Unusual Engagement Rings – Tips & Inspiration

For those who veer away from tradition and classic styles, unusual engagement rings offer a huge diversity of rings that are unique and quirky, without being too over the top.

Jewellery is ultimately a deeply personal thing. Rings worn by brides-to-be are not worn every single day up to the wedding; they are worn every day afterwards as well. While some brides prefer styles and stone cuts that are classic, minimal, art deco or even vintage, others dream of a ring that does not fit into any mould. No two people are truly the same, after all. It makes sense then that such a ring needs to reflect the individual style and personality of its wearer.

Choosing Unique Engagement Rings

How do you about choosing (and more importantly, finding) engagement rings that are creative and original? Some things to keep in mind include the following…

#1 Look beyond the standard metal choices for the ring band.

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White gold, platinum, rose gold and yellow gold may be the best known options, but there are many other ways to add colour and detail through the band. Black gold, tungsten steel and oxidised silver are just some examples, but there are many other ways to infuse unusual colour into metal. Ask your jeweller what they recommend to see what options you could consider for your band.

#2 Look for geometric or less-than-perfect shapes.

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Hand-carved settings, slightly off-beat shapes and geometric elements add visual impact and variety to the ring setting. Consider a stone cut in a quirky style, or use the band to create the illusion of shapes. Angled shapes can be a fresh alternative to round, curved shapes as well. Many boho style rings use angles along with rough cut stones and hammered metal to give a worn, less polished appeal.

#3 Take pave settings to a whole new level.

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With this style, tiny stones are set into the metal in a way that fuses the band and stones. On one hand, you have a simple band, but on the other, you have beautifully encrusted stones set into the metal itself to make that simple band sparkly and eye-catching. Adding other coloured gems to your pave style diamond engagement ring, in a scattered pattern that does not look too fussy will result in a truly unique style that is simple but stunning.

#4 Change the entire dimensions of the ring.

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Take the concept of a ring, and turn it on its head with a different form altogether. Open rings are a little like body jewellery, featuring a semi-circular shape and an opening on the top. The ring sits snuggly onto the finger, but instead of a single setting, you can have two or more settings. While this style is undoubtedly beautiful, it can be a little easier to risk exposure to wear or tear. Be sure that the settings are smooth and fitted in a way that does not catch on items, and take extra care that it is not able to slide off without being physically removed.

#5 Consider stones, setting, metal and overall design.

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Pairing vividly hued rubies with a vibrant rose gold creates an instant impression. Likewise, delicately shaped stones will look especially beautiful in intricate settings, on an unusually shaped band. Details can transform a basic design into something truly extraordinary. Consider each separate aspect of the ring – band style, shape, stone type, setting, stone cut, band metal, added stones and engravings – and ask an experienced, skilled ring designer to create something that infuses all of those details into something magical. Get inspired by fantasy, visual art, colour boards, nature and anything else that catches your fancy.

Being someone who does not colour between the lines can make the ring search slightly more challenging; particularly if you battle to get your bold ideas across to your jeweller. Having some visual prompts and a better idea of what to look for can make things somewhat simpler. Above all else, it can be extremely useful to ask for your jewellery designer’s insight – a good designer should be able to work with you closely to create engagement rings that are every bit as unique as you are!

5 Beautiful Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring Ideas

Featuring a single stone that takes centre stage in the ring design, solitaire diamond engagement rings remain a timeless choice throughout each century. What makes this style so diverse and flexible is that it gives plenty of room for personalisation. The ring can be on the subtle side, or it can be bold and fabulous, with band choice, setting choice and overall design style all influencing the final result.

If you have been daydreaming about having a shiny solitaire diamond on your engagement ring, we have some inspiration that is sure to help you get one step closer to finding (or creating) your dream ring.

