round engagement ring
Winterlyn Photography

If you’re planning a surprise proposal, it can be tricky to figure out the type of engagement ring your partner really wants. Sure, you can ask friends or family members or sneak around their jewelry box, but unless you talk to your partner directly about their desired ring (which is totally okay, too!), you’re going to have to make an educated guess. To help you pick the right sparkler, we talked to 20,000 engaged couples and found out the most popular engagement ring styles and details. By learning what’s trending in engagement ring world, it can help you determine the best piece of jewelry for your partner—and ensure your proposal is a resounding success.

Ready to start shopping? Here are the most popular engagement ring styles and details right now.

The Most Popular Engagement Ring Stone: Diamond

This shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone, but diamonds are still a ring recipient’s best friend. According to our study, 87 percent of proposers chose a diamond as the center stone of their selected engagement ring—with about half selecting a diamond that’s between one and two carats in size. If you think your partner would prefer something more unique, there are other stones that are growing in popularity as well, including morganite (a pink gemstone that’s totally trending), sapphires (hello, Kate Middleton!), and moissanite (a diamond-like stone).

The Most Popular Engagement Ring Metal: White Gold

Choosing a metal is another important part of the engagement ring shopping process. We found that a majority of proposers (54 percent!) pick white gold as their engagement ring metal. Why? White gold serves as a less-expensive yet similar-looking alternative to platinum, which is the purest and most durable metal. However, because white gold is plated in a material called rhodium, it will likely need to be replated every few years. If you’re interested in another metal, platinum, rose gold, and yellow gold tied for second place in our study—and in particular, rose gold and yellow gold have seen a definite rise in popularity over the past few years.

The Most Popular Stone Shape: Round

When shopping for an engagement ring, many proposers focus on the shape of the center stone. It turns out that round diamonds are most popular, with 47 percent of our respondents choosing that shape. Round diamonds definitely have a classic, tried-and-true appearance and go well with many different types of ring settings. If a round diamond feels a bit too traditional for your partner, oval cut diamonds are definitely on the rise—nearly doubling in popularity over the three years. Another popular diamond shape? Princess cut, which, like oval, received 14 percent of votes.

The Most Popular Engagement Ring Setting: Prong

A ring’s setting describes how the stone is placed onto the ring’s band. According to our study, 37 percent of proposers chose a prong setting for their selected engagement ring. A prong setting features a number of metal pins that hold the center stone in place, and is an ideal setting to show off the main diamond or other center stone. Another popular engagement ring setting is a halo, where the center stone is encircled by smaller stones (usually diamonds) for a glam look. 

The Most Popular Engagement Ring Detail: Side Stones

As you browse engagement rings, you’ll want to decide if you want the center stone to be the main focal point, or if you’d like to feature other stones to add extra sparkle. Turns out that most ring shoppers (59 percent, in fact) do prefer a ring that includes additional, side stones. According to our study, 25 percent of proposers chose a ring with a single, solitaire diamond. While adding additional stones may cost more (depending on size and other factors, of course!), it can add visual interest to a ring—and it’s certainly a popular option!

Shop for the Most Popular Engagement Rings

If you’ve started your search for the ultimate sparkler, these rings feature some or all of the most popular engagement ring features we’ve discussed here—round diamond, prong setting, side stones, and white gold. Check out these options, and visit your local jeweler to view more engagement rings in person.

blue nile engagement ring

Blue Nile scalloped pavé diamond engagement ring, $1,660 (setting only), Blue Nile

blue nile milgrain ring

Blue Nile graduated milgrain diamond engagement ring, $775 (setting only), Blue Nile

white gold laurel leaves engagement ring

James Allen 14k white gold laurel leaves diamond engagement ring, $1,160 (setting only), James Allen

side stones engagement ring

James Allen 14k white gold shared prong marquise side stone diamond engagement ring, $1,620 (setting only), James Allen

kay jewelers engagement ring

Kay Jewelers diamond engagement ring, $8,240, Kay Jewelers

tapered engagement ring

Ritani 8-prong tapered diamond engagement ring, $1,620 (setting only), Ritani

tapered baguette engagement ring

Ritani tapered baguette diamond engagement ring, $3,100 (setting only), Ritani

helzberg engagement ring

Helzberg Diamonds three-stone diamond ring, $1,000 (setting only), Helzberg Diamonds

catbird engagement ring

Catbird Violette, The Swan Supreme ring, $8,200, Catbird

vintage engagement ring

Belmar Jewelers vintage diamond engagement ring, $895, Etsy

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