Want to learn more about a woman’s personality—and personal style? Just take a look at the ring finger on her left hand, says gem expert Antoinette Matlins, coauthor of Engagement and Wedding Rings. For many brides, their engagement and wedding ring is more than a symbol of love.
“The goal is to have a ring that is distinctive and reflects the style and symbolism of the couple. And hopefully, it will be a timeless piece that the bride will love for years to come—maybe even something that can be passed down for generations.”
Here are some of the most common cuts and styles and what they mean. Which one belongs to you?
A classic round stone is absolutely timeless and never goes out of style, but the woman who wears it is anything but boring. In fact, it reflects a get-up-and-go personality, as well as the fullness of her life and relationship. “It’s also easy to wear, so many athletic and adventurous women choose it,” says Matlins.
Celeb style: Kelly Ripa, Natalie Portman, Britney Spears
An oval cut is also a popular choice for women who are sophisticated but also enjoy a touch of the modern. “It is in the same category as a classic round in the sense that it will never go out of style,” says Matlins.
Celeb style: Blake Lively, Kate Moss, Miranda Kerr
A princess cut’s geometric step cut gives this ring a super sparkle that is perfect for the woman that wants to be the center of attention—and has a groom that loves to put her in the spotlight and watch her shine.
Celeb style: Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett, Ali Larter, Sherri Shepherd
An emerald cut stone’s brilliance makes it a popular choice with many Hollywood brides. Women who wear it are often efficient and straightforward, like the self-professed Type As below.
Celeb style: Kate Hudson, Kristen Bell, Reese Witherspoon
A heart-shaped stone is seems super romantic, but Matlins warns this cut might not thrill you in the years to come. “You really have to think if this is a style that you’ll love 10, 20, 30 years down the line,” she says.
Celeb style: Joan Collins
The marquise stone is named after the Marquise De Pompadour, the mistress of France’s Louis XV, and the women who wear it usually boast major sex appeal. “If you really want to set your ring apart, set this stone horizontally instead of vertically,” notes Matlins.
Celeb style: Victoria Beckham, Portia De Rossi, Catherine Zeta-Jones
A pear shape is another stone that goes in and out of fashion, but it is a feminine shape. Its pointed bottom is perfect for an unconventional bride, but beware—that point can easily chip or get caught on clothes. So if you’re very active, you might want to opt for a different shape.
Celeb style: Katherine Heigl, Odette Yustman, Avril Lavigne
The Asscher-cut diamond dates back to the 1880s, but the women who wear it aren’t old-fashioned. Instead they are considered true romantics.
Celeb style: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba
A woman wearing a colored stone definitely wants to stand out from the crowd, says Matlins. “It’s a way of having something that doesn’t look like everyone else’s rings; colored stones are distinctive and eye-catching.” One unique way to incorporate color into your ring is by showcasing your groom’s birthstone, either as the main stone or as a side stone. “This is a romantic way to show your love for your future husband,” says Matlins.
And, of course, different colors represent different emotions. For example, red (ruby) symbolizes passion and love; blue (sapphire) represents spirituality; and green (emerald) is associated with new beginnings.
Celeb style: Halle Berry (emerald), Jessica Simpson (ruby), Kate Middleton (blue sapphire)