What Is a Solitaire Ring?

All you need to know about this beautiful ring style and its variations.

By Amanda Mitchell

What Is a Solitaire Ring
Photo by Zola

Even beginning to look for an engagement ring can be a bit overwhelming. When shopping, you’ll be swimming in a sea of cuts, colors, settings, and gemstones. So how do you pick just the right thing? Here at Zola, we're breaking down all of the types of ring settings to help you make your best and easiest decision, so that your partner can make their own best and an easy decision—saying yes.

What Is a Solitaire Ring Setting?

What Is a Solitaire Ring? Photo Credit // Peter Togel Photography

A solitaire ring setting features a single stone that sits alone without any accent stones. When you hear the term "diamond solitaire," it’s typically about a single diamond or gemstone that acts as a focal stone.

“For solitaire rings, common setting styles include prong, cathedral, bezel, and tension, with prong being the most popular," explains Tonia Zehrer, senior vice president, and chief merchandising officer at Signet. Prong settings feature either four or six prongs (the metal that secures the diamond settings) that are soldered to the delicate band to ensure its safety. "They suspend the stone high enough off of the band to show its size and detail, offering maximum sparkle for the diamond solitaire." The classic solitaire setting also complements a variety of diamond shapes and carat weights, offering a classic and timeless look.

What Makes a Solitaire Ring Setting a Great Choice?

Solitaire diamond ring settings truly are the definition of simple and elegant. Easily the most iconic and recognizable type of diamond or gem shape, there's never a time or a place where a solitaire ring is out of place. There's nothing around to distract from the center stone, and the minimal metal in a prong setting means that the light can pass through the gem and your beautiful minimalist engagement ring can shine from every direction.

What Are the Types of Solitaire Settings?

The most common types of solitaire settings are prong, cathedral, bezel, and tension. Here’s a deeper dive:

Cathedral: This style takes the prong style mentioned earlier and adds arches (like a cathedral) to hold up the stone, making the gem look like it’s high and mighty in the center of the band.

Tiffany: Named after the famous jewelry brand, this six-prong solitaire has thin prongs and edges cut to point in the band. But the only place you can get a Tiffany solitaire is, you guessed it, at Tiffany & Co.

Tension: Tension settings in a wedding band are a more modern twist on the traditional solitaire, using the tension of the band itself to secure the gem in place, giving it an illusion of being suspended in the air.

Are There Any Downsides to a Solitaire Ring Setting?

What Is a Solitaire Ring? Photo Credit // Lindsay Dawn Photography

While there are plenty of great reasons to get a solitaire setting ring, higher-set prongs, like in a cathedral setting, can get caught on clothing, furniture, fuzzy blankets, and anything else that can cause a snag. If you're active or work with your hands a lot, a lower setting might be a better option. Either way, you should always have your ring regularly inspected (once every two to three years) to make sure the prongs are still strong.

A solitaire ring setting is the most universal and timeless of wedding ring settings. Always beautiful and complementary to nearly everything, your future fiancé will love this minimalist ring choice.

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