Ah, the quest for a truly unique engagement ring — it's a journey that many embark upon with wide-eyed enthusiasm only to find themselves navigating through a sea of familiarity. The endless round solitaires. The basic halo settings. The three-stone rings that never quit. While there's certainly nothing wrong with choosing a classic, timeless engagement ring, it's simply not for everyone. Finding a truly unique engagement ring requires a combination of exploration, creativity, and a willingness to break free from the mold.
Enter: The east-west engagement ring. For those on the thrilling journey of unearthing the perfect alternative to super-classic engagement rings, you may have finally met your match. But what exactly is an east-west engagement ring and what sets this modern engagement ring style apart? Buckle up, as we take you on a fascinating ride through the intricacies of east-west engagement rings — the trendy twist to traditional elegance.
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What is an East-West Engagement Ring?
While a round diamond sits perfectly pretty in the center of your ring, any elongated shape diamond such as an oval, emerald, pear, or marquise, is traditionally set parallel to your finger, north-south, if you will. But picture this: a tiny twist of that setting so that your center stone is arranged horizontally, perpendicular to your finger like a breathtaking horizon. That's the essence of an east-west engagement ring. While the traditional north-south setting is said to offer a flattering, elongating look to the hand, the east-west setting's horizontal orientation can make the diamond itself appear larger. The optical illusion of its wider spread across your finger gives it this appearance, along with a standout, eye-catching look.
The Rise of East-West Rings
The history of engagement rings is quite storied, dating back to the 15th century when Archduke Maximillian of Austria proposed to Mary Burgundy, a tradition that caught on but didn't quite catch fire. In fact, engagement rings didn't become popular among the masses of us everyday folk until quite recently, in the mid-1900s. And just within the last century, the traditional ring has taken on many different trends, from the Art Deco rings of the 1920s to the simple, understated rings of the post-war era, to the bold boho looks of the 70s, and the minimalist engagement rings of the 1990s.
So when did east-west engagement rings take the bridal world by storm? Well, they've been around for quite some time, but the east-west setting style has been gaining prominence recently for couples seeking out distinctive designs that deviate from convention. Offering a decidedly fresh aesthetic to modern brides, east-west engagement rings give you while still enjoying the glitz and glam of more traditional materials.
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Diamond Shapes for an East-West Engagement Ring
Now, let's talk bling! The east-west setting complements various diamond shapes, allowing you to play with your preferences. Obviously, a 1:1 square-shaped diamond like a princess, Asscher, or square radiant or cushion won't work for the east-west setting style, and neither will a round. But any elongated shape with a higher length-to-width ratio does the trick. This includes the oval, the emerald cut diamond, pear cuts, elongated radiants and cushions, and marquise diamonds too! While choosing a diamond shape ultimately comes down to personal preference, some of these will create a particularly striking effect that further emphasizes the diamond's shape.
If you enjoy a classic silhouette with a fresh perspective, a prong-set east-west solitaire ring gives you a subtle shift without taking too much of a stand. Keeping the overall style simple, mounted on a narrow band, lets the diamond shine from every angle. You can go a bit more on-trend and clean lines and more emphasis on form with a half-bezel set east-west engagement ring. Elongated shapes are further enhanced with the thin bars of metal on either end, and this works exceptionally well with an emerald cut or oval cut stone, depending on whether you like curves or straight lines. Talk about directional appeal!
A side by side comparison of two of our most popular rings that,East West Half Bezel Solitaire Engagement Ring With Oval Cut Diamond andEast West Half Bezel Solitaire Engagement Ring With Elongated Radiant Cut Diamond.
Colorful Modern East-West Engagement Rings
Now, don't go assuming that your engagement ring must be a diamond. If you want to walk a bit on the wilder side, change things up with a gemstone engagement ring. An emerald, ruby, or sapphire east-west engagement ring will really up the ante on style and sophistication. Choose a gem whose color really speaks to you, and a shape that stands out.
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All Points Considered
A half-bezel marquise east-west engagement ring (like you might recall on the finger of one Ms. Catherine Zeta jones, with a semi-hidden halo) is a popular choice today. But when thinking about choosing a pear cut or marquise cut diamond for your east-west engagement ring, ensure that your diamond has prongs or bezel coverage for its sharp points. This will help protect your diamond from damage that may occur during daily wear as well as cut down on snagging against clothing or catching other materials.
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Side Stones and Beyond
While many east-west settings stick to an otherwise traditional ring look (i.e. a solitaire style), sans extra diamonds, there are plenty of ways to still customize this ring style and ensure you have a major moment. Try a hidden halo, with stones just under the edge of your setting, sparkling from the engagement ring's side view. Or add pave diamonds to your band for extra bling. Just remember that with your diamond facing sideways, it will take up much more space on your finger, appearing larger, and leaving less room for accent diamonds or gemstones.
East-West Wedding Bands
If you want the timeless elegance of a matched engagement ring and wedding ring set but want to indulge in the east-west setting, don't worry. You can still pair many bands with this style of ring. Just keep in mind that there may be a slight gap between them. You can also super-emphasize the look with an equally enchanting east-west wedding band. East-west emerald cut diamonds look spectacular in a diamond eternity band. It's a timeless look with the subtle twist of horizontally set diamonds all the way around. You can also shop for a bit more color with a yellow oval diamond band complete with east-west settings. Any color or shape you can imagine is possible, and you can also swap yellow gold for platinum or any other metal you love.
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Now that you're familiar with the stunning style of an east-west diamond ring, are you the right person for this unique style? Whether you love cushion cuts, emerald cut diamonds, or any other fancy shape, the east-west ring is definitely an on-trend thing. With this knowledge in hand, you can confidently embark on your quest for the perfect symbol of everlasting love. Remember, it's not just a ring – it's a reflection of your unique journey together. Happy ring hunting!
Design a ring that screams you, like the East West Half Bezel Solitaire Engagement Ring With Elongated Radiant Cut DiamondThe Rise of East-West Rings.