Find the Right Engagement Ring — Hand Shape Advice

This is about appearances.

The engagement ring is often a big outlay. The last thing you want to choose is a ring she doesn’t like, Especially if the reason is aesthetic. You see, in addition to nailing the style, to find the right engagement ring it has to look good on her hand. It is amazing how many rings I remodel for said reason, the engagement ring is lovely – but just not on the finger.

Which engagement ring shape is best for her hand?

Some women will look good in a v neck top, and some will look awful.  Some glow in royal blue, and some look like they have been tortured.  Or, bringing it closer to home, some men can carry off skinny jeans – some should not even attempt to lift them.  We are all different shapes, and that includes hands.

So, when considering how you find the right engagement ring – remember it is not a case of one shape suits all.  The hand shape will influence the best looks and colours to ensure that her engagement ring looks good on her hand.  It really makes a difference.  If you look great in aforementioned skinny jeans, you are going to wear them a lot aren’t you?  If you look like you need a can opener..perhaps they aren’t going to come out so often.  So if the ring enhances her hand, she’s more likely to love it too.

Hand descriptions are numerous – from physical to metaphysical.  But if you have an idea of her finger shape, then even if you have been issued clear instructions, you can consider whether what she wants is a good idea, or whether there are slight modifications that could ensure the perfect style.  I’ve listed the four common hand shapes below:

Long Hands

proposal planning hand shapes
If the middle finger appears to be as long if not longer than the palm, it is quite likely she has a long hand.  Fingers of often of slender/skinny appearance.

Ring Tips

Choose bands with exaggerated width that take the eye across the finger. These fingers can also take large stones on wedding and engagement rings. Or go for elegant designs with a shortening effect.

Short Hands

Hand shapes fleshy fingers
Here, the middle finger is likely to look shorter than the palm area.  Fingers can have a fleshy appearance to them too.

Ring Tips

Ideally you are looking for styles that lengthen the finger.  Choose stones that run length-ways along the finger but are of small or medium size. Also consider outline features that are softer and therefore less graphic.  Split shoulders are good for giving the impression of space.

Square Hands

Hand shapes square fingers
Here the finger tips are flatter in appearance, and the palm has a slightly more angular feel.

Ring Tips

You want to soften your hand appearance, so choose rounded styles and diffused features. Anything too hard or angular will only emphasise the angularity of your fingers.  So avoid chunky and graphic which will serve to make the hand look more masculine.  Princess cut (square) diamonds are a definite ‘no no’.

Standard Hands

Hand shapes standard fingers
Middle finger is about the same length as the palm.  Fingers are generally slim, although sometimes the knuckle is more prominent.
Ring Tips

With these hand proportions you aren’t looking for a solution as such – standard hands can get away with most styles.  Large settings, avant garde shapes such as diagonals or angular designs for rings will all work.  As will the traditional engagement ring shapes.

Additional advice — consider the fingertips!

If you are really keen on the aesthetics but uncertain about hand shape – another helping point for you is the finger shape, and here we focus on the fingertip. Again, they are all different but by ensuring the ring shape compliments the fingertip, you’ll get a better impact.  

what is her finger shape choosing the ring engagement ring to suit different hand shapes

The four main shapes are;

Conical – where the fingertip tapers in slightly.  

Square – where the fingertip has a slightly flatter appearance on top.

Spatulate – where the fingertip has a slightly splayed appearance.

Round – where the fingertip curves round in a circular ark.

Choosing a stone shape which mirrors the fingertip will actually accentuate its appearance.  Which is not necessarily a good thing.  Simple rules are:

  • For conical finger tips, avoid Marquise and Pear shape diamonds set lengthwise.  Oval shape stones are fine, but should not be too narrow.
  • For square shape finger tips, try to keep stone shapes soft or angled.  So if it must be a Princess shape diamond, best it is set with the corners pointing up and down the finger.
  • For spatulate finger tips, stay away from Pear shape diamonds and stones.
  • Round finger tips can carry off most stone shapes, although the finger length needs to be considered to keep proportion.

A quick note on princess shape diamonds

Some of you may be aware, I don’t tend to recommend princess shape diamonds (often incorrectly referred to as ‘princess cut diamonds’).  The princess is the most recent of the diamond shapes, only being introduced in the 1980’s.  It is a great cut for following the shape of the crystal, which is naturally octahedral with a square centre.  Square diamonds make very pretty jewellery. but this doesn’t extend to rings worn.  The angles are too severe for the finger, and the overall impact is always blocky.  I tend to recommend clients choose cushion or asscher shape if they are looking for a square stone, much prettier and more unusual too.  The high street doesn’t offer these stones much (they are termed ‘fancy cut’) but I source these for my clients on a regular basis.

If it has to be princess, my recommendation is to have the stone set at a 45 degree angle, so that the corners are pointing up and down the line of the finger.  There are some beautiful designs using this technique which I can offer clients.

Find the right engagement ring – further reading

I’ve written some more detailed hand shape blogs that elaborate further on looks and styles that will work best with each hand shape.

  1. Engagement ring style advice for short fingers and hands
  2. Engagement ring style advice for long fingers and hands
  3. Engagement ring style advice for square fingers and hands
  4. Engagement ring style advice for standard fingers and hands

The only other consideration is knuckle, as if the knuckle is more than one and a half sizes bigger than the finger, it can create issues with rings slipping on the finger itself.  There isn’t much can be done about this, but the ring design can be one which will ensure that the ring does not spin on the knuckle.

Just having an idea of hand shape, can ensure that you can make a better ring choice for something that works both from a style perspective as well as flattering the hand.

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