Besides the main feature diamond, choosing a setting is the next most crucial step when shopping for an engagement ring. If you get it right with a carefully selected setting, you can complement the center stone and enhance the overall beauty of the ring. On the other hand, if you get it wrong, you will end up with an awkward setting that overpowers the center stone.
To quote an example, small diamonds that weigh around 0.3-0.4 carats can look good in plain bands. However, if you place the same stone in an extravagant setting with intricate metalwork and carvings, the setting might be the only thing your eyes see!
With literally thousands of setting designs available, making a choice can become a very daunting task. Among the various types of designs, the solitaire setting is the most popular choice mainly because of its lower cost and simplicity. That said, even though the solitaire setting is a favorite choice for many people, does that mean you should choose it too?
The following is a detailed discussion of what a solitaire setting is and what makes it unique. Hopefully at the end of this article, you can gain a better insight into the possibilities available out there.
A solitaire ring design is one that features a single gemstone mounted on a band. Strictly by definition, solitaire designs are mutually exclusive from the multiple-setting categories.
The Tiffany setting is probably the most recognizable solitaire design everyone is familiar with. However, there are other solitaire designs like the bezel, flush, arched or tension settings which are also good alternatives to consider. I listed some examples below…
Feel free to click on the images for a 3D view of the ring…
The solitaire design conveys a powerful message in a very subtle and unexaggerated way. Traditionally, solitaire rings have been used to express one’s true love for a lifetime partner and this was one of the reasons why they are extremely popular for guys who are intending to propose.
Here’s a tip for the absolutely clueless: If you can’t make up your mind on what type of setting to get, I recommend going with a simple 4 prong setting design. This is the safest choice that hardly goes wrong.
Besides traditional settings, JamesAllen.com offers over 200 different contemporary designs…
A solitaire ring is a relatively simple setting to fabricate and it costs much less than other types of rings (side stones, pave etc…). For budget conscious people, the solitaire route is probably the best option. It’s simple, elegant and easy on the pocket.
Solitaire designs are also enduring and timeless. Not only can they easily match up with any type of dressings, they don’t go out style. As proof of testament, the solitaire ring setting had always been the number one setting choice since it was first introduced in the late 1800s.
Unlike other types of setting designs which might not complement certain diamond shapes, solitaire designs are very adaptable for all types of diamond shapes and sizes. Also, it showcases a diamond’s brilliance by allowing the stone to receive as much light as possible.
When choosing a setting, the two key things to consider are the ring’s thickness and its material.
The reason why ring thickness matters is due to the optical illusions it can portray. For example, if you have a small center diamond, it can be made to appear larger by using a tapered shank. Also, thinner bands will also suit people with smaller fingers better because it won’t bog down the finger.
When selecting the type of metal used, you need to take into account the color of the center stone you had chosen. For example, white gold or platinum are white colored metals and they blend better with colorless diamonds.
On the other hand, yellow gold or rose gold will cause the diamond to pick up color from its surroundings. That is to say, even if you paid a premium for a D colorless diamond, the stone would still appear with a yellowish tinge when it is mounted!
While you can’t go wrong with matching any shapes to the solitaire setting, you shouldn’t compromise the quality of a diamond’s cut. In solitaire settings, you definitely want the diamond stand out as much as possible. It won’t do you any good to purchase a larger but poorly cut stone that doesn’t sparkle well.
To me, the center stone should be considered as the “main dish” while the setting is the “complementary dish”. Remember, always go for better cut quality instead of the largest carat size when buying a diamond.