You may have started your engagement ring search by looking at popular online retailers. If you have, you must know how inescapable the term “solitaire engagement ring” is. Solitaire rings are everywhere, but what is a solitaire ring? This engagement ring design can be seen on most diamond alternative jewelry websites because solitaire settings are one of the most popular jewelry styles of all time. They are perfect for every occasion, every day. If you are looking to purchase an engagement ring, or you’re just curious to learn more, it’s best to understand what a solitaire engagement ring really is.
THE MEANING OF SOLITAIRE
Many people in the market for an engagement ring often wonder, “what does solitaire mean?” The term solitaire is thrown around a lot, so it’s important to understand what it means before beginning your search. Solitaire means a diamond or other gemstone set in a piece of jewelry by itself. This means there is only one stone set in the entire piece of jewelry. For a visual representation, imagine a simple stud earring. A stud earring will always be a classic solitaire setting as there is one stone in one setting, often a classic basket setting.
Solitaire jewelry includes earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets and even men’s wedding bands. Basically any form of jewelry is available in a solitaire design. A solitaire setting is known for its simple style, but that doesn’t mean it’s less dazzling than any other design. Wear a necklace that features a large carat weight pendant and that will be just as spectacular, if not more, than a halo style featuring a plethora of smaller stones. No matter what your style is, you can’t go wrong with a solitaire.
WHAT IS A SOLITAIRE RING?
A solitaire ring is an engagement ring or right-hand ring that features only one diamond or alternative stone. Across all diamonds from natural to lab grown diamonds, this style is one of the most popular engagement ring designs, next to halos and three stone rings. Many consumers choose the solitaire ring setting because of its timeless elegance and ability to showcase specific features. It allows the focus to be on the center stone, keeping the design simple but still stunning.
Solitaire rings are the most versatile of all ring styles, mainly due to the fact that having only one stone makes it much easier to cast in different settings. You can choose a traditional setting to keep your ring simple, or a modern setting to add extra flair. No matter what design features you choose, you can never go wrong with a classic solitaire engagement ring.
THE HISTORY OF SOLITAIRE RINGS
Solitaire rings have been around since rings first existed. In fact, they were the only type of ring that existed until the diamond industry really took off. Around the 1940s, diamond corporation De Beers took ownership of the majority of the market, but up until that point, diamonds were only for the rich. With a plethora of diamonds (that’s right, mined diamonds are not and have never been rare) and not enough sales, De Beers decided to hire advertising agency N.W. Ayer to turn the industry around. The campaign that the agency developed - “A Diamond is Forever” - changed the way the entire world viewed diamond engagement rings.
Once the diamond industry took off and demand was high, new engagement ring styles were invented to pique interest. Three stone, halo, accented- the list goes on. Now when faced with how to buy a diamond, there are so many options of engagement ring styles that it can be overwhelming to choose from. Nevertheless, the simplicity and sparkle of a solitaire engagement ring has continued to be loved by many.
ADVANTAGES OF SOLITAIRE RINGS
CENTER OF ATTENTION
One of the first things a woman will hear when she tells her friends and family that she is engaged is, “Let me see the ring!” While most will examine the entire ring, scoping out fine details, shape and overall setting style, the real winner is the center stone. With a solitaire engagement ring, all eyes will immediately focus on your one and only stone. This will end up drawing more attention to your ring as the center stone will stand out from far away.
This also means you have one chance to get it right. If you decide on a solitaire style, you should spend most of your engagement ring search choosing the perfect center stone. On the diamond quality scale, the average diamond is medium quality with some inclusions or blemishes visible to the naked eye. But, if you’re looking for something with the highest visual quality for the lowest price point, diamonds aren’t your only option. Nexus Diamond™ alternatives are Internally Flawless, D color (colorless), and Ideal Cut for maximum brilliance and fire. That’s the same quality as the rarest diamonds on the market. Plus, they’re up to 80% less than mined diamonds, so you can spend your money on what really matters, like your wedding or honeymoon.
Less is more. Or in this case, less is less. One of the biggest advantages of buying a solitaire engagement ring is that it may be much less expensive than other styles such as halo. The decrease in price is mainly because there are no additional costs associated with side stones or accents. Although some consumers will buy a larger center carat weight to counter the simplicity of the design, which adds to the overall cost, many still stay around the average one carat center stone. If you do decide that a larger center stone is what you want, you’ll be able to stretch your money much further with just one stone to spend it on.
