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.
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.