Finding Inspiration for Solitaire Engagement Rings

Some ideas that you may consider for this style of ring include the following…

  1. Rose gold band with unusual cut. For something original yet classic, choosing a metal such as rose gold, along with a single stone cut in a shape such as pear can add impact without being over the top. What makes this style different is the use of soft rose gold, which is complemented by a modern cut that adds visual interest in a subtle way. For this style, try to keep the focus on the stone – a cut or setting that is too elaborate may take away the subtlety. A delicate band and simple setting keep the design simple and chic.

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings - Rose Gold

  1. Curved band to highlight stone. A band that is designed to showcase the single stone is a lovely way to highlight the diamond. This gives the ring a modern look, while still retaining a classic elegance that is not overly detailed or ‘fussy’. This style will work well with any metal, and works especially well with minimalist or classic styles of rings.

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings - Curved Band


  1. Teeny tiny stone on delicate band. Another minimal look that works well with solitaire settings is a thin, fine band with a small, round diamond. This type of ring works well in any metal – particularly gold metals or platinum. For brides who do not usually wear a lot of jewellery, this is a good choice, as it is pretty without being too bulky or flashy.

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings - Small Stone Delicate Band

  1. Pave band with classic cut stone. A delicate pave band with tiny stones embedded into the metal is offset by a single stone in a classic round or oval cut. This style can be bold or subtle, depending on the width of the band, the size of the embedded stones and the size of the solitaire stone. The choice of metal can also make a difference, making this a diverse style that will suit many different tastes.

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings - Classic cut diamond

  1. Simple stone embedded band. Working well with art deco, minimal and modern styles, a thicker band embedded with a single stone encrusted into the metal makes a statement quietly and elegantly. This style is also practical, with less risk of catching the stone on fabrics and objects. Depending on the metal of the band and the sparkle of the stone, it can be subtle or bolder.

Soliatire Diamond Engagement Rings - Simple Stone Embedded Band

To find out more about custom designed, hand crafted engagement rings, contact Cape Diamonds today or visit our workshop in Cape Town to discuss your requirements.

Insuring and Protecting Diamond Engagement Rings

It may not be as romantic as proposals and sparkly stones, but when it comes to protecting diamond engagement rings, insurance is something you will have to consider if you want your precious ring to be safe.

One of the best reasons to have your ring made by hand, by a skilled craftsman, instead of picking one out from a store catalogue is that a custom designed ring is draw from scratch, making it fully unique. When creating a new ring, the jeweller will first create a blueprint of sorts, which includes all of the rings information – from stone to carat, sizing, details, dimensions and other important information. In the event that your ring is ever lost or stolen, this makes it a lot easier to replace your ring without losing any of the details or elements that made it unique.

What You Should Know About Engagement Ring Insurance

What should you be aware of when it comes to insuring engagement rings and protecting them against potential risks? Here are a few things to keep in mind for starters…

  • Certification. If your ring has a diamond that is authentic, it will come with certification to prove its authenticity. This certificate will list the stone’s cut, clarity, colour and other details, which will allow you to insure it to its true value.
  •  Appraisals. The value of diamonds does not remain the same, and over time, the value of these precious stones can change. As such, it is essential to have appraisals done annually so that the current value is always included within your certification. If anything ever happens to your ring, this will allow you to claim to current value.
  •  Maintenance. Losing a stone may not be as much of a disaster as losing the entire ring, but it can be distressing none the less. Making sure that your ring is kept in good condition over the years is important. Loose stones, broken settings and other wear and tear that is not seen to quickly can result in individual diamonds being lost. Read our post on caring for engagement rings for further tips on looking after your ring.

When shopping for this very valuable, very special item of jewellery, it is always smart to consider the more ‘boring’ aspects of the process, such as insurance, maintenance and certification. Taking the time to invest in a ring that will not only last you through the years, but also always be worth its true value is the best way to protect your investment for the future.

At Cape Diamonds, we offer insurance replacements as well as custom designed engagement rings that can be made to your preferences and exact specifications. View our gallery to see some of our previous work, or contact our workshop today to learn more about creating your own dream ring.