EASIER TO CARE FOR
For the simple fact of having only one stone, a solitaire engagement ring is much easier to care for. There is only one stone to regularly clean and only one setting to care for and ensure nothing happens to. Other rings, like a three stone setting, triple the difficulty of caring for your ring. This is especially true when not all three stones are the same. A common engagement ring trend is to pair two colored gemstones next to a colorless diamond or diamond alternative. An intricate design like that will be much harder to clean and manage. How to clean diamonds will be different than what works for colored stones. This may result in having to get your ring professionally cleaned more frequently. With a solitaire engagement ring, once you’ve nailed how to take care for your specific stone and metal, you’re all set. The day-to-day routine of caring for your engagement ring will be much simpler with a solitaire setting.
Solitaire engagement rings are a classic design. They have always been one of the most popular styles and will continue to shine in the spotlight with their simplicity and brilliance. If having a trendy engagement and wedding ring is important to you, then a timeless design like solitaire may be perfect. This is also important if you plan to hand your ring down to the next generation. You’ll want a style that your children or grandchildren will also be excited about, and with the solitaire ring’s ability to transcend time with its classic style, you can be sure they’ll adore it just as much as you. On the other hand, ring styles like halo are extremely popular engagement ring styles right now, but that hasn’t always been the case. Due to their temporality in trendiness, this means they might not always be in style. A solitaire engagement ring will ensure that your ring is trendy now, and forever more.
SOLITAIRE SETTING STYLES
Solitaire engagement rings come in a variety of setting options. Because this style offers so many variations, it’s important to know the most popular setting styles so you can choose the one that best suits you.
PEG HEAD SETTING
Peg head settings are very popular as they give your ring a sleek look. Peg heads usually have four or six prongs. The more prongs the setting features, the more modern the design will look. Although their style is captivating, they are one of the most dangerous settings for your stone. Peg head settings are more prone to accidents because they sit high against the shank, exposing your stone and opening it up to a greater chance of damage. Along with the stone being exposed, your prongs may also get damaged more easily. If you live an active lifestyle and you use your hands a lot, it may be a good idea to choose a safer setting to avoid wear and tear. Although, if your ring won’t be exposed to material it could snag on, peg heads are a beautiful choice for a setting.
A basket setting is similar to a peg head setting, except that it includes an additional band of metal that helps it withstand everyday wear. And, of course, it resembles a basket. This is the most traditional and widespread setting that is commonly seen in solitaire engagement rings. Basket settings usually have four prongs that hold the stone in place, and may sit high or low depending on the specific design.
A trellis setting is a type of prong setting known for its elegant, swooping profile view. It is frequently designed with four prongs that weave over one another, although there may be more prongs depending on the center stone shape. Trellis settings are less popular than classic basket or peg head settings, but are still often seen in a solitaire ring setting and three stone engagement rings.
A bezel setting surrounds the diamond or diamond alternative’s girdle (the widest point of a stone) with a band of metal. This creates a smooth, snag-free edge which keeps your stones safe from falling out. Although there is less of a chance of your stone getting damaged in this setting, bezel settings are also known for making a stone look smaller than it would in a normal basket or peg head setting. This is because the metal actually covers the edges of your stone to keep it held tight. So if you have a one carat center stone, you won’t be able to see the full carat as some of it will be hidden, making it appear smaller. This is the main reason bezel settings are less popular than other classic settings. Due to this fact, bezel settings are more commonly seen in other fine jewelry as there is less pressure for large carat sizes in earrings and pendants.
If you live an active lifestyle or work with your hands on a day-to-day basis, a bezel setting may be right for you. Your stones will be much less likely to fall out and you won’t have to worry about damaging prongs. Another great advantage to this setting is it can pair well with how diamonds are cut. It may hide inclusions and blemishes better if they are located close to the edges of your stone because the metal may cover them.
HOW TO KNOW IF A SOLITAIRE IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Solitaire engagement rings feature many advantages - like their cost and style - but they might not be right for everyone. To find out if a solitaire ring is the right choice for you or your fiancée, decide if the attributes of the style outweigh other styles.
A solitaire ring is the most timeless engagement ring on the market. Its design will never go out of style, no matter how long it stays in your family tree. It’s also a foolproof choice if you’re not sure which engagement ring design to go with. Halo rings can be extremely sparkly, while accented rings may not be practical for everyday wear. Solitaire engagement rings will give you the comfort you need, along with the dazzle you’re looking for. The classic style will also give you the widest variety of design features and stone shapes to choose from. Some fancy shapes are not offered in styles like halo or three stone because they are more difficult to cast, but with a solitaire ring you can choose from a wide selection of setting and center stone options out there.
Before you buy a solitaire engagement ring, it may be wise to try one on first. If you’re buying online and aren’t able to do so, try an inexpensive right-hand ring for a few days. That way you can get a feel for the simplicity of the style and ensure it’s the right choice for you. No matter which features you decide on for your ring, a solitaire engagement ring will be a simple and charming adornment that represents your unique relationship.
Would you choose a solitaire setting? Tell us in the comments!
*Diamond Nexus strives to provide valuable information, while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulant that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions - it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.