East West Engagement Ring Guide | How to Choose + Our Faves (2024)

East West Engagement Ring Guide | How to Choose + Our Faves (1)

East-west engagement rings feature elongated center stones that are set horizontally instead of a more traditional vertical setting. Timeless with a twist, they make the perfect setting for couples seeking a unique yet classic engagement ring.

What is an east west engagement ring?

An east-west engagement ring is a captivating twist on tradition. It flips the up-down points of a north-west center stone. This way, the length of the stone runs parallel to your ring and perpendicular to your finger. This creates the illusion that your fingers are longer, and that your gemstone is bigger. Bottom line, an east-west ring is flattering all around.

Obviously, you wouldn’t notice a difference with a round or square-cut gem (think an asscher or a princess). But with elongated shapes (such as an emerald or oval), an east-west engagement ring create a fun, horizontal alternative to the well-known vertical axis.

Are east west rings popular?

East-west is a popular engagement ring trend for its more modern, geometric approach. We’ve seen it from Kate Beckinsale’s emerald cut to the marquise cuts of Portia de Rossi and Catherine Zeta Jones. The elongated horizontal look is in.

For couples seeking to stand out, east-west settings are anything but conventional, hitting two trends with one gemstone. Instead of top-to-bottom points, east-west rings draw the onlooker’s eye across the gem’s body. It’s a fresh take on a classic piece, allowing couples to express their love in a unique way. The inverted positioning plays up any long, narrow shapes. Elongated gems have also been sought-after the past few years and show no signs of losing popularity votes.

Adding to their demand? East-west engagement rings can fit further down the finger. Worn closer to the palm, the lowered gem is better protected from any damage or loss due to activity. East-west rings are also said to be more comfortable, with their gems’ points facing away from the hand.

What shapes work best with an east west setting?

Elongated shapes are the best for east-west settings as they accentuate the horizontal orientation of east-west engagement rings.

Emerald Cut

  • A linear emerald cut leaves a lasting impression in an east-west arrangement. The understated sparkle within its beveled corners matches a minimal east-west aesthetic. Plus, you get a better view of the emerald’s clean, straight lines. In a horizontal orientation, the sleek, rectangular structure flaunts its step-cut design.
  • Emerald cut faceting is always elegant — but it’s more impactful facing east-west. In fact, the flat tabletop of an emerald cut looks larger on its side.


  • An east-west engagement ring already ensures you’re maximizing size. Oval cut gems up the ante, as their shape complements the enlarged appearance of an east-west ring.
  • Oval cuts also have smooth curves. These rounded edges are not only less likely to snag or chip; they also boast a brilliant facet structure. This cut can be super sparkly and reflect especially well in a horizontal orientation.
  • A couple things to consider. Balance is paramount to an east-west ring setting to avoid looking lopsided. So, while oval cuts tend to be highly symmetrical, pay extra attention to this feature.
  • Another heads up: beware the bow tie. These dark shadows in the middle of a stone show up with certain faceting patterns. They block light and dim sparkle. The bow tie can appear stronger in oval east-west rings, so invest in clarity and color.


  • This cut’s symmetry is ideal for an east-west setting. One, it fits the need for a balanced look. Two, it dramatically covers more of the finger than other rounded shapes.
  • An east-west ring also secures the sharp points of a marquise cut. You’re less likely to catch or break the tips when they’re horizontal. Any prongs are also made more stable because they’re less exposed. Striking, but safe.


  • An asymmetrical exception to east-west norms (if an unconventional setting can have norms). The taper of the pear ring is fun and graceful at the same time. Whichever way the big body points, you get a cool Art Deco contour and a stylish focal point.
  • A few precautions. The pear is another shape prone to reduced brilliance from the bow tie effect. You’ll also want a steady setting to prevent the narrow end of the pear from chipping.

Elongated Radiant or Cushion Cut

  • As you can imagine, the ratio is more rectangular in elongated radiants and cushion cuts. Elongated radiant gems have trimmed emerald corners and brilliant round facets. Cushion cuts also modify the fiery brilliance of a round cut with a sophisticated shape. Tipping these shapes on their sides gives them even greater span. Worn east-west, they’re the perfect luxurious statement jewelry pieces.
  • In both cases, the facet arrangements still catch plenty of shine. The rings just have softer sides and corners. These engagement rings are more sweet than sharp, so they don’t feel as cropped. The result is edgy, yet romantic, with lots of light coming through. An east-west setting offers increased safety and comfort. Not to mention less risk of snagging.

Why Choose an East West Engagement Ring

East-west engagement rings are set horizontally and stand out from other, more traditional designs.

Here’s why (and what) you should consider.

Bolder Style

  • East-west engagement rings are for those who dare to be different. A gem placed horizontally across the ring band says personality. It’s unafraid to deviate. Rectangular or tapered, it’s going to start a conversation.
  • Ready to say in with original? Guarantee jewelry that hasn’t been seen before — design your own custom east-west engagement ring.

Newer Taste

  • East-west engagement rings are for lovebirds all about a modern vibe. Flipping your ring horizontally is the epitome of cutting edge. But there are so many trends to incorporate and keep contemporary.
  • The shapes that lend themselves to east-west are equally on the rise. Elongating classic forms, east-west rings immediately steal attention. For the same reason, many couples opt for vibrant gemstones over white diamonds.

Better Shine

  • A lot of brilliance and sparkle comes down to the precision and quality of gemstone cut (depth of the gem; facet angles and symmetry; etc.). But generally, east-west settings invite more light in, creating a more intense sparkle. They make the center stone the main event. By highlighting the shape and facets lengthwise, they don’t need accent stones to burn bright. It’s also suggested that dark bow tie areas seen in elongated shapes are less harsh when laid horizontal.

Bigger Weight

  • If you’re looking to maximize the appearance of the size of your stone, choose an east-west engagement ring. Between 1-2 carats is where you can really make the most of your size and spend. The horizontal spread provides better finger coverage compared to a north-south facing gem. Longer sides imply a slender finger, boosting the impression of a significant stone. With positioning, you can get proportion.

Our Favorite East West Engagement Rings

Our jewelry experts have chosen our favorite east-west rings, handpicked for your hands. Celebrate your love story with any of these ethically sourced showcases.

Horizontal Petite Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

Petite and delicate, this classic four-prong solitaire ring features a horizontally set gemstone and has a rounded inside edge for increased comfort.

Haiden Bezel Engagement Ring

A delicate bezel adds unique charm to this sleek, handsome ring.

East West Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

This modern ring takes a classic silhouette and elevates it with the addition of east west set tapered baguette diamonds that shine brightly.

Lévita Solitaire Engagement Ring

The center stone appears to float above a gently arcing band in this modern yet timeless style meant to sit flush with other curved wedding bands in a chic stack.

Jordan Diamond Ring

A chunky band and an east/west emerald-cut diamond create a modern, trendy look that’s perfect on its own and easily paired with other rings to create a chic stack.

Vera Emerald Cut Lab Diamond Chain Ring

An emerald cut diamond is east/west set along a lustrous chain ring in this unique and chic design.

Final Thoughts

If you value unique style, wear your love differently. Embrace the lateral display of an east west engagement ring. It’s easy and ethical when you shop your jewelry from Brilliant Earth and you can customize your east-west ring design to reflect your one-of-a-kind love.

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East West Engagement Ring Guide | How to Choose + Our Faves (2024)
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