The term halo set for engagement rings is a trendy new term for a ring style that has been around since the 1800s. Each incarnation has a unique style. In the 1920s, the ring style reflected an art deco flare. The diamonds were surrounded by milgrain detail on the band and surrounding the diamonds. It was meant to highlight and accentuate the diamond to make it appear larger. Today, the halo set doesn’t have the accentuating details on the band or surrounding the diamonds.
There are three different styles of halo engagement rings. The halo set comes in a Bezel design, which features a large center diamond. The surrounding diamonds are flush with the center diamond. The classic style of halo engagement rings features a raised diamond reminiscent of the traditional solitaire. The frame of diamonds around the diamond is lower. Vintage-inspired halos have micropave and other detailing along the band and surrounding the frame of diamonds.
The popular and notable designer of Art Deco and Nouveau style rings was J. E. Caldwell. In 1839, James Emmott Caldwell supplied many rich citizens with Art Nouveau style jewelry. Throughout the 1920s, the style of Art Deco swept the jewelry world and J. E. Caldwell provided some of the more fashionable pieces of the time. The Art Deco sets were set with more than diamonds. Sapphires, rubies and opals were popular choices for the middle stone in halo sets. Today, halo engagement rings are extremely popular though less ornate. The lines are sharper, and the diamonds often stand on their own without band embellishments.
Popular celebrities have brought back the halo style engagement ring. Most notably, Princess Diana wore a halo sapphire engagement ring. It was recently passed down to Kate Middleton. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Hudson and Natalie Portman all wear halo rings. This could account for the surge in the interest surrounding a style that has been around since the 1800s.