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What is a Solitaire Ring? The Ultimate Guide for Finding Your Sparkle

So, you’re shopping for an engagement ring. First of all, congrats on finding your special someone! Second, you're probably a little overwhelmed with the seemingly endless options when it comes to finding your special sparkle. You know, the ring you want to pop the big question with, or, if you've done that already, the ring you want to show the world that you're freshly engaged with!

Whether this is literally the first thing you've ever read about engagement rings or you're well into your shopping journey, knowing some basic terminology can really help you zero in your search. And one of the most basic is the solitaire engagement ring. One of the most timeless and beloved styles out there, a solitaire ring is probably what you picture when you imagine engagement rings. But it's also so much more than that. Let's discuss!

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What Exactly is a Solitaire Ring?

In the simplest terms, a solitaire ring is the ultimate engagement ring—one show-stopping diamond mounted atop a simple gold band. No sidekicks, no distractions. Just a single, stunning gemstone that takes center stage. The term "solitaire" comes from the Latin word "solitarius," which means alone or isolated, much like the single gemstone in the ring. The style became especially popular after De Beers’ iconic “A Diamond is Forever” campaign in the 1940s, but it has been around for centuries.

You may have also heard of Tiffany solitaires, which were introduced in 1886. Featuring the iconic six-prong Tiffany Setting, these rings elevate the diamond above the band to maximize brilliance and light exposure. The style has become one in a countless sea of other similar solitaire engagement rings, each with its own unique personality. And yes, even within this single style of ring, there are many.

GOODSTONE North South Half Bezel Solitaire Engagement Ring With Marquise Cut Diamond

TheNorth South Half Bezel Solitaire Engagement Ring With Marquise Cut Diamond, a beautiful solitaire engagement ring with two bezel lips on the tips of the diamond.

Why Choose a Solitaire Ring?

Solitaire rings have been around forever, and there’s a reason they’ve stood the test of time. Their simplicity is their strength. They’re like the little black dress of the jewelry world—always in style, always appropriate. If you want the diamond to be the star of the show, a solitaire setting is the way to go. With no other gems or intricate details to distract from its beauty, the diamond gets to shine in all its glory. Solitaire rings are also incredibly versatile. Whether you’re into vintage vibes, modern minimalism, or classic elegance, there’s a solitaire ring out there that will fit your style perfectly. Plus, they’re super easy to pair with wedding bands, making them a win-win.

GOODSTONE Penumbra Bezel Set Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut

ThePenumbra Bezel Set Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut, is always in style, and always stunning.

Picking the Perfect Solitaire Ring

When shopping for a solitaire ring, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure you pick the perfect one. The first is diamond shape, which is the outline of your center stone, and can have a big impact on the overall look of your ring. Then there's the setting style, which is how your diamond is secured, and there are a few different options here that we'll cover in more detail below. The last is the metal type or color, which largely comes down to personal preferences.

GOODSTONE East West Half Bezel Solitaire Engagement Ring With Elongated Radiant Cut Diamond

Choose a beloved GOODSTONE original ring, like theEast West Half Bezel Solitaire Engagement Ring With Elongated Radiant Cut Diamondfor the perfect solitaire engagement ring.

Choosing a Diamond

This is the biggie. Since the diamond is the star of any solitaire engagement ring, you’ll want to pay close attention to its shape and to the Four Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight. When it comes to diamond shapes for solitaire engagement rings, there is no shape more popular or widely available than the round brilliant cut. Round diamond engagement rings make up about 75% of the market. Their popularity, as well as the amount of rough carat weight lost during the cutting process, however, also make them the most expensive diamond shape.

A round brilliant-cut diamond is characterized by its circular outline and its brilliant-cut facets, which are designed to maximize the diamond's sparkle. The round brilliant cut is renowned for its ability to reflect light exceptionally well, resulting in a dazzling display of fire, sparkle, and brilliance. It's widely regarded as the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and is a timeless choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry pieces.

Any shape other than round is referred to as a fancy cut or fancy shape diamond.

Princess Cut:The second most popular shape, princess cut diamonds are essentially the square version of round brilliant diamonds. They have a square outline with sharp, pointed corners.

Radiant Cut: The radiant cut is kind of a mish-mash of shapes, combining the elegant outline of the emerald cut with the brilliant sparkle of the round brilliant cut. It has trimmed corners and a rectangular or square shape, with facets that enhance its brilliance and fire.

Oval Cut:The oval cut is an elongated shape with soft, rounded edges. It offers a similar brilliance to the round brilliant cut but has a unique and elongating effect on the finger.

Marquise Cut:The marquise cut is characterized by its boat-like shape with pointed ends. It has a long, slender silhouette that creates the illusion of larger size and elongates the finger.

