According to Brides magazine, ‘The most popular diamond cut for engagement rings is round brilliant’ (read their full article The 12 Most Popular Diamond Shapes for Engagement Rings here). The most popular ring type is the solitaire (or a single stone engagement ring) featuring that round brilliant cut diamond. The reasons for this are clear and fairly obvious. If you want a classic, traditional, timeless engagement ring, then the solitaire is the ring for you.
What is a solitaire ring? A solitaire ring is defined as a ring that contains a single diamond and only a single diamond. It is a ring that will never date and what most women will imagine that they would receive for their engagement ring. The solitaire is an iconic ring that has simplicity at its heart. It can be understated but it can also be striking in its appearance.
The solitaire is a symbol of love, romance and devotion. The focus is fully on the stone centrepiece creating an elegant and pure look. A solitaire goes with any other piece of jewellery and any style of clothing. Often the solitaire is paired with a plain band to place even more emphasis on the centrepiece. What more could she want than an engagement ring in gold in a solitaire style?
Choices for Solitaires :-
When thinking about choosing a single stone engagement ring for your bride to be, there are still plenty of choices for you to consider. Try not to get bogged down in ‘What is a solitaire ring?’ but instead think more about what style of ring you prefer, rather than the category it sits in.
Firstly think about the shape of the stone you’re going to choose. Diamonds come in a variety of shapes and these can create very different looks and each shape has its pros and cons. To find out more about the cushion cut diamond see our blog Beautiful Engagement Ring Styles – Choosing the Cushion Cut Diamond Shape here. See below for our suggestions about the best solitaire engagement rings.
Solitaire Shapes :-
As you can see below there are lots of shapes for you and your bride to be to fall in love with. The round brilliant is the most popular, but it is also the most expensive of the diamond shapes. It can, however, feature in the best solitaire engagement rings. And when in comparison to some other shapes the round brilliant can look smaller than another diamond of the same carat weight but in a different shape. So if budget is a consideration, the round brilliant might not be the shape for you.
The pear, oval and marquise shaped diamonds all have the appearance of being larger than the round when comparing very similar carat weights. These fancy shapes, as they are known in the industry, are also very modern and more fashionable shapes for your single stone engagement ring.
But essentially, you need to choose the shape that you prefer and that you think will suit the style of ring you have in mind. What shape of diamond would make the best solitaire engagement ring for you? An engagement ring in gold in a solitaire style could be the perfect choice for you!
Solitaire Sizes :-
Often when buying a solitaire diamond engagement ring, size does matter! Of course you can choose to go for a smaller sized diamond for your solitaire, if you are looking to give your partner a dainty, feminine style of ring. But often with a solitaire diamond engagement ring, as the centre stone is the main and perhaps only focus for the eye, you would be looking to make the stone big enough to be a statement.
Below gives you an illustration of roughly how big each weight of diamond would look on the average hand. But don’t forget, these are round diamonds; other shapes would look much larger for the carat size. And remember when purchasing a solitaire, your investment is in the diamond that you choose, not necessarily the ring that it sits in. The best solitaire engagement rings come with the best diamonds whatever the size!
For more information about choosing the perfect diamond shape and size for your special ring, see our blog ‘Diamond Size Comparison – how to choose the best diamond for your special ring’ here.
Band Styles – Keep it Simple?
There are lots of solitaire engagement ring settings to take into account when choosing a ring. One solitaire engagement ring setting to consider is the band that the stone is set into.
When choosing a solitaire diamond engagement ring for your engagement ring, often clients choose to keep the band really simple to keep the focus on the centrepiece diamond. And this is a great idea. However, you can add some intricate details to your solitaire to make the ring more unique.
You could add some milgrain detailing to your existing solitaire design. Perhaps some beading? Or other patterning? Others have opted for a split shank to draw the eye to the centre stone. And others have chosen to include some diamonds or other stones in unusual places to keep the focus on the stone up front but to add some glamour to the design. Choosing to add stones on the top of the band could be a great idea for your ring. Or simply adding a hidden special stone on the inside of the band could make your ring really special.
Lots of people favour a diamond band with a solitaire engagement ring as it adds some extra sparkle. Although this is not a true solitaire style of ring, it is a variation upon it. Having a diamond band with a solitaire engagement ring still retains the emphasis on the stone up front and can be perfect to emphasise a large single stone.
The ring featured below (Milgrain Blue Sapphire Ring) isn’t a solitaire style of ring, but you can see the milgrain detailing on the band and the intricately detailed band could give you inspiration for your solitaire ring design.
Band Styles – Knife Edge or Comfort Fit?
Below is the Esha Knife edge Engagament Ring and the Esha Classic Four Prong Ring which has a comfort fit band. This is another decision that you’ll need to consider for your engagement ring in gold in a solitaire style.
