Three Stone Engagement Rings: Buying Guide
So you are thinking of buying a 3-stone engagement ring. Great choice. It has symbolism, great sparkle and awesome finger coverage. But before you jump into looking at designs, there are a few things you should be aware of.
This article looks at the meaning behind a 3-stone engagement ring, the pros and cons, the types of rings possible, and how to think about designing a 3-stone ring.
Summary / TLDR
The 3 stone engagement ring represents a couple’s past, present and future together. It can also represent friendship, love and fidelity
There are 3 different types of 3 stone engagement rings:
- symmetrical, consistent (or repeating) and asymmetrical.
- Understanding what you like is the first step in designing a 3 stone engagement ring
At Four Words, you can design your own 3-stone engagement ring with our designers. You don’t need to exclusively use diamonds in your designs. In fact, many of our favourite designs use different gemstones for something truly unique!
What is a 3-stone engagement ring?
A 3 stone engagement ring features 3 gemstones that represent the couple's past, present and future together. Some people also believe the 3 stones also represent friendship, love and fidelity.
3 stone engagement rings are a classic, timeless style that is both sentimental and meaningful. They are a popular choice for brides who want an engagement ring with symbolism and sentimental value.
The 3 stones are usually of equal size and shape (but don’t need to be) and are placed in a row on the ring band. The 3 stones can be diamonds or a combination of diamonds and coloured gemstones like sapphire or ruby.
The 3 stone design also offers more finger coverage and sparkle than a solitaire diamond ring. It is a great option if you want a ring with extra bling and shine. A 3-stone ring also offers more customisation options since you can play around with the gemstone shapes, sizes and types.
What are the different designs of a 3 stone engagement ring?
There are three main styles of designs when it comes to a 3 stone engagement ring.
Symmetrical 3 stone engagement ring design
The first is where the centre stone is much larger than the other two stones. The other two stones are accents to the centre stone.
Consistent 3 stone engagement ring designs
The second design is where the gemstones are relatively evenly sized. The centre stone is sometimes a little bit larger. The gemstones are also usually the same colour and shape.
Asymmetrical 3 stone engagement ring designs
The third and most interesting are asymmetrical designs. In this setting, there is a centre stone and the other two stones sit on the same side. For example, with our client we designed a 1-carat Radiant cut diamond with two smaller accenting Pear cut diamonds on a 14K gold band.
Advantages of a 3 stone engagement ring
#1 They give good finger coverage
Unlike solitaires, a 3-stone engagement ring will provide a lot of coverage over your finger. This reduces the exposure of the band and gives shape to your finger.
In the image below, we can see a Pear cut solitaire diamond with less finger coverage compared to a 3 stone Emerald diamond engagement ring.
3 stone engagement rings are also much more budget-friendly compared to a solitaire ring for the same finger coverage. For example, three 1 carat diamonds are cheaper than one 3 carat diamond.
#2 These 3-stone engagement rings offer more sparkle
With the added finger coverage and the diamonds following the curve of the ring, there are more angles for your ring to sparkle.
#3 There are more ways to personalise your engagement ring
You could argue there is at least three times more ways you can personalise you engagement ring. Not all stones need to be the same colour or shape and it is a great opportunity to create something that is uniquely yours.
Many of our clients have used stones such as sapphires, rubies and even alexandrites. Below is an example of a 1 carat equivalent blue sapphire with two accenting pear diamond stones.
Disadvantages of 3 stone engagement rings
They are slightly harder to clean
Depending on the way your gemstones are arranged, they may be harder to clean. But only slightly. Letting your ring sit in soapy water and drying it with a soft towel usually does the trick. And if it doesn’t, take it to your local jeweller will get it cleaned.
You need to work with a great designer
Because of the number of different ways you can design a 3 stone engagement ring, it means that there is such a thing as a ‘bad design.’ This might be to do with the structure, aesthetic or practicality of your ring. At Four Words, all our rings are uniquely crafted. But even if you don’t work with Four Words, we highly recommend working with a designer. Be careful designing a ring yourself online or buying one off the shelf.
How to design your 3 stone engagement ring
Once you have decided on a 3-stone engagement ring, you then need to decide on what composition you want to go for: symmetrical, consistent or asymmetrical.
