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Ring the Bells: Cathedral Engagement Rings are Here to Stay

They say when it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Well, when it comes to cathedral engagement rings, the saying is so, so true. This classic engagement ring style, so named for its architectural influence, has real staying power and for good reason. The cathedral setting ring is elegant, dramatic, and timeless all wrapped up into one shiny package. Basically, it's perfect for a traditionalist who still wants to make a bit of a statement. So, whether you’re just daydreaming about that perfect ring or you’re about to make a choice that’ll last a lifetime, the cathedral setting is definitely worth considering. It’s like your diamond is taking center stage at a grand, elegant ball – and trust me, it’ll have everyone swooning.

GOODSTONE Signature Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut Diamond (East West)

The cathedral engagement ring is perfect for the traditionalist who wants to make a statement.

What’s a Cathedral Setting, Anyway?

Alright, imagine a grand, old cathedral. Those soaring arches that seem to lift the building to the heavens? That’s the inspiration behind the cathedral setting. In this ring design, the center stone is held aloft by two graceful arches that rise from the shank (that’s the band part of the ring). It’s like your gemstone is being elevated to superstar status, which, let’s be honest, it totally deserves.

Cathedral engagement rings first became popular in the early to mid-20th century, though the exact timeline of their initial design is somewhat hazy. Their architectural inspiration can be traced back to the 12th-century grandeur of Gothic cathedrals. However, adapting this architectural style into jewelry design is a more modern development.

Coinciding with the Art Deco and subsequent retro periods of jewelry history, the cathedral's intricate, romantic ring styling boasts sculptural lines and incredible craftsmanship. Also referred to as the "shoulders" of a ring, the cathedral can be slim, shiny metal or adorned with any combination of diamonds and gemstones you like.

GOODSTONE Signature Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut Diamond (East West)

Let your diamond stand tall in the, Signature Cathedral With Emerald Cut Diamond (East West).

Are Cathedral Rings Popular?

Cathedral settings have been wooing romantics for ages, and they’re not going out of style anytime soon. Their classic appeal and versatility is truly timeless. A cathedral setting ring will always look sophisticated, lifting the center stone above the finger, highlighting its beauty and brilliance. As an engagement ring should, of course. And a cathedral solitaire engagement ring can be paired with almost any diamond shape and size you like, which means you have plenty of latitude to still make it your own. For bonus points, cathedral engagement rings look stunning with nearly any wedding band, whether you go with a perfect matched setting, a bold, chunky gold band, or a diamond wedding band that sparkles bright.

GOODSTONE Signature Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut Diamond (North South)

Pictured here is our, Signature Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut Diamond (North South).

Pros and Cons of Cathedral Settings

Alright, let’s break it down with some pros and cons. Because every rose has its thorn, right?


  • Elegant Look: The arches add a touch of sophistication and can make your stone look larger and more prominent.

  • Extra Protection: Those arches aren’t just for show; they also help protect the sides of your center stone from knocks and bumps.

  • Versatile Design: From round brilliants to princess cuts, almost any stone shape looks fabulous in a cathedral setting.


  • Height: The elevated setting can sometimes snag on things. If you’re super active or have a job where you use your hands a lot, this might be something to consider.

  • Cleaning: More nooks and crannies mean a bit more effort to keep clean. But hey, love takes work, right?

GOODSTONE Signature Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut Diamond (North South)

The Signature Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut Diamond (North South), has an elevated look and pairs perfectly with any style wedding band.

Cathedral Setting Style Variations

Now, let’s get to the fun part – the style variations. Because you’re unique, and your ring should be too! A classic cathedral setting is quite simple and sophisticated. Think traditional arches with a single, stunning center stone. It’s like the Audrey Hepburn of rings – timeless and elegant. You could also choose some milgrain edges or explore filigree details to go for a more vintage feel. The type of ring you purchase should really be based on what you love and the styles you want to wear for a lifetime of happiness.

You could also enhance the sparkle of your center stone with a diamond-accented cathedral setting ring. Adding side stones to the shoulders of your ring can create a more unique look, whether it's a slim line of pave diamonds, marquise-detailed settings, or fun, colorful gemstones. Want some green? Choose an emerald cathedral setting ring. Or go with a colored gemstone at the center, such as this pink sapphire number, accented with diamond side stones.

You can also find a split-shank cathedral engagement ring, where the shoulders split into a y-shape on each side, instead of a single point. This looks stunning surrounding your center stone, and can be paired with any setting styles from prongs to bezel. The arches give your ring the benefit of a slightly larger look, while allowing light to pass through and adding a unique design detail.

GOODSTONE Signature Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut Diamond (East West)

Signature Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring With Emerald Cut Diamond (East West) is a blend of classic and modern design with the east west orientation of the diamond.


GOODSTONE Vintage Ridge Shank Diamond Engagement Ring With Pear Cut Diamond

Discover the elegance of the Vintage Ridge Shank Diamond Engagement Ring With Pear Cut Diamond. Where the shoulders gracefully form a y-shape, creating a stunning frame for your center stone.

Find Your Dream Cathedral Engagement Ring

What’s even better than a truly timeless cathedral engagement ring? Customizing one to suit your love story and unique style. Whether you want to add a touch of vintage charm, incorporate colored gemstones for a pop of personality, or go for a modern twist with sleek, clean lines, the possibilities are endless. You can choose the metal, the shape of the center stone, the presence of side stones or a halo – every detail can be tailored to reflect your personal style and story.


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