Less is More: How to Choose a Minimalist Engagement Ring

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Not everyone wants an engagement ring that’s flashy, large and makes a statement. There is a trend towards simplifying and de-cluttering things these days, and in the world of bridal jewelry, more couples are opting for engagement rings that are simple, understated, and classic. Let’s take a look at what a minimalist engagement ring looks like and how you can choose your own with some inspiration.

What is a Minimalist Engagement Ring?

This might seem like a basic question, but it’s a fair one. Minimalism is the notion that less is more. As some define it, it’s promoting those things that we value and removing the things that distract us from them.

JamesAllen Engagement Rings

So how does this apply in an engagement ring?

trinity halo diamond engagement ring
Not a minimalist ring. See more here.

It’s the paring back of size and excessive embellishments to end up with a ring that is simple but classy. And you can still have all the elements of an engagement ring, just on an understated scale. Take a look at the 2 three-stone engagement rings featured below.

three-stone diamond engagement ring in gold setting
Stylish three stone ring by Blue Nile. See it here.
minimalist engagement ring with round shape diamond in yellow gold
A petite minimalist engagement ring. See this ring here.

The first ring contains a lot of embellishments including larger diamonds, a channel set shank with a number of melee diamonds, an elaborate design, and prominent prongs. Overall, the ring is larger and clearly visible when worn.

The second ring is dainty and petite, still containing three stones but very different from the first. Is the first better than the second? Not at all. Does it stand out more? Yes, it does. Which one you choose depends on your preferences and style.

How to Choose a Minimalist Engagement Ring

There are many types of simple, understated rings on the market that look unbelievably chic and stylish! If you’re not quite sure what makes a minimalist ring, look for these common factors.

1. Unembellished (Thinner) Band

small solitaire minimalist engagement ring
A thin band gives a minimalist look. See this ring here.

An unembellished polished band is very simple and understated. In contrast, channel or pave settings add a lot of sparkle and pizzazz to a ring. When paired with a solitaire, a smooth band gives a pared back, minimalist look. The thinner the metal and the smaller the stone, the more understated the look.

2. Smaller Stones

Minimalist east west engagement ring
Small stones make the ring look petite. This one is a .07 diamond. See this ring here.

Choose a smaller sized diamond or gemstone for your engagement ring to emphasise the daintiness of the design. While most people desire a 1 carat diamond in the USA, this isn’t the case everywhere. For example, in Japan, the average diamond size is .30 carats.

What matters most is quality. You can go down as low as .07 carats for a diamond, as featured in the ring above, and still have a ring that catches your eye.

3. Pick Your Setting

The most popular engagement ring setting is the classic solitaire, where the diamond is held up by 4-8 prongs. How you choose to set the solitaire depends on your personal preferences, but the most popular options are prong and bezel. From these two, the prong setting is timeless and beautiful, allowing maximized light performance while keeping the stone protected.

However, you can also opt for a bezel or flush setting for a more minimalist look. With the bezel setting, the stone is surrounded by a lip of metal, that keeps it safe and protected from damage, exposure, and hard blows. The flush setting is where the stone is flushed into the metal and sits level with the metal.

This is also a very protected position for the stone and keeps it safe. However, both these settings tend to minimize the sparkle of the stone due to the excessive metal used to hold it. If you’re looking for a bit more sparkle, then we recommend the prong setting.

4. Add Some Unique Features

Sapphire Diamond Ring
Sapphire Diamond Ring. Check price here.

To make your ring stand out from the masses, while still keeping it understated, add some unique features to it. For example, you can choose to set your stone horizontally as opposed to vertically, for an instantly intriguing look.

unique minimalist ring
We’re in love with this unique ruby cluster design! See it here.

Some ring designs feature a combination of gemstones, like the ring below which pairs ruby and diamond in a very unique way. The end result is a ring that is simply gorgeous.

5. Nature-Inspired Elements

unique minimalist engagement ring with leaves
Nature-inspired engagement ring. Check price here.

