Welcome to The Clear Cut Classroom where we take deep dives into all things diamonds (and jewelry)! In this episode, we take you through the design process from settings, bands, prongs, and metals to help you design your perfect Solitaire! ✨
Watch the full video below:
Today, we'll talk about one of the most popular ring styles: the solitaire setting. A solitaire ring refers to the type of ring that has one main diamond with no side stones, so it's just the band and the diamond on top. You can't go more classic for an engagement ring than the solitaire style.
Although it is so classic, there are so many different iterations of a solitaire setting that you can do. The first decision when it comes to solitaire setting is choosing between a cathedral and non-cathedral style. A cathedral style is when there are two shoulders of the band leading up to the diamond. A non-cathedral style just means the diamond sits directly on the shank, or band, of the ring. This choice comes down to preference - the non-cathedral has a more delicate look, whereas the cathedral provides a bit more security to the diamond if that is a concern.
Another aspect to consider is the width of the shank. Our most popular setting is our super skinny solitaire, which is a 1.5mm shank. This is the thinnest we recommend for everyday wear - it gives a really dainty look and makes the diamond pop. A more classic or traditional width would be 2mm, so any width between 1.5 and 2mm is going to be a popular choice.
You also want to decide if you want to add pave diamonds to your shank or keep it as plain metal. A pave setting means that small diamonds are set directly into the band.
Another really important aspect of the ring is the basket and the prongs that surround the base of the diamond. The prongs are like the small claws that hold the diamond in place, and the basket is where the diamond sits. With round brilliant diamonds, you'll often see the options of 4 or 6 prongs. A 4 prong setting means there is less metal around the diamond, but requires the basket metal wire below. For those who don't like the look of the basket, we often add a pave diamonds, and this is called a 'hidden halo'. A 6 prong setting means there is no wire along the basket of the setting because of the extra 2 prongs that hold up the diamond securely. For other types of diamond shapes like a pear, there are options of 3 or 5 prongs. For cushion cuts and ovals, we always recommend 4 prongs, but you always have the option to change the orientation.
In the end, it is a stylistic choice of how many prongs you like on your diamond!
There are also different styles of prongs to know about. The most popular style is the delicate claw prong, which looks like little talons on the edge of the diamond. Other popular styles include the ball prong, which is more rounded, and the tab prong, which is more apparent in antique style rings.
Lastly, for the color of the band, a platinum or white gold ring will usually be the same color for the basket and prongs. If you want a rose gold or yellow gold band, we usually recommend setting the diamond in platinum, meaning the basket and prongs are in platinum so that the color of the band does not reflect into the diamond.
These are the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a solitaire style setting ring. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!