A breathtaking six-prong solitaire diamond ring with 1ct center stone.
Solitaire ring settings have been around for as long as rings have existed and they are currently the most popular style of ring designs in the market. But what are solitaire designs and why do so many people choose them for their engagement rings?
In this write up, you will find answers to the questions above and everything you need to know about solitaire settings! We will also reveal the pros and cons of solitaire ring designs and review some of the best solitaire engagement ring settings available.
Let’s jump right in…
Here is a list of topics we will be covering:
- What is a Solitaire Ring Setting?
- Pros And Cons of Solitaire Diamond Ring Settings
- Types of Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings in the Market
- Solitaire vs Pave vs Halo Setting – What Are the Differences?
- Should You Choose a Solitaire Design For Your Engagement Ring?
- Where to Buy Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings?
What is a Solitaire Ring Setting?
As the name suggests, a solitaire ring simply means that the setting only has a single stone mounted in the setting. The Tiffany setting which was created more than a century ago, is probably the most iconic image for solitaire diamond engagement rings.
In the jewelry trade, solitaire settings are also known as “prong settings” where 4 or 6 metal prongs are used to mount the center stone in place. Prongs can be rounded, clawed, pointed, v-shaped or even flat depending on the design of the ring.
Pros And Cons of Solitaire Diamond Ring Settings
Due to their simplicity in design, solitaire settings have a number of advantages over other types of settings. Here’s a list of pros and cons when it comes to buying a solitaire ring.
Advantages of a Solitaire Setting
• Makes center diamond the center of attention.
• Less expensive compared to other setting styles.
• Easier to care for and maintain cleanliness.
• Complements a wide variety of diamond shapes and sizes.
• Classic and timeless style that stays fashionable.
• Most settings allow more light to enter the diamond for better sparkle.
Disadvantages of a Solitaire Setting
• High prong settings can snag or catch onto things easily.
• Most solitaire settings leave areas of the girdle exposed.
• Cookie cutter designs that may look similar to each other.
If you haven’t yet, make sure you read our comprehensive guide to selecting a beautiful diamond and also check out this article about the differences between 4 and 6 prong solitaire rings.
Types of Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings in the Market
As you can imagine, solitaire engagement rings come in a wide variety of styles and there are literally thousands of different designs in the market. Broadly speaking, they can be classified into 3 different types of categories: prong, bezel and tension.
#1 – Prong Setting for Solitaire Rings
Prong settings are by far the most common type of setting used in diamond engagement rings and it is based on a simple concept. Prongs, or claws, surround the girdle of the diamond to hold it securely in place and in an unobtrusive manner. This helps more light to enter the diamond for better brilliance and sparkle.
Check out some of the best classic solitaire ring designs below!
While solitaire rings are often known for their simplicity, there are also many creative solitaire designs that feature intricate details and delicate craftsmanship. Check out a couple of my favorite rings below…
White Flash has a superb collection of beautiful solitaire ring settings that range from in-house designs to branded settings. Regardless of your budget, you are sure to find something that suits your tastes and needs!
#2 – Bezel Setting
A bezel setting surrounds the outline of the diamond with a metal band and fully protects the edges of the diamond. If you have an active lifestyle, this is the ideal choice of setting to create a smooth, snag-free ring mounting.
Full bezel solitaire setting.
Half-bezel solitaire setting.
Most bezel designs offer a contemporary look and can help the diamond look bigger. If there are inclusions or blemishes near the edges of the diamond, they can also be conveniently covered up too.
#3 – Tension Setting
Tension settings are known for their unique appearance whereby the diamond seems to be magically floating between 2 metal arms. Basically, the tension setting acts as a loaded spring and holds the diamond tightly using tensile force.
Unlike most other traditional ring designs, there is no metal under the stone and this creates a really special look to the ring. Also, the lack of metal allows you to clean the diamond easily without fuss.
Best solitaire ring designs for tension settings.
James Allen is a vendor that specializes in tension set solitaire rings as these settings specialized tools and labor. Click here to check out the range of solitaire tension ring designs they offer.
Solitaire vs Pave vs Halo Setting – What Are the Differences?
To help you visualize the differences between different types of setting designs, let’s do a side by side comparison of the 3 most popular styles of engagement rings; solitaire, pave and halo settings.
With a solitaire engagement ring, the center diamond is the focus of the ring. In contrast, pave and halo settings utilize melee diamonds (small sized diamonds) for more bling and brilliance.
Pave – $940
Halo – $970
In the comparison above, I’ve selected basic designs for each of the styles (in 14k white gold) to give you an idea of how much they would cost in relation to each other. Feel free to click on the images to interact directly with the video listings.
Basically, a pave setting has melee diamonds mounted on the shanks leading up to the center stone while a halo has melee diamonds that surround the outline of the center stone. These options allow you to get more bling for your buck and create a “bigger diamond look”.
Should You Choose a Solitaire Design For Your Engagement Ring?
Readers often ask me questions like: “Should I choose a solitaire ring setting?”, “Would you recommend a pave or solitaire engagement ring design?” or even stuff like “Would a half carat diamond be big enough for a solitaire setting?”.
Questions like these are really subjective and it really depends on the personal preferences or type of lifestyle the recipient has. As discussed in the earlier section, the solitaire ring design has its pros and cons.
If you are absolutely clueless about your recipient’s preferences and taste, the safest design to buy would be a simple and plain 4 or 6 prong ring design. This is because these are evergreen designs that will go well with most types of fingers and fashion styles.
In order to find the perfect ring for your needs, my advice is to do your research on what the recipient likes and look around for ideas.
Vendors like James Allen and White Flash also have photo galleries that enable you to browse through rings that others have previously purchased so you see exactly how a finished product looks like in real life.
Where to Buy Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings?
Classic knife-edge Tiffany style 6 prong diamond ring design.
Choosing where to buy your diamond ring would be one of the most important decisions of your shopping process. Let me warn you that there are both physical and online retailers who will overcharge you while offering inferior quality products.
As a consumer, the 2 most important things you need to look out for is a reliable grading certificate from GIA or AGS for the center diamond and craftsmanship quality in the ring setting.
Throughout my years in the industry, I’ve carefully vetted hundreds of diamond sellers to find out who’s the best and most reliable in the business. In fact, I had personally tested and bought a number of diamond rings from different vendors to review the entire shopping process.
Based on my experience, White Flash, James Allen and Brian Gavin are the top 3 places to shop for a solitaire diamond engagement ring. These are vendors that offer tangible data like videos and scope images to help you review diamond listings with indepth details.
On top of excellent customer service and risk-free shopping policies, these vendors also offer high quality workmanship for their settings and have very competitive prices. So, make sure you check them out for yourself and browse through the different ring designs that they offer!
With that, I hope you found this write up useful. What do you think of solitaire ring settings? Would you choose a solitaire design for your engagement ring? Leave a comment below to let me know!
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