Minimalism is all about keeping it natural and simple. And what better way than to celebrate nature? Nature inspired designs are an excellent way to add some natural looking features to your ring. Leaves, vines and flowers are popular choices and can be added to your ring in lots of ways.

Raw diamond engagement ring in yellow gold
Raw diamond ring. See this ring here.

But one of our favorite ways to keep everything natural, is to choose a raw gemstone. Raw diamonds, especially, have a very attractive look and are often paired with rustic settings.

Who Should Buy a Minimalist Engagement Ring?

You might be wondering if a minimalist engagement ring is right for you. Minimalist rings are perfect for you if you relate to the one or more of the following:

1. Comfort:

You prefer something small and understated that is comfortable to wear daily and won’t get in the way of using your hands. Not many people think about this, but a large flashy diamond ring can be a pain to wear. Not only do these things get caught in everything from sheets to hair to clothes, but they can also make typing or using your hands actively for work difficult. If you’re planning to wear your ring on a daily basis, then a minimalist design might work better for you.

2. You March To Your Own Beat

You don’t care what society’s norms or what others think. Many people opt for large diamond rings as it is the ‘thing to do’. After all, shouldn’t an engagement ring be a diamond one, and isn’t a larger diamond always better? That may be what society says, but is it what you really want? Remember, an engagement ring should be a symbol of your love and commitment to your other half not a fashion statement that is dictated by societal expectations.

3. You Don’t Want to Spend Thousands

You don’t want to spend a load of money on your engagement ring but would rather invest those thousands of dollars in something worthwhile like a house or travel. Most diamond engagement rings cost on average about $6000. You can find a gorgeous minimalist ring for about $500.

4. You’re a Minimalist at Heart

You just like small, dainty jewelry and always have. Now you don’t want to suddenly change your style and sport a massive rock because it just doesn’t feel like you.

Where to Buy a Minimalist Engagement Ring?

Cathedral tulip setting engagement ring
A minimalist ring by Whiteflash. See more here.

You won’t find a ‘minimalist’ collection at most engagement ring retailers, but if you go through their ring settings, you’ll spot lots of gorgeously simple, but still eye-catching rings.

We recommend the following retailers for rings, loose diamonds, and gemstones online.

Why: Superior diamond imaging, competitive prices, high quality, wide range

An online giant in the diamond space, James Allen a stunning collection of high-quality ring settings. The images and videos are unparalleled in quality and makes shopping online similar, if not better, to shopping in store.

Why: Competitive prices, wide range, great quality

Known for dominating the online diamond industry since the late 1990s, Blue Nile offers one of the largest online diamond inventories. Search settings and diamonds here at competitive prices, solid after-sales policies, and good customer service.

Why: Superior cut quality, exclusive range, stunning designs

Whiteflash has earned an international reputation for the elite quality of their precision cut diamonds, and for their impeccable collection of designer engagement rings. Check their stunning range of diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.

Why: Impeccable quality, superior cut, small but exclusive inventory

Brian Gavin is a renowned expert in diamond cut – and it shows in their superior diamond quality. For the very best in diamonds, search their inventory of designer diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.

Why: Try before you buy, build your own ring, great quality  

If you want to try out how a round diamond ring looks on your finger before you commit to buying one, check out With Clarity’s Home Preview Service which is completely free. Find out more here.

Check out our quick comparison of the top online engagement ring retailers for more information.

Etsy and Amazon are also great places to search for more affordable minimalist rings, as well as a greater range. These two platforms brings a world of artisan jewelers in one place. You’ll find unique, handcrafted and stunning minimalist engagement rings on both platforms.

However, as each Etsy and Amazon shop has its own polices, it might take some time to review all their details ahead of making a purchase, but that’s usually time well-spent.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it! Our recommendations on how to buy the perfect minimalist ring without sacrificing on quality and beauty. With an understated ring, prioritize elegance and simplicity, with a focus on clean lines, understated design elements, and a focus on the main gemstone (if there’s one). But remember that minimalist doesn’t mean boring – so go out and express yourself!

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