What Is A Solitaire Ring?

Written by: Benjamin Khordipour, Jewelry and Gemology Expert
January 9, 2024 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

The popularity and stunning appearance of solitaire rings make them among the top settings to consider for engagement rings. Be that as it may, like a halo, pave, and cluster settings, they have a single center stone– so how do you differentiate between them?

Understanding the Basics of Solitaire Rings

what is solitaire ring on models finger holding wooden piece

If you’re new to the world of rings, a setting dictates the number of stones in a ring and how they appear. A solitaire setting denotes a ring with a single stone at the center and nowhere else in the band. The center stone can be anything from diamonds to rubies to sapphires and emeralds. Because there’s nothing else competing for attention, the stone in this setting takes the catbird seat.

Solitaire rings accommodate any type of cut. However, the most common include round, pear, marquise, oval, cushion, and emerald. In addition, a solitaire ring goes with any type of band.

The solitaire ring design has its roots in Ancient Rome when the concept of one gemstone gained prominence. However, during this period, the stones were not cut and honed.

Moving forward to the 19th century, specifically in 1886, solitaire rings secured their spot in history. This was heralded by introducing Tiffany & Co.’s distinctive Tiffany Setting. It had a raised stone above the band with six prongs, maximizing the stone’s brilliance.

Unique Characteristics of Solitaire Rings

jeweler using a loupe to examine a solitaire ring in shop

Each ring has unique properties that make it stand out among others, and solitaire rings are no exception. Here are six reasons why you should choose a solitaire ring.

1. Solitaire Rings Remain Popular Despite Fashion Changes

Ring fashions come and go as tastes evolve. However, a solitaire ring’s classic yet minimalist design makes it popular, regardless of industry changes. Moreover, its focus on a single stone gives it an enduring elegance. Better still, the design allows for customization to meet varying preferences.

2. The Stone Takes the Center Stage

If you have a quality stone that scores highly on color, carat, cut, and clarity, the uncluttered setting of a solitaire ring draws all the attention to it. Besides, the solitaire ring’s simplicity ensures that the diamond receives maximum exposure to light from all angles. This optimal light performance enhances the stone’s natural sparkle and brilliance.

3. Solitaire Setting Either Matches or Complements Other Styles

Solitaire rings are highly versatile, making them ideal for buyers who don’t want to involve their better halves in the buying process. Firstly, they pair stunningly well with a wide range of wedding bands. You can choose vintage, classic, and bolder bands. Secondly, solitaire rings don’t clash when worn next to other jewelry, such as a wedding band. Lastly, they blend well with any stone cut.

4. Saves Money and Time

Unlike diamond-encrusted settings, solitaire settings take less time to create, customize, and produce. As a result, they cost slightly less than ring settings with multiple stones. The selection process is also less daunting because you only have to inspect one stone.

5. Less Room for Dirt Collection

Rings are notorious for collecting dirt, given that you usually work when wearing them. Typically, the more complicated the ring design, the harder it’ll be to clean. The reason being, dirt might accumulate in hard-to-reach places. The lack of additional stones and complex settings means fewer places for dirt and debris to build up. Cleaning and maintaining a solitaire diamond are simpler tasks, making it a practical choice for everyday wear.

6. Suitable for All Occasions

There’s no occasion where solitaire settings will be inappropriate. Whether it’s an engagement, anniversary, or a special gift, such timeless appeal ensures that it remains a cherished choice.

Solitaire Ring Models

Solitaire rings come in different styles and prong layouts. As such, understanding them can help match your personal preferences. When buying the ring for someone else, be aware of the different designs that will help you select a ring that’s suitable for the occasion.

Cathedral Solitaire Setting

Cathedral Solitaire Setting Platinum held by Jewelry glove

The defining feature of cathedral design is two arches that extend from the band to join the prongs holding the stone in place. The design provides additional height and prominence to the main gem, making it appear as though it is floating above the band. For customization purposes, you can vary the height, curvature, and embellishments.

Besides elevating the stone, the arches offer extra support and security. This can be particularly important if you have an active lifestyle and want to ensure the longevity and stability of your ring.

Split Shank Solitaire Setting

Split Shank Solitaire Setting on model finger

The outstanding feature of a split shank solitaire ring is a band that splits into two or more strands as it approaches the center stone. The split can occur at the ring’s base or further up, giving the stone an open and airy appearance. You can opt for a more intricate split with twists or curves for a sophisticated look.

The split areas require extra care to ensure the intricate details remain secure. As such, this design might not be entirely ideal for individuals with busy lifestyles.

