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We’re used to seeing things a certain way, and the slightest tweak can make us sit up and take notice. Such is the case when gemstones are set sideways – a trend known as the East-West Orientation, also called horizontal rings.
What is an East-West Ring?
This is when the gemstone is set horizontally on the ring setting, with an east to west orientation. Normally, gemstones are place vertically or within the parameters of the finger. This is the traditional go-to style for gemstones that aren’t perfectly round or square.
One main reason for the vertical orientation is that it tends to elongate the fingers and give it length. A vertical orientation looks great on any hand and stays within the width of your finger.
But if you are one to embrace unique trends, the East-West engagement ring trend is going to be right up your alley. Whether pear, marquise, oval, emerald or other trendy cuts, diamonds and gemstones, when set sideways, the gemstone gets a completely different look.
It brings a fresh perspective to these traditional cuts. What’s more, you don’t have to stick with diamonds only to show off this style. Choose a unique and colorful gemstone to take it a step further.
Unique East-West Engagement Ring Designs
While there are many horizontal ring designs available, we’ve narrowed down our picks to the following 9 styles. These showcase the very best that East-West designs have to offer.
1. Bezel Set Horizontal Ring
Bezel settings not only provide more protection for the center stone, but they also emphasize its outline. When a horizontal gemstone is set in a bezel setting, it highlights the shape of the stone and the way it’s set.
2. Emerald Cut Moissanite Ring
The emerald cut is known for its clean and open step-like facets. Setting it horizontally emphasizes its width and the clarity of its faceting structure. A minimalist’s dream, this is stylish and classic.
3. Rutilated Quartz Ring
When it comes to gemstones, inclusions are usually a no-no! But in some cases, inclusions and flaws can make the center stone even more beautiful. This rutilated quartz stone set horizontally on a simple prong setting is the perfect example. The focus is on the natural pattern of the stone.
4. Garnet East-West Orientation
This clean cut garnet with a large open table and side facets emphasizes the beauty of the stone’s color, with minimal metal interference from the setting.
5. Champagne Diamond Ring
Keep it simple and classy with this minimalist champagne diamond rings. While you can choose the orientation of the stone, the sideways orientation appears more seamless and blends in with the metal.
6. Sideways Eternity Ring
Eternity rings hold symbolism and sparkle, regardless of the orientation of the stones. But when set with pear shaped diamonds pointing sideways, the ring appears totally unique.
7. Vintage Emerald Ring Design
With a setting that stands out with its detail, this East-West emerald ring highlights the natural inclusions of the stone and its soft pastel color.
8. Oregon Sunstone Sideways Set Ring
Oregon sunstone is known for its special metallic glitter and for its rarity. Cut into a pear shape and set sideways with smaller side stones, this ring highlights the intriguing natural color of the stone.
9. Modern Tapering Sideways Design
This tapered baguette diamond ring features varying metal thickness, an unusual diamond cut, and a rustic look. It all works together to bring out a modern aesthetic.
Whether you like flaunting tradition, or you just want to try out something new, the east-west setting might be for you.
However, just a word of caution. Trends such as the east-west style come and go, and not every trend is meant forever. While you might love this fresh look now, this may change down the line.
Some east-west set gemstones can be reset to a vertical orientation, so check with your jeweler whether this may be possible in the future. Prong-set gemstones are easier to reset whereas settings such as bezel and halos may be more difficult.