The knife edge band is modern, sleek and stylish. It creates an optical illusion of a thin band by featuring a sharp(ish) point that goes around the outer edge of the band. The knife edge can be full (all the way around the shank) or partial (just around the front of the band).
One main advantage of the knife edge band is that it can make the centre stone look bigger. A brilliant advantage! And, as this band type is less common, it can also make your ring stand out from the crowd. The knife edge band is versatile and stunning.
But it does have a couple of drawbacks. It can be less comfortable than the usual type of band because it can feel like it is digging in to your adjacent fingers. And as the band goes to a point, it can be less durable and more prone to damage. But this is still unusual and can often be rectified easily.
The comfort fit band is the more common choice for rings and that is our standard band here at Diamond Boutique. It is, as the name suggests, the most comfortable style of band. The band is rounded on the inside of it to ensure it is easier to get the band on and off and that once on your finger it follows the contours of your hand to make it really comfortable.
The comfort fit band is elegant, classic and timeless. Perhaps the perfect choice for you?
Prongs – Four, Six, Round or Eagle?
Another solitaire engagement ring setting to consider is the way in which the diamond is secured onto the ring. Using prongs is the most common solitaire engagement ring setting.
Who would have thought there would be so many decisions made surrounding the prongs holding the stone in place in your solitaire diamond engagement ring? But there are! Your diamond or gemstone centre stone is the most valuable thing on your solitaire ring and you want to make sure that the diamond is held securely in place. The shape of the stone can determine how many prongs are necessary. For a round diamond or gemstone, you can choose four or six prongs.
The four prong choice makes the diamond look more square whereas the six prong option makes the diamond look more round. The four prong setting allows more of the diamond to be seen, but the six prong option is very secure indeed. The jeweller should be able to advise what is best for your particular ring, but your personal preference should also be taken into account here too.
You can also choose the shape of your prongs for your solitaire ring based on your own personal preference. The prongs can be round, square or eagle shaped. Eagle claws are really fashionable right now but these are the claws that show the most metal from the top of the diamond.
Square and round are as the names suggest and these are more classic and traditional. Both of these types of claw cover less of the diamond surface. These claws create stunning yet simple solitaire engagement rings.
Why Choose a Diamond When You Can Choose Any Colour of the Rainbow?
Traditionally, engagement rings and especially solitaire engagement rings, feature a diamond at their centre. But however, gemstones make brilliant solitaire rings. They can be the most glamorous, eye-catching, statement making pieces of jewellery. Perfect for an engagement ring. Perfect to make a declaration of love with. So, throw out your ideas about ‘what is a solitaire ring’ and choose a splash of colour.
Gemstones come in every colour of the rainbow to suit every preference. Below is a statement tanzanite ring. It’s not quite a tanzanite solitaire ring, as it has a diamond halo and diamonds on the band. But none the less, you can see that the pear shaped stone here would make a beautiful tanzanite solitaire ring. One that every woman would be proud to wear.
Check out our Pear Shaped Tanzanite Ring here. A tanzanite solitaire ring in the making!
Bespoke Designs: Solitaire Rings with a Twist
Below are some of our favourite recent bespoke designs that feature a large stone functioning as a solitaire. Our first is a beautiful solitaire ring with a hidden halo. From the top it looks like a large round simple solitaire engagement ring. Stunning in itself! But if you look carefully, you’ll see a gorgeous hidden halo around the dazzling diamond. It turns this ring into something really special.
Secondly, we have a large pear shaped diamond with additional diamonds on the band. Not strictly speaking a solitaire, but again a take on it. This design is similar to our tanzanite solitaire ring featured above but this time, no halo around the stone. Two great options for a stunning engagement ring! Again this is a fairly simple solitaire engagement ring design with a twist. Remarkable!
According to The Knot, 10% of respondents said their engagement ring features ‘another precious stone beyond diamonds’ (read their full article here ‘The Most Popular Engagement Ring Styles Right Now’ here).
Our third bespoke design is again a slight deviation from a true solitaire as it features a diamond band with a solitaire engagement ring. But this huge 7ct blue topaz ring is really stunning and if you wanted to customise it into a true solitaire ring, you could have a plain band. Both designs work equally well and the end product is a truly beautiful statement ring.
Buying a Solitaire Engagement Ring – Next Steps
Wow! We’ve talked you through a lot of decisions here! Who would have thought there would be so many decisions to make when considering a single stone engagement ring! We’ve talked you through ‘what is a solitaire ring’ and the choices that you can make when purchasing one. And, these are important decisions to make.
This ring will last the wearer a lifetime and will be loved and cherished by the beholder so it’s important to get it right. It can be a simple solitaire engagement ring or you can make it more complex adding further detailing or stones. The choice is yours!
Before you buy, do some research, get some advice and if possible take your time! Get in touch if you have any more questions that need an answer. And remember, one of the most important things when buying an engagement ring and the journey beyond – enjoy it!