Knife Edge Setting

Knife Edge Solitaire Setting Close up on finger platinum

As the name suggests, a knife-edge solitaire setting has sharp edges that protrude from the center of the band. The result is an angled shape on each side. The setting’s simplicity allows the stone to take center stage and shine without distraction. While the basic concept involves a tapered band, there can be variations in the degree of tapering and the width of the band.

The sharp edges might be prone to scratching or catching on clothing if you have an active lifestyle. Removing the ring when working to prevent wear and tear would be worthwhile.

Four and Six-Prong Solitaire Settings

large diamond 6-Prong Solitaire Setting on finger girl

Stones in four and six-prong solitaire settings are held in place by tiny metal claws that extend from the center of the band. A four-prong setting leaves much of the stone’s surface exposed to light. This helps to eliminate any potential places where dirt can accumulate, making the ring much easier to clean.

In contrast, a six-prong setting holds the stone more firmly than a four-prong one. However, this results in a smaller exposed stone surface.

Pros and Cons of a Solitaire Ring Setting

woman model wearing 6 carat diamond solitaire ring on finger

Before deciding to buy a solitaire ring, weighing the pros and cons is crucial. 

Pros of a Solitaire Ring Setting

Here are the benefits of a solitaire ring:

  • Minimalist design that’s not distracting or overwhelming
  • It makes the stone appear bigger
  • It’s easy to customize
  • Emphasizes the stone’s fire and brilliance
  • Can effortlessly adapt to various metal choices
  • It’s easy to maintain the ring because there are no intricate details
  • It gives a classic and timeless look

Cons of a Solitaire Ring Setting

Here are some downsides of a solitaire ring:

  • It has a less dramatic presence
  • The stone has to be flawless because it’s the only one in the ring
  • The stone is susceptible to chipping or damage
  • Prongs can become loose with time
  • Less distinctive styling options
  • Not ideal for small and medium-sized stones
  • The design is too common

How Much Do Solitaire Diamond Rings Cost?

customer in Estate Diamond Jewelry Showroom looking at vintage solitaire engagement ring

The price range of a solitaire diamond ring is between $500+. Hence, quoting an exact price for different stones might be challenging since their qualities differ. To accurately determine the price of a solitaire diamond ring, you have to evaluate the four Cs of diamond: carat, color, cut, and clarity. Plus, other factors like the manufacturer’s experience influence the price of a solitaire diamond ring.

Unknowingly, most people mistake a carat to mean a stone’s size. However, while the stone’s shape and dimensions (length and height) determine the size, the carat refers to the stone’s weight. Technically, one carat weighs 200 milligrams (0.2 grams), and the higher the stone’s carat, the larger it is and the higher the cost. Color

Rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and other gems are more valuable depending on how concentrated their color gets. Conversely, the most valuable diamond is colorless, and the least valuable is concentrated with yellow and brown hues. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) classifies diamond colors from D to Z. Here are the color categories available:

  • Colorless: D, E, F
  • Near colorless: G, H, I, J
  • Faint: K, L, M
  • Very light: N, O, P, Q, R
  • Light: S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Cut

A common mistake among jewelry shoppers is to use diamond cut and shape synonymously. This is wrong since a stone’s cut refers to how well its facets have been polished to reflect and absorb light. The shape, on the other hand, is the stone silhouette. Even so, a stone whose cut scores highly in the following three aspects is always valued highly:

  • Fire: Scattering light into all rainbow colors.
  • Brightness: The amount of light that the external and internal part of the stone reflects.
  • Scintillation: The way light interacts with the diamond’s facets, creating flashes of brightness and darkness as the diamond moves.

Clarity

The appearance and extent of cracks and other imperfections that a stone retains during formation determine its clarity. Typically, all stones have inclusions because the formation conditions underground are not ideal. However, the visibility of these inclusions varies. Stones with few inclusions that remain nearly invisible under 10x magnification are of the highest value. Conversely, stones with inclusions visible to the naked eye are less valuable.

The table below summarizes how much a solitaire diamond ring costs based on the carat:

CaratCost
1-carat$4,000 to $16,500
2-carat$8,000 to $60,000
3-carat$19,000 to $100,000+
4-carat$30,000 to $250,000+

Solitaire Rings vs. Other Similar Settings

EDJ Model wearing simple solitaire ring on finger

Besides a solitaire setting, the pave, halo and cluster settings also feature one center stone. Here’s how to tell them apart:

Solitaire vs. Pave Setting

The solitaire and pave settings fall on parallel sides of a sparkly spectrum. The solitaire setting’s focal point is the stone alone, while a pave setting focuses on the band and the stone. Pave setting has tiny stones that go around or halfway through the band. The contrast here is that the stone appears larger in a solitaire setting but smaller in a pave setting. However, the pave setting draws more attention.

