When the Tiffany setting was first introduced in 1886, it quickly revolutionized the industry and became the most popular engagement ring design consumers bought. This was due to its simplicity and incredibly well engineered 6-prong mounting.
Today, the Tiffany setting has become a generic term for any simple, solitaire 6 prong setting. In fact, you will see many jewelers throughout the industry using the term to describe similar-looking goods and products.
As a consumer, there’s a big price difference between buying a real Tiffany ring and a “reproduction/replica” offered by someone else. Is it worth paying up for the Tiffany brand premium or are there good alternatives in the market you can consider?
Well, as the caveat goes, the devil’s always in the details.
In this write-up, we will take a deeper dive into the Tiffany setting and reveal the best places to buy an alternative Tiffany solitaire setting without breaking the bank.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what we will be covering:
Back in the 1800s, most rings had solid bezel designs where the diamond is surrounded by a lot of metal. This impeded light from entering the diamond and affected the brilliance of the overall ring.
In contrast, the Tiffany 6 prong setting helped to accentuate the center stone by lifting it above the band. The gaps between the prongs also allow more light to enter the diamond and enhance its brilliance while maintaining a clean appearance.
As you can imagine, the Tiffany setting took the industry by storm and completely revolutionized the way rings were designed. Fast forward to present time, the Tiffany solitaire ring has become ubiquitous and remained an evergreen design seen in many engagement rings.
While the Tiffany setting is highly versatile across different carat sizes and diamond shapes, I personally think it is most impressive when paired with large sized diamonds (>1.5 ct). The simplicity of the setting works to bring out the best of a huge, immaculate single rock by making it the sole focus of the ring.
If you are detail orientated, brand conscious and love the history behind a product, the short answer is No. Paying up for a ring at Tiffany & Co will enable you to get a good quality product and obviously, the real thing.
However, if you only want something that looks similar and are willing to look beyond the branding, there are lower-cost options that are available. In fact, it is possible to get a better cut diamond ring (better sparkle) while saving a ton of money on your engagement ring.
You see, the thing about buying at Tiffany & Co is that you will be very limited in your options (depends on what’s available) and there is a lack of truly well cut diamonds for selection. The cut quality standards for Tiffany & Co’s diamonds can vary quite a bit if you are a discerning buyer.
Yes, you’ve read that right. I’ve been doing a lot of mystery shopping at Tiffany and I know the caliber of diamonds they are offering to the masses.
Also, you need to play by Tiffany & Co’s “rules” when you shop there. For example, Tiffany does not sell diamonds below a certain color grade and clarity rating. If you are looking for a warmer-looking K color diamond, you are out of luck. On a similar note, if you are planning to buy a lab created diamond, you won’t find any there.
So, if you are someone who wants to get a better bang for your buck and a better cut diamond, here are 3 places where you can find inexpensive Tiffany style solitaire rings.
The timeless design of White Flash’s “Elegant” solitaire ring is alluring.
White Flash is a vendor that specializes in super ideal cut diamonds and they are an authorized seller of well-known designer brands in the industry. They are one of my favorite vendors because of their highly competitive prices and product quality.
In fact, I can tell you that they sell consistently better cut diamonds than Tiffany & Co and at a much cheaper price.
What’s more amazing about them is that they are fully transparent in their product listings. You will find tangible information like scope images and videos to help you assess a diamond’s true cut quality in an objective manner.
A 1 carat sized super ideal cut diamond with superlative light performance and craftsmanship.
Tiffany inspired knife edge solitaire ring featuring 6 scalloped claw prongs.
James Allen is a leading online retailer that offers a huge array of loose diamonds across various shapes, sizes and budget ranges. But more importantly, the shopping experience at James Allen allows you to cherry pick a well-cut diamond based on tangible data provided in their listings.
Using their 360° HD video technology, you can see exactly what you are buying and it allows you to scrutinize any loose diamond down to its finest details. They also have a superb selection of lab grown diamonds that are very popular among younger buyers.
A True Hearts lab created diamond that exhibits top of the line performance and precision.
