Traditionally, a band was worn to complement an engagement ring's shape and style. Today's bands are so creative and detailed in their own right -- with floral motifs or bold geometrics -- that many brides prefer a band as their engagement ring. "You can design a band that will exceed the sparkle of a large single-diamond ring -- and at less cost," says Matthew Bogosian, vice president of Michael B., a jewelry firm. Styles vary widely, but a few are particularly popular: In an eternity band, the stones are set in an unbroken circle all around the ring. A pave setting features many small diamonds placed so closely together that the metal is barely visible.

Left column, top to bottom: Rings by Martin Katz, Peter Storm, Lady Heart Collection, Precision Set, Damiani, Rina Limor, Christopher Designs, Michael B., Daniel K; right column, top to bottom: Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels; Cathy Waterman; Memoire; Benchmark


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