Solitaire vs. Halo Setting

Solitaire and halo settings compete to make the center stone appear larger. However, a halo setting drama is unmatched thanks to its smaller stones around the center stone. The surrounding stones in a halo setting also act as a shield by taking any blow that would otherwise be sustained by the center stone.

 In terms of price, you have to dig deeper into the pocket for a halo setting because the extra stones increase the total carat weight. There’s also maintenance. Halo settings demand more effort to clean and maintain.

Solitaire vs. Cluster Setting

Cluster settings differ from solitaire because the center stone has one or more clusters of stones that resemble the center stone arranged close together. The cluster setting makes the stone appear larger and also adds some sophistication to the ring. What to Keep in Mind When Buying a Solitaire Ring

You might not have a hard time finding a solitaire ring, given that there are plenty of them in different makes. However, there are a few points to remember to avoid making a costly mistake.

  • Put more emphasis on the center stone: A solitaire ring has only one stone. Aim for a stone with the highest color grade, perfect cut, and fewer imperfections, as the ring’s beauty will solely come from it.
  • Consider other stone options apart from diamonds: If you have a limited budget, look at other stones such as sapphire, rubies, emeralds, and other color-concentrated stones. You can also channel the money you save on the stone to other aspects of the ring.
  • Go for a six or four-prong solitaire setting: A six-prong setting is ideal if you want to ensure your gem is firmly secured. On the other hand, a four-prong setting will expose more of the stone’s surface and still give some level of security.
  •  Choose a tinnier band: Since a solitaire band is plain, selecting a thinner option will help to draw attention to the center stone.
  • Pay attention to the four Cs of the stone: Before buying a diamond, ask for a certificate showing the stone’s cut, color, clarity, and carat have been evaluated by a renowned laboratory such as GIA.
  • Consider vintage or antique solitaire rings: Vintage and antique solitaire rings have unique craftsmanship that will set the ring apart from modern designs.

Best Solitaire Rings at Estate Diamond Jewelry

Even though solitaire rings have a simple one-center design, they are also available in different makes and models. Here are some of the best solitaire rings from Estate Jewelry Diamond to inspire your choices:

Roxbury Solitaire Ring

10.42ct Asscher Cut Diamond Engagement Ring - Roxbury Ring RJ3J142 TV

The Roxbury Ring consists of a 10.42-carat stone held in place by four prongs. It falls in color grade L, meaning you might see faint hues of impurities. And though it has slight inclusions, you can hardly see under 10x magnification. The platinum and 18k yellow gold metal on the ring enhances the stone’s brilliance.

Tiffany Platinum Solitaire Ring

0.30ct Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Engagement Ring 13058 F5

The Tiffany Solitaire Ring features a 0.3-carat stone with a round cut for a brilliant sparkle. The stone is held in place by six prongs. Although the stone might appear smaller, its near colorless color grade and slightly included clarity grade elevates the sparkle.

Springfield Solitaire Ring

Platinum Prong Set Gemstone Aquamarine Ring 14773 F5

Instead of a diamond, the Springfield solitaire ring consists of a 1.14-carat aquamarine. Round cut and set on four prongs, the metal is handcrafted in platinum, allowing for a higher level of precision.

Extend Your Solitaire Ring’s Lifespan

girl removing emerald cut diamond engagement ring from ring box

Although solitaire rings are durable, the stone might lose its brilliance or get damaged sooner than you expected without the proper care. Here are some ways you can prevent this from happening:

  • Have a professional jeweler inspect your ring periodically. This is especially important if you wear your ring every day. The expert will clean the ring, identify any missing prongs, and secure the stone firmly if it has become loose.
  • Remove the ring during physical activities such as gardening, swimming, and cleaning. You’ll prevent the stone from wearing and the ring from attracting dirt.
  • Always hold your solitaire ring by the band. This will prevent fingerprints from transferring oils and dirt to the stone.
  • Clean the ring regularly with a soft-bristle toothbrush and a mild washing solution like dish soap.

Talk to an Expert

When looking for a ring that blends simplicity and classic beauty, a solitaire ring can be an excellent option. To prevent avoidable mistakes when making a purchase, it’s worthwhile to consult with a jewel expert such as Estate Diamond Jewelers. With our expertise, we’ll help you find a match solitaire ring. Get in touch today, and we’ll start the selection process immediately.