Heirloom, Custom, or Ready-Made Engagement Rings?

Choosing an engagement ring is no small task. This is a piece of jewellery that you are going to wear for the rest of your life. Making your choice for the wrong reasons may cause you to fall out of love with your ring, which is never ideal. Taking aside the massive variety of styles, cuts, and settings, there are three primary types of engagement rings to choose from: heirloom, custom, and ready-made.

It is impossible to compare each type because they each offer benefits. Ultimately, the decision will come down to the ring that catches your eye (and heart). With that said, it helps to know a bit about each type so that you can make your decision more easily.

Choosing an Engagement Ring That’s Right for You

Here are the three engagement ring types that you will most likely end up choosing between when looking at rings.


Your husband-to-be may have an inherited ring that has been in his family for generations. Your late mother may have had a ring that you have loved since you were a child. This type of ring often has great sentimental value. That does not mean that it cannot be altered if needed. In some cases, you may need to have the ring resized. In other cases, the stones may be loose or you may want to change the stones to ones you prefer.


Custom rings are unique to your specific preferences. This is a great idea if you know what you want. You can work with a jeweller to design your dream ring. Starting from the overall structure of the ring to the setting, the stones, and any other details, this ring can be created from scratch. Needless to say, these rings are not an option for surprise proposals unless your partner knows exactly what you will love. You can, however, visit the jeweller together and even get some input from your partner if you need ideas.


Finally, there are ready-made rings. These rings are not simply made in bulk and sold as they are in commercial jewellery stores. Instead, they are rings with a pre-defined style. For example, they may include solitaire rings in a choice of metals. They could include three stone rings, split band rings, princess cut rings, pave halo rings, or any other type of ring that is not custom-made.

Looking through a ring collection is the best way to get an idea of the many different ring styles to be found. You could even find one that you love and then decide to make a few changes. You could customise a ready-made design by changing the stone, for example. You could use a classic design for inspiration, helping you plan your custom ring.

None of these types is better than the other. At the end of the day, the right ring will be one that you love at first sight. Taking some time to think about what you want will help greatly. When you’re ready to start the search for your dream ring, we are here to help. Get in touch with Cape Diamonds to get started now.

Contemporary Tension Set Engagement Rings

Tension set engagement rings take their name from the way that the stones are suspended between two parts of the band. This setting is fairly modern, making it ideal for brides who are looking for contemporary, eye-catching rings. There are many different ways that tension settings can be used in engagement rings. Many are set between split bands or wider single bands. Others are incorporated into ring designs that include additional settings.

Tension Set Engagement Rings

To give you some inspiration, here are some examples of modern tension set engagement rings.

Rose Gold Solitaire

Image: capediamonds.co.za

This beautiful ring from the Cape Diamonds collection features a split band with a solitaire in the centre. In rich rose gold, the ring is elegant and simple yet still striking. Rose gold is a metal that remains a popular choice for many brides. With a classic split band design and a flawlessly cut diamond suspended between the bands, this ring is sure to be a treasure.

Three Stone Swirl

Image: fascinatingdiamonds.com

Three stone rings have plenty of romantic symbolism. Each stone represents a phase in your life together as a couple – your past, your present, and your future. This ring style is versatile, with many designs featuring a trinity of stones. In this design, a centre stone is flanked by tension-set diamonds that connect on a swirled band.

Yellow Gold Twist

Image: allurez.com

If you’re looking for a minimal, understated ring, this design is sure to be perfect. This style is often seen with tension set rings. A twisted band flows in a swirl, holding the centre stone in place on each end. Although it looks stunning in yellow gold with a round cut diamond, it would work with any metal and any diamond shape or cut.

Two Tone Branch

Image: private-dimond-club.com

Two-tone rings add something extra to ring designs. When the metals flow together, they blend well without adding too much contrast. This simple design features two bands that come together in a branch, with white and yellow gold bands holding the centre stone in place.

Ornate Split Prong

Image: josephjewelry.com
This design is ideal for those who want something that will have plenty of sparkle. A classic solitaire takes centre stage, with suspended marquise cut stones flanking the centre stone. These flow into a pave encrusted band.

Graduated Multi Stone

Image: solomonbrothers.com

Featuring vibrant, dark blue sapphires, this ring is elegant yet not too dramatic. The graduated band begins with a delicate band below the finger, graduating to a series of sapphires that get larger as they get to the top of the band. The suspended sapphires are surrounded by pave stones on each side.

Cognac Diamond Pear

Image: langerman-diamonds.com

Coloured diamonds are a great way to get colour into your ring design. In this design, a warm, cognac coloured pear cut diamond is positioned between a gently twisting gold band. The combination of the warm coloured stone and the yellow gold gives this ring plenty of beauty.

Not sure whether tension set rings are the right choice? Cape Diamonds offers a wide range of hand-crafted ring styles, along with a custom ring design. Contact us today to find out how to start planning your perfect engagement ring.