Pear Cut: The pear cut, also known as the teardrop cut, combines the round and marquise shapes. It features one rounded end that tapers to a point at the other end, resembling a sparkling teardrop.

Cushion Cut:The cushion cut, also known as the pillow cut, has soft sides, rounded corners, and larger facets. It has a vintage-inspired appearance and offers a balance of brilliance and romantic charm.

Emerald Cut: The emerald cut is rectangular with trimmed corners and step-cut facets. It emphasizes clarity and elegance rather than brilliance, with a sleek and sophisticated appearance. The elongated, concentric facets give it a hall-of-mirrors look. Often used in Art Deco-inspired settings.

Asscher Cut: The Asscher cut is similar to the emerald cut but with a square shape instead of rectangular, and larger step facets. It has a distinctive and timeless appeal, known for its clean lines and Art Deco aesthetic.

Old Mine Cut:The old mine cut is an antique diamond shape with a cushion-like appearance and a high crown. It features larger facets and a smaller table, resulting in a warmer sparkle reminiscent of candlelight.

Old European Cut:The old European cut is another antique diamond shape, known for its round outline and larger facets. It predates the modern round brilliant cut and has a romantic, vintage appeal with a softer sparkle.

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The 4 Cs

When selecting a solitaire diamond, understanding the 4Cs—cut, color, clarity, and carat weight—is crucial for making an informed decision. First and foremost, the cut of a diamond refers not to its shape, but to its proportions, symmetry, and polish. A well-cut diamond reflects light in a way that maximizes its brilliance and fire, creating that mesmerizing sparkle we all adore. Next, color plays a significant role in a diamond's appearance. While most diamonds appear colorless to the naked eye, subtle differences in hue can affect their value. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond color on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown), with higher grades typically commanding higher prices due to their rarity and purity.

Moving on, clarity assesses the presence of imperfections, or inclusions, within a diamond. These natural features can range from tiny specks to more noticeable blemishes, and they're graded on a scale from Flawless (no inclusions visible under 10x magnification) to Included (inclusions visible to the naked eye). While flawless diamonds are rare and highly valued, diamonds with slight inclusions can still be stunningly beautiful and more budget-friendly. Finally, carat weight refers to the size of a diamond, with one carat equaling 200 milligrams. However, carat weight is just one aspect of a diamond's overall appearance, and factors like cut quality can significantly impact its visual appeal. By considering each of these 4Cs—cut, color, clarity, and carat weight—in concert, you can confidently choose a diamond that not only fits your budget but also captures the beauty and brilliance you desire.

Remember, it’s not just about size – a well-cut, smaller diamond can dazzle more than a larger, poorly-cut one.

GOODSTONE Club Ring Solitaire Engagement Ring With an Elongated Cushion Cut Diamond

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Choosing an Engagement Ring Setting

The setting is what holds the diamond in place and can influence the overall look of the ring. Prong settings are the most common for classic solitaire engagement rings, as they lift the diamond up and let in lots of light, enhancing its sparkle. A bezel setting, which encases the diamond in a slender metal rim, offers a sleek and modern look while providing great protection for the stone.

There are many variations in prong settings, from the number of prongs (4, 6, 8, etc.) to a single or double-tipped claw setting, to their arrangements (set at 45-degrees or at compass points). Settings can also have details like a milgrain edge on a bezel, which offers a subtle dotted texture. Simple and minimalistic design makes you really pay attention to the small details.

You can also choose whether you want a plain band, a flat, square one, or perhaps a knife-edge band that comes to a soft ridge. Your perfect ring should reflect your unique style. With just a single diamond glowing at the center of your ring, everything matters!

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Opt for aHalf Bezel Solitaire for a mixed blend of modern and elegance.

Choosing a Metal for Your Engagement Ring

The metal of your solitaire engagement ring is just as important as the diamond itself. Do you prefer yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, or platinum? Each metal has its own unique look and vibe. Also, consider the width and shape of the band – a thinner band can make the diamond look larger, while a wider band offers a bolder, more substantial feel. If you're wanting to wear a wedding band along with your diamond engagement ring, then perhaps considering whether you want a harmonious, matching pair or to mix metals. The choice is yours!


The Club Ring Solitaire Engagement Ring With an Asscher Cut Diamond looks great in any metal.

Shopping for Solitaire Engagement Rings

So there you have it—the lowdown on solitaire rings. They’re elegant, timeless, and put the spotlight right where it belongs: on that gorgeous diamond. Whether you’re just starting your ring-shopping adventure or narrowing down your choices, keep the solitaire in mind. It’s a classic for a reason, and it might just be the perfect way to symbolize your forever love.

Explore our complete collection of engagement rings to find the one that's the perfect ring for you, or reach out to our design team to create your dream ring today!

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