12 Main Types of Keepsake Diamond Rings Explained


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People have widely varying opinions on what types of items make the best gifts. Some people believe that gifts should be useful and serve a practical purpose. Other people prioritize sentimentality over utility. They are happy with gifts that are purely ornamental as long as they have personal meaning.

People in the latter group would be more likely to appreciate keepsake gifts than those in the former group.

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Rings can make particularly meaningful keepsake gifts. An engagement ring symbolizes the love between two people and the relationship they share. Meanwhile, an heirloom ring passed down through a family could carry personal significance to the person who receives it.

Here, we’ll discuss some of the different types of keepsake diamond rings you can give to someone special in your life.   

Different Types of Keepsake Diamond Engagement Rings

The first known diamond engagement ring was commissioned in 1477 by Archduke Maximillian of Austria for his bride. This inspired a longstanding trend of diamond rings amongst other aristocracy and nobility.

Then in 1947, the De Beers diamond company debuted their iconic “A Diamond is Forever” marketing campaign. This cemented diamonds as the stone of choice for engagement rings. Here we’ll discuss some of the most iconic styles of keepsake diamond engagement rings.   

» MORE: An online memorial is a perfect ending to honor and celebrate someone's life. Create one for free.

1. Solitaire rings

Thanks to their elegance and simplicity, diamond solitaire rings are a popular and traditional style choice. Solitaire rings feature a single diamond mounted onto a simple band. Diamonds can have very different levels of quality, so we depend on factors like cut, carat weight, color, and clarity to determine their worth. Because solitaire rings are so simple in design, they tend to feature higher quality diamonds. 

2. Rings with pavé bands

While solitaire rings tend to be simple and understated, pavé rings are a real attention-getter. In a pavé setting, tiny diamonds are embedded into the band of the ring. Because there are so many diamonds and so many facets, a pavé setting sparkles when it catches the light. The overall look is often glitzy and glamorous.   

3. Halo-style rings

Halo engagement rings have become increasingly popular in recent years. In this style of ring, a small halo of pavé-set diamonds surrounds a modestly-sized central stone. The principle behind this style is that bordering a stone with smaller diamonds makes the central stone look larger.

Because pavé diamonds are so small, they don’t have to be the most high-quality or expensive in order to look good. So while a halo ring might look pricy, it may be more reasonable than you'd expect. The band of a halo ring could be plain metal for a more classic look, or it could be studded with pavé-set diamonds for a flashier style.

4. Vintage-inspired engagement ring

People have been wearing jewelry since time immemorial. As far back as 25,000 years ago, people made ornamental jewelry out of materials like fish bones. Certain styles of jewelry have come and gone over the years. Some people find that they really like jewelry designed in certain iconic styles.

You can try to find antique rings in those styles, or you can get a new ring made inspired by the designs of a certain era. Vintage-inspired ring styles could include: 

  • Art Nouveau: This style, which began near the end of the 19th century, drew a lot of inspiration from nature. Rings were often more organic in shape instead of geometric. An art nouveau engagement ring might feature a pear-shaped cluster of diamonds in different shapes and sizes. 
  • Art Deco: This distinct style came to its height in the 1920s and 1930s. It was characterized by geometric shapes like triangles and squares. Art deco rings typically used lighter-colored metals like platinum and white gold. Art deco rings often included colorful jewels like emeralds and sapphires, or smooth black onyx stone for contrast.
  • Edwardian: In the early 1900s, romantic Edwardian-style rings were all the rage. These rings typically had intricate bands with delicate filigree designs. Those were paired with flower-inspired groups of diamonds and gemstones. The center stone was often a colorful stone like a ruby or sapphire.
  • Victorian: In the Victorian era, which ran from 1837 to 1901, unique handmade rings were popular. Victorian rings were often made of yellow gold or rose gold, and often featured multi-faceted diamonds in marquise or rose cuts.    

5. Colored diamond engagement ring

When most people picture a diamond, they envision the traditionally clean and colorless stone. But diamonds can come in many colors, such as blue, yellow, green, pink, and black. The famous Hope Diamond is a naturally occurring dark gray-blue color.

Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Kelly Clarkson have famously worn canary yellow diamond rings in the past. For someone who likes more unconventional jewelry, a colored diamond is a fun and unique choice.  

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6. Family heirloom engagement ring

Sometimes people will pass rings down to their family members with the intention that they’ll use them for a marriage proposal. There’s something special about inviting someone into the family by giving them a ring with such heavy familial significance. However, sometimes a family heirloom ring might not be the right choice in its current state.

An older ring may be fragile, or the setting it’s in might be dated or not to the recipient’s taste. In cases like these, sometimes people will take the diamonds from an heirloom ring and have them reset into a new setting. This is a great way to update the ring to a more modern setting while honoring its history by preserving the gems.  

Different Types of Memorial, Heirloom, or Other Type of Keepsake Diamond Rings

Even the smallest pieces of jewelry can carry a lot of meaning and historical significance. The materials, style, and setting of the ring can tell you a lot about when and where the ring was made. Even if a ring wasn’t expensive, it might be priceless in terms of the emotions it represents. Here we explore different styles of keepsake rings. 

7. Memorial diamond rings

Many people are opting to be cremated when they die instead of having a traditional burial. As a result, a whole industry has grown out of creative ways to turn cremains into keepsakes. Many people are opting to have the ashes of loved ones turned into memorial diamonds

Companies like Eterneva will take a small amount of cremated remains and heat them to extremely high temperatures to convert them to graphite. The graphite is then placed into a press where the heat and pressure will transform it into a diamond. You can then have that diamond set in a truly unique and meaningful ring. 

Tip: An alternative to memorial diamonds, if you want to solidify a loved one's remains, is transforming those ashes into cremation stones with Parting Stone

8. Hair diamond rings

If you like the idea of carrying a piece of your loved one around with you, you don’t have to wait until they die. A handful of companies have figured out how to transform human or pet hair into diamonds.

The process is similar to the one that they use when making memorial diamonds. These unconventional rings make for a one-of-a-kind gift.

9. Raw diamond rings

Traditional diamond rings feature gems that have been painstakingly cut and polished to perfection. People who prefer more unconventional styles might instead go for a raw diamond ring.

Raw diamonds are uncut stones that haven’t been shaped or polished. Unlike a more mainstream diamond ring, these will intentionally feature inclusions and cloudiness. Proponents of this style appreciate the personality and character of a raw diamond ring.  

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10. Diamond poison ring

In Europe, during the 1500s, an unusual style of jewelry became popular. Poison rings (also called pillbox rings) were fitted with a container under or inside the beveled part of the ring. This container would open to reveal a pill or powder that could be used to discreetly poison someone.

The infamous Lucrezia Borgia was rumored to have used a ring like this. Obviously, we don’t condone actually carrying poison around in a ring. But a diamond-studded poison ring makes for an undeniably unique keepsake.   

11. Mother’s birthstone ring

Many people give gifts to mothers that symbolize their children. One popular gift is a birthstone ring. A birthstone is a gemstone that represents the month they were born in. Each month has different gemstones affiliated with it. If a parent had a child in March, for example, the child’s birthstone would be an aquamarine.

A birthstone ring might feature a cluster of gemstones, each one representing a child. A diamond could also be incorporated into a keepsake ring like this.  

12. Diamond claddagh ring

Claddagh rings are traditional Irish rings that represent concepts like love, loyalty, and friendship. The traditional style of these rings features a metal design of two hands holding a heart that has been topped with a crown.

The meaning of the ring varies depending on what finger you wear it on and in which direction you orient it. People can also get more high-end versions featuring diamonds and other gemstones.   

Keepsake Rings Make Great Gifts for Many Occasions

The circle as a symbol carries a lot of significance in many cultures, including concepts like wholeness and eternity. Because the band of a ring is circular in shape, it is often imbued with that same symbolic meaning.

A keepsake ring is the kind of gift people will hold onto for the rest of their lives and pass down to other members of the family. Engagement rings, memorial diamond rings, and family heirloom jewelry may not have a purpose beyond being worn. But they often have a value far beyond their monetary worth. 


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