The solitaire diamond engagement ring has long been the most popular engagement ring style in the world. However, for such a simple and classic look, you might be surprised at how many options you have when selecting her perfect setting. Solitaires, like almost any other engagement ring style, are made up of two parts; the head, which holds the center diamond, and the shank, which is the metal “ring” that wraps around her finger. Understanding the options and choosing the proper details for both parts will help you customize her perfect ring.
Here are the follow-up questions I always ask whenever I’m informed that she, “Just wants a solitaire”.
6-Prong or 4-Prong Head?
There are several different head types available, but the classic 6-prong and 4-prong are the most popular. The 6-prong is often referred to as a Tiffany Solitaire, and is an absolutely timeless classic. I’m often asked if a 6-prong is more secure than a 4-prong setting. Technically, a 6-prong is more secure, as there is more metal touching the diamond.
A simple rule of thumb, the more metal touching a diamond, the more secure it will be.
However, that doesn’t make 4-prong settings insecure. 4-prongs are more popular in our store, and my wife wears a 4-prong setting. The number one factor in keeping your diamond secure is having it professionally cleaned and inspected at least twice a year (Which we’re always happy to do free of charge, btw).
This question does presume that she wants a round diamond. For other diamond shapes like princess, pear or marquise, the head options are more limited as the prongs must match the shape of the diamond.
Does She Want a Cathedral Setting?
A cathedral setting is a style where the shoulders of the ring (where the head and shank meet) raise up, creating little triangles of negative space on the sides of the ring. These elegant styles are perfect if she doesn’t want the diamond feeling too high off of her finger. Even though the diamond is not actually any lower with a cathedral setting, having the shoulders on the ring raised creates less of a height differential between the shank and the head, making the center diamond feel lower on her finger.
Does She Want A Traditional Style, or Something More Unique?
While many women love the classic solitaire look (It is the most popular ring style in the world), some women feel like it’s too plain. Solitaires have the ability to be incredibly unique by changing the style of the shank. If she doesn’t want side diamonds, but feels like the solitaire designs she’s seen are too simple, trying adding a split-shank or bypass style. Want to really swing for the fences? Think about a freeform style design.
Platinum or Gold?
The final option to consider is what type of metal she would like. The pros and cons of different metals is a whole discussion in and of itself, but be aware you have several options for customizing the metal of the ring. The most popular metal types are platinum and white gold, however yellow gold and especially rose gold, are becoming more popular. You can also select a combination of the two. We often create solitaires with a platinum head, and a white, yellow or rose gold shank.
Now that you know more about the solitaire options available, you’ll have the right follow-up questions to ask, or ponder for yourself. Looking for more design inspiration? Check out our online collection of solitaire engagement rings.
We're honored that Mullen Bros. Jewelers ranks #1 in overall customer ratings among all jewelry stores in Southeastern Massachusetts and we will continue to take care of our neighbors and friends, one jewel at a time.
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