The Diamond Pro

What is a Solitaire Diamond Ring Setting | The Diamonds Pro

By Michael Fried
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Solitaire diamond ring settings provide a classic, timeless look for any Diamond Shape. From a beautiful Oval Diamond in yellow gold to a stunning Round Cut in white gold, plenty of options are available within the solitaire family.

Above all, purchase the best engagement ring that matches your fiancé-to-be’s style, and be sure to purchase your ring from a reputable vendor. We suggest the Blue Nile, James Allen and Brian Gavin Diamond collections to ensure you’re getting the best value and quality.

What is a Diamond Solitaire?

A diamond solitaire is any jewelry that only contains one diamond, without any extra diamonds or gemstones on the sides of the center stone or the shank of the ring. 

The term “diamond solitaire” is most commonly associated with the solitaire setting — a type of ring that contains a single diamond or gemstone. Beyond rings, diamond solitaires can also be earrings, a necklace or any other piece of jewelry with just one diamond. 

When it comes to rings, the term “solitaire ring” refers to a ring that has a single diamond in the center. There are no side diamonds or gemstones, or any pavé diamonds. Instead, the ring has a clean, simple design that’s all about the center stone. 

The solitaire is a beautiful, classic engagement ring that’s been around for decades. As well as engagements, solitaire rings are sometimes given to celebrate other special occasions such as a major anniversary, a milestone birthday or a personal accomplishment.

diamond solitaire ring

In a solitaire ring, the center stone is typically supported by prongs, like in a four or six prong ring. Each tiny metal claw grips the diamond to hold it tightly in place. Prongs can be pointed, rounded, flat or V-shaped (the latter being the most common for Princess Cut diamonds).

Check out recently purchased diamond engagement rings from our highest rated retailers to see how beautiful a solitaire setting can be.

Why Choose a Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring?

A solitaire setting, like this Oval Cut in platinum, is a beautiful choice for those with a simple and elegant style. The sleek design and uncomplicated beauty is a stunning compliment to every outfit and occasion. Everybody can choose their favorite design from very thin bands to the thicker ones.

Diamonds attract attention in a solitaire setting, as there are no additional stones or ornate elements to distract from the center stone. With a prong solitaire setting, there’s minimal metal—meaning there’s more diamond to see and more light to pass through, thus adding to the diamond’s brilliance.

Solitaire Settings for Every Shape

Solitaire settings are an excellent match for any diamond shape because of their classic design and secure support. Regardless of a diamond’s size or shape, the prongs of a solitaire ring will keep the diamond securely in place. 

A variety of different designs and prong layouts are used for solitaire rings. Common designs include the cathedral solitaire setting, the split shank solitaire setting, knife edge settings, as well as four and six prong solitaire settings.

Cathedral Solitaire Setting

Cathedral solitaