known as East-West settings. (Image Credit: Robtowne0/ Pixabay)
If you’re in the market for an engagement ring style that really makes a statement, then, consider one of these styles, all perfect for the woman who isn’t afraid to break the mold.
East Meets West
If you look at a conventional ring setting, the stone is positioned along the length of your finger. This is referred to as a North-South setting. Over the last several years, though, several notable designers have begun reorienting their stone settings, creating what’s known as an East-West setting, where the stone sits across the width of the finger.
What’s so special about changing the direction a stone is set? On the surface, this may not seem like much, but East-West settings can be particularly interesting when they feature asymmetrical gems, such as teardrop style stones. That’s because our eyes expect that balance created by most North-South settings, while the East-West orientation retains an element of visual surprise.
Nested ring sets are precisely what they sound like – two rings that are shaped so that one fits inside the other in some way, such as with one arched ring fitting around the stone of another, like these wedding sets from the Chicago jewelers Love & Promise. It’s an attractive way of combining pieces, but part of what makes nested sets interesting is that they allow for complimentary, but distinct pieces to sit side by side. Nested rings often consist of mismatched pieces with different stones or mixed metals, a look that can be harder to pull off when combining unrelated pieces.
Ring stacking – combining several rings on each finger across the hand – isn’t unique to engagement and wedding rings, but the style is a natural outgrowth of nested ring designs. But while nested rings are meant to fit together, ring stacks are individually curated. For example, a woman might wear a third ring along with her engagement and wedding ring, and then additional rings on the other fingers, all of which are designed to complement each other. They might mix stones or thicknesses, play with different shapes, or introduce other metals. The options are endless.
Another thing that makes stacked rings so much fun is that you’re never really done. You can always keep adding new rings, upgrading the elements to match your own evolving style or the occasion. In this way, ring stacks are a modern answer to the cocktail ring; instead of drawing the eye to a single dramatic piece, the stack makes a statement all its own.
You can’t go wrong with a classic diamond engagement ring – such pieces are timeless for a reason – but you shouldn’t limit yourself to the classics if you’re called to something bolder. With so many exciting ring styles readily available, there’s something for every woman, and at price points that won’t necessarily break the bank.