The best way to do this is to go through Pinterest or Instagram and save rings that you like. Having a collection of rings will help your designer better understand your preferences.
As you start to develop a taste for what you are looking for, narrow down and note down what you like and don’t like.
It also helps to pay attention to little things like the number and colour of the prongs, the colour of the band and the relative sizing of the diamonds or gemstones.
You also don’t need to use large carat sizes to create a unique 3-stone engagement ring. For one of our clients, we created this vintage-styled 3-stone engagement ring with small diamonds on a silver-coloured band.
Colours and Shapes
Once you have decided on your composition, the next step is to choose the colours and shapes of your 3 stones. Many of our clients at Four Words tend to go with the symmetrical look. We also see many of them have their centre stone a different colour and shape than the accent stones.
We often see similar shapes grouped together. The ring below is an example of an Oval cut centre stone with two round accent diamonds.
The alternative is to use stones with corners. Another one of our clients designed a three stone using an Emerald cut as the centre stone and two accenting stones to create a symmetrical design.
Another one of our clients wanted to use colour to create a contrast between colour and sparkle. Here we see an Alexandrite centre stone with 2 pear diamond accent stones. What we love about this engagement ring is that the centre stone is not a diamond!
The Wedding band is a seven-diamond stone tiara. And together, they look outstanding.
This type of result is only possible by working closely with an expert design team. So if you are interested in designing your own 3-stone engagement ring, contact us.
As seen above, you don’t need to use diamonds for your 3 stone engagement ring. We have had customers that use two or three different gemstones ranging from sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
And when it comes to colours, the world is your oyster. At Four Words we have a range of different coloured diamonds, sapphires, rubies and sapphires. We also stock exotic stones such as alexandrites, spinels and amethysts. Working with our designers will also ensure the integrity of the stones and the ring as a whole.
Ultimately your choice of stone will depend on your budget and design. While diamonds are the go-to gemstone, they may not suit every situation.
How much does a 3 stone engagement ring cost vs a solitaire?
Depending on your gemstone and gemstone size, 3-stone engagement rings cost about 10-20% more than a solitaire.
For example, a 1 carat diamond solitaire may cost $5,000 while a 3-stone diamond engagement ring (1 carat centre stone with 2 x 0.5 carat diamond accent stones) can cost around $6000. The additional cost comes from the additional diamonds and setting costs.
There is however one way that a 3 stone engagement ring can be cheaper than a solitaire. Larger single stone carats are more expensive than multiple smaller ones. For example, three 1 carat diamonds are cheaper than one 3 carat diamond. The total carat weight is the same, but the 3 stone ring would be cheaper than the 3 carat solitaire. It will also give you more finger coverage and be more practical!
You can also reduce the cost with no compromises by using lab grown gemstones. Lab grown gemstones are typically 40% cheaper than their mined alternatives. They are also optically, physically and chemically exactly the same as their mined counterparts — without the ethical dilemma. At Four Words we offer both and will do our best to work within your budget.
What is better? 3 stone or solitaire engagement ring?
The answer to this is subjective and there are trade-offs. It depends on personal taste, its practicality and price. For example, 3-stone engagement rings are typically 10-20% more expensive than solitaires but you do get two more stones and a more sparkly ring with more finger coverage.
Can you get a three stone engagement ring without using diamonds?
Yes. Many of our clients use gemstones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
What is the best band for a 3 stone engagement ring?
It depends on the colour you are after. If you are after gold, we recommend 14K hypoallergenic gold. If you are looking for a silver finish, we recommend using platinum or titanium. The band (with the setting) also needs to be strong enough to hold all the stones together.
What is the sparkliest 3 stone engagement ring design?
The Round cut is the sparkliest diamond shape. So incorporating this into your 3-stone engagement ring is a good idea. This can be as the centre stone or as an accent stone.
Design your own 3 stone engagement ring
If you are looking to design your own 3-stone engagement ring, ensure to work with a boutique that has your best interest in mind. At Four Words, we design all our client’s rings from scratch by paying attention to what they love and making it work. All the photos of rings in this article have been designed by us. Give us a go by reaching out.
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