Last updated on December 26, 2022
The diamond solitaire engagement ring has always been a timeless and classic choice. Although this iconic setting type compliments any diamond shape, there are some factors to consider when picking one. Let’s see how to choose a diamond solitaire ring that dazzles with its simplicity and beauty.
What Is a Diamond Solitaire Ring?
A diamond solitaire is a type of ring that contains a single diamond without extra diamonds or other gemstones around the centre stone or the shank of the ring. In general, the term “diamond solitaire” can be referred to all jewellery types, including earrings and necklaces, with just one diamond. In other words, this simple and clean design is about the centre stone.
It is also worth mentioning that nowadays, the term “diamond solitaire” can also be referred to rings featuring a single centre diamond and a pavé band. In such a case, solitaire is used to indicate that the ring features just one centre stone without extra stones around it.
The diamond solitaire is a classic and timeless engagement ring design that has been around for decades. In fact, diamond solitaire rings are the most popular engagement rings given. As well as engagements, solitaire rings are beautiful gifts to celebrate special occasions such as an anniversary, a birthday or any personal accomplishment.
Choosing a Diamond for a Solitaire Ring
Choosing the right diamond is probably the most important in terms of a solitaire ring. Diamond colour, clarity and cut are the key factors.
If you want to save some money, it is not worth paying a premium for colourless round diamonds. In most cases, near-colourless stones graded H, I or J will look the same to the untrained eye. However, if you are buying an emerald, Asscher or princess cut diamond, it makes sense to opt for G, H, or I colours as yellow tints are more visible in them.
Of course, diamonds with FL (Flawless) or IF (Internally Flawless) clarity grades look impeccable, but they are also expensive. If you do not need a perfect stone, you may take a look at diamonds in VS (Very Slightly Included) or SI (Slightly Included) range since these stones will look eye clean from an average viewing distance.
The cut quality is a crucial factor, as the way a diamond is cut and polished affects how it will reflect light and how much brilliance and sparkle it will show.
If you do not want your diamond to look dull and lifeless, skip the stones with Fair and Poor cut grades. For a solitaire ring, it is highly recommended to have a diamond graded at least Good, and preferably Very Good or even better Excellent. After all, the cut is the deciding factor for how brilliant your diamond will look.
Solitaire engagement ring styles vary depending on the shape of the diamond. While the round diamond is the most popular choice, there is a variety of cuts/shapes for every taste.
For example, the princess cut is the second most popular style for a solitaire ring due to its modern look. Step cut diamonds such as emerald and Asscher are perfect for those who want to emphasize the clarity of their stone, while the oval and marquise are sophisticated shapes for romantic individuals.
With solitaire rings, you typically have two settings to choose from – prong and bezel. The prong setting usually uses four or six prongs to hold the diamond in place, while the bezel setting encircles the diamond with a thin metal frame.
The advantage of the prong setting is that it leaves more of the diamond visible, allowing more light to enter the stone. However, prongs are less safe and need to be regularly checked for damages. The bezel setting is safer, but the downside is that it covers more of the stone and makes it look a bit smaller.
Choosing a Metal for a Diamond Solitaire Ring
The choice of metal in a solitaire ring determines how the diamond looks relative to the setting and how quickly its parts wear down.
When choosing the metal, you should consider your diamond’s colour. Remember not to have a diamond with visible yellowish tints set in a ring made of platinum or white gold, as white metals tend to highlight the yellow in the stone due to the increased contrast. In the case of diamonds with yellow colouration, yellow or rose gold will be a better option as the metal’s colour will mask the yellowish tints of the stone and make it look whiter against the mounting.
As for the durability of the metals, platinum is one of the most durable options available; however, platinum rings are also among the most expensive. If you still prefer cool-tone metals but want to stay within your budget, white gold may be a good alternative. In case you prefer the warmer colour of the metal such as yellow or rose gold, be aware that rose gold is more durable due to the strength of the copper alloy.
Pros and Cons of Solitaire Engagement Rings
As the most popular engagement ring design, solitaire is a beautiful choice for those with a simple and elegant style. However, like every ring setting, solitaire has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Makes the diamond more prominent;
- Allows light to pass through the stone increasing its fire, brilliance and scintillation;
- Compliments all diamond shapes, cuts and sizes;
- Easy to maintain and clean.
- Can snag hair and clothes, especially if the diamond is high-set;
- Prongs may become loose over time. It is recommended to have the prongs inspected regularly.
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