Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings

Classic elegance and simplicity of appearance make the solitaire setting, also known as the prong setting, by far the most popular style for diamond engagement rings. This design highlights a single prominent diamond held in place by four or six prongs. There is plenty of creativity involved in selecting the shape of the diamond, details of the setting, and type of metal to fit the tastes of the beloved individual for whom the ring is intended.


History of Solitaire Engagement Rings

Archduke Maximilian of Austria may have been the first person to add diamonds to an engagement band when he offered a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy upon his proposal in 1477. For a long time the giving of diamond engagement rings was restricted to the upper class and nobility. In the Victorian Era, diamonds became more common on engagement rings due to the discovery of large deposits of the precious stones in South Africa. In 1886, a designer for Tiffany and Company, a prominent American jeweler, created a specific six-prong solitaire style, so that for a time solitaire settings became known as Tiffany settings. However, in the modern era, Tiffany settings refer only to prong settings retailed by Tiffany and Company, and the overall style is called solitaire.

Solitaire engagement rings have long been a favorite of celebrities. For example, in 1966, Frank Sinatra gave Mia Farrow a lovely pear shaped diamond in a solitaire setting when they became engaged. Matthew Broderick popped the question to Sarah Jessica Parker with an emerald cut diamond in a solitaire setting on a platinum band. Keira Knightley also received a solitaire ring when she became engaged to James Righton.

Advantages of Solitaire Engagement Rings

One of the main attractions of the solitaire setting lies in its ability to showcase a singular diamond. The prongs elevate the stone prominently to the forefront of the ring, allowing light to penetrate all of its facets to scintillating advantage. This allows a maximum amount of fire and brilliance. The solitaire setting magnificently displays all shapes of stones, from the popular round brilliant and princess cuts to unique and distinctive marquise cut or pear shaped diamonds. Additionally, cleaning and maintenance are less complicated with solitaire rings. You only need to check the prongs from time to time to be sure that they are securely keeping the diamond in place.

Another great advantage of solitaire settings is the money you save. The simplicity of the design involves less labor costs, and unlike halo or pave settings, there are no additional small gems to add to the expense.

Styles of Solitaire Engagement Rings

Solitaire engagement rings offer a variety of style choices. For instance, the classic four prong style allows maximum visibility of the gem and lets more light shine through it. The six prong style keeps longer shapes such as marquise cuts and pear shaped diamonds more secure. Band shapes may be uniform, or flare as they approach the stone. Some bands have stylistic embellishments such as twists or strands to add distinctiveness to the design.

Diamond Shapes for Solitaire Engagement Rings

All cuts and shapes of diamonds look magnificent when featured on solitaire engagement rings. Breathtakingly beautiful round cut diamonds, also known as round brilliants, are easily the most popular diamond shapes for engagement rings, comprising over two-thirds of all diamond ring sales. These dazzling gems have 57 facets measured at precise angles and proportions to create maximum sparkle. Cutters often create a 58th facet by squaring off the sharp culet at the bottom end of the diamond to prevent its damage during setting. As the iconic diamond shape, round cuts are usually what come to mind when people picture diamond rings.

Also known as square modified brilliants, princess cut diamonds are characterized by square or occasionally rectangular faces and backs in the shape of inverted four-sided pyramids. Princess cuts have between 57 and 76 facets, which spread light and enhance its sparkle. The corners generally remain uncut to preserve the shape of the square. This modern alternative to the traditional round-cut diamond provides faceting that dazzlingly accentuates and amplifies reflected light, and yet due to its shape and cutting process, it is less costly than other cuts.

Oval cut diamonds provide the elegant sparkle and fire of round cut stones in a distinctive, unique, and mesmerizing shape that is perfect for an eye-catching engagement ring. Like round cut diamonds, oval cuts have 56 to 58 facets crafted at exact angles and proportions to receive and reflect a maximum amount of light.

Magnificent emerald cut diamonds offer unique elegance to engagement rings. Unlike the complex multifaceted look of round cut or princess cut diamonds, emerald cut stones provide a sense of distinctiveness and geometric perfection. The stepped pavilions and flat central surfaces of emerald cuts allow for brilliant bursts of reflective light. Emerald cut diamonds are popular in both rectangular and square shapes.

Cushion cut diamonds are rapidly increasing in popularity as options for high-quality engagement rings. These beautiful pillow-shaped stones are square or rectangular with rounded corners. They generally have up to 64 facets that shine almost as brilliantly as the round cut diamonds that surpassed them in sales in the early 20th century.

Admirers often compare the distinctive shape of marquise cut diamonds to an eye, a boat, a football, or a pair of lips. These brilliant, scintillating stones have from 56 to 60 facets, depending on how they are cut. They are wider in the middle and narrow to points at the two ends, and the width to length ratios vary with specific diamonds. Marquise cut diamond engagement rings add uniqueness, elegance, and distinction to your promise of wedded happiness.

Pear shaped diamond engagement rings, although uncommon compared to other diamond shapes, are an elegant blend of the scintillating brilliance of round cut stones and the unique distinctiveness of marquise cuts. Also known as teardrop diamonds, these lovely stones feature a broad shoulder at one end that tapers to a point at the other. A quality pear shaped diamond engagement ring is a real treasure.

Precious Metals for Solitaire Engagement Rings

All types of precious metals look lovely on solitaire engagement rings. The white sheen of platinum perfectly complements and sets off diamonds and does not change color or fade, so this lovely metal is ideal for symbolizing eternal love in an engagement ring. Due to its rarity, platinum has attained a prestigious status. For diamond engagement rings, platinum bands represent the ultimate in elegance.

Lovely white gold is currently the most popular choice of metal for engagement ring bands. Indistinguishable from platinum to the naked eye, this bright, strong, durable metal perfectly complements and enhances the sparkling diamonds in engagement rings.

Yellow gold engagement rings offer a classic warm color with vibrant elegance that has long been associated with romance. Although white gold bands have overtaken yellow gold in popularity, yellow gold provides an unparalleled traditional look that is timeless.

Romantic rose gold provides a lovely alternative to the more common white gold and yellow gold found in engagement rings. Its warm, rich, distinctive color creates a stunning and attractive metaphor for the binding of hearts.

Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring Options

The master craftsmen and jewelers at Hayden Cudworth offer an eclectic selection of handcrafted solitaire diamond engagement rings in assorted settings and precious metal bands to suit any romance. To find the right ring for your fiancé, take advantage of the home try-on program. Select any five potential rings to sample at home, send them back within five days, and order the ring of your choice.


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