If you are on a tighter budget constraint, James Allen does have another cheaper Tiffany solitaire engagement ring that you might want to consider. Although it does deviate quite a bit from the original design due to its sharper-looking prongs and clunky shanks, it is priced very affordably at less than $300.
I actually did purchase this particular ring design to do a review and I would say that it is decently made. You can watch a full review of the ring in the video above and personally, I believe this ring provides good value for money at its price point.
Affordable and well-made 6 prong setting with close semblance to the real Tiffany design.
Brian Gavin is a 5th generation diamond cutter who made his name in the world of super ideal cut diamonds. His reputation for the finest standards of light performance and cut precision is evident in his signature diamonds.
Brian Gavin Diamonds is based in Texas, USA and they have a full-fledge workshop where workmanship standards are tightly controlled. This means that every single ring is carefully hand-made and goes through stringent quality checks before they reach the customer’s hands.
I personally find their classic style knife edge ring setting to have the closest similarity to the Tiffany solitaire setting and I can tell you that the prongs are delicately made to perfection.
Besides high quality workmanship of their settings, Brian Gavin offers a good selection of hearts and arrows diamonds for you to cherry-pick from. They are also the only vendor that deals with super ideal cut diamonds down to 0.2 carats in size. So, if you are someone who is looking for a smaller sized ring, they are a great place to start shopping!
The evergreen and classy appeal of a Tiffany engagement ring give a universal appeal to consumers of different age groups and tastes. For people who are willing to fork up the big price premium for a ring from Tiffany & Co, you can rest assured that you are getting a decently good quality ring.
However, for the discerning buyer who’s looking for better cut diamonds and a better way to spend your hard-earned dollars, there are plenty of affordable alternatives in the market. You just need to know where to shop and be selective about your purchase.
If you are relatively new to buying a diamond, make sure you base your decisions based on tangible data instead of marketing fluff. And if you need further assistance or have any doubts, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch via email. I will be happy to help address any questions you have.
What do you think of Blue Nile’s replica Tiffany ring setting? Does white gold or platinum really matter and make any difference?
I think Blue Nile’s version of the tiffany solitaire diamond ring is decently well made too. The difference between white gold and platinum lies a lot in weight and whether the recipient has sensitive skin. In terms of how both types of metals look, you will not be able to tell any difference visually.
I don’t get the hype about buying an expensive Tiffany ring given that they are ubiquitous to every jewelry store. Why would I spend tens of thousands of dollars when I can get a much cheaper reproduction ring at a lower cost elsewhere. Definitely overpriced.
Well, part of the price premium comes from the branding that Tiffany has and also the generally better craftsmanship that they have over other jewellers. For some context, back in the 1800s, most rings were made of solid bezels and covered up a lot of the diamond which impeded light movement. The current open and elevated 6 prong setting wasn’t that obvious at that time. So, it’s quite a feat for Charles Lewis Tiffany to come up with the idea. That’s the rough history behind the ring and why you pay a premium at Tiffanys.
Today, everyone is offering their own take of the design and it has somewhat become a generic term to describe a simple 6 prong tiffany style solitaire engagement ring. You can often find lower costs for similar looking ring settings but in this industry, the details do matter. There are literally thousands of replica Tiffany rings and cheap imitations of the design everywhere you go. Some jewellers make the setting better while most make a lousier version of the ring design.
I’ve always wondered if a real Tiffany 6 prong solitaire engagement ring is worth the money or would an imitation from another jeweler be better. The cost savings is tempting for a replica but how do I judge quality?
It really depends on what you are looking for and what your expectations are. Obviously, price is going to be a big factor if you compare a Tiffany solitaire replica against a real Tiffany solitaire setting.
First things first, if you want the same exact design of a 6 prong Tiff setting, then I would recommend ponying up and pay the big brand premium for it. You do need to learn how to cherry pick the better cut diamonds at Tiffany and can do that easily if you follow the guides here on Beyond4cs.com. While almost every vendor in the world will offer some sort of Tiffany inspired pieces or knock-offs of the setting at lower prices, they cannot legally make it 100% the same exactly as what you can find at Tiffany’s.
Buying a ring a Tiffany’s do mean that you play by their rules too. They only sell diamonds above a certain color and clarity grade to “control” quality. If you are looking for a warmer ring like a J or K color diamond, Tiffany & Co does not offer them in place. Likewise for super ideal cut diamonds. You can expect to find generally well cut diamonds at Tiffany’s but if you expect the best of the best in cut quality, that is an area they are clearly lacking although their salespeople and marketing material will tell you otherwise.
Being in the market for years, I’ve come across countless number of settings when I visit physical stores and even buy my own rings for reviews. There is a mixed bag in quality and how do you actually define quality? People do view “quality” differently. Let’s just use the standard 6 prongs solitaire ring as an example. Personally for me, I define a high quality setting as one that is properly finished with symmetrical shanks and correctly placed prongs. I do look at signs of pitting in the shanks because I want a ring to be long lasting. It must able to withstand some degree of shocks given that accidents may happen when wearing the ring.
The million dollar question is how do you tell? For a layman, it takes some experience to tell a well made setting from a poorly made one. Look at the setting with a loupe and underneath the prongs and shanks. Check for cast marks, frostings, unnatural games, pitting and how well the prongs clamp onto the diamond. Also, look at the overall shape and symmetry of the ring’s shanks and appearance. You don’t need to be an expert to tell if something is slightly off or warped which are indications of poor craftsmanship.
The bottom line is that this design is no longer unique to Tiffany and not all the imitations in the market are made with the same level of skill and craftsmanship.
I know the original Tiffany ring has very delicate prongs that make it hard to snag onto clothes. In well made settings, the prongs should be rounded off properly and there will be minimal spacing (gaps) in the mounting that will catch onto fabric. If it is very easy for you to catch onto things, I suspect that the prongs might have some issues. Bring the ring back to your jeweler to see if they can help you remedy this problem.
I’m looking for an inexpensive Tiffany diamond ring and was offered one at $4,500 by my local vendor. The diamond ring is a 0.62 carat H VS2 and the seller told me that the cut quality is identical to Tiffany’s but this is at a fraction of the price of a real Tiffany ring. Is this a good deal?
Do you get a snagging issue with replica Tiffany solitaire rings? I seem to have problems with the ring catching onto fabric especially if I am wearing a woolen sweater or outerwear.
I was told that the Vatche U113 ring is a better replica of the Tiffany setting at White Flash. But you seem to recommend another reproduction setting instead of that. Have you heard of the setting and which is the better one to get?
I actually like the Vatche U113 ring as an alternative design that is very close to the original. However, I didn’t list the ring in this article because I wanted to keep options that cost much less. The U113 is pretty expensive because it is also a designer ring and it comes with a brand premium. Don’t get me wrong. It’s well made but at nearly half the price, I think the White Flash in-house ring will offer better value for money.
There are plenty of affordable Tiffany inspired rings sold by jewelers around the world. The thing is, I cannot give any constructive advice without tangible data of the diamond. E.g. is the diamond GIA or AGS graded? What’s the true cut quality of the diamond? Scope images will help here to provide information in an unbiased and objective manner. Anybody can claim to sell well cut diamonds but everyone’s interpretation of cut quality is different and I can tell you that most jewelers have very poor standards. That said, Tiffany’s diamonds aren’t top of the line in cut quality as well. They are good but most of their stones are NOT great by my standards. So, to answer your question, the cheaper ring offered by your jeweler may or may not be expensive depending on the details.
I will just say this. Assuming that the cut quality of the diamond is best of the best, and that’s very very very unlikely. The total cost of the ring at $4,500 sounds like an OK price to pay for. But if that diamond isn’t that well cut, you are getting quite an expensive deal in that context.
I will just provide you with some pricing examples here:
This is a diamond with top notch light performance and it costs about $3,000. If you add in another $1,000 for a Tiffany style solitaire ring, that totals up to only $4,000. Mind you, this is a 0.7 carat diamond and that in itself should tell you that a 0.62 carat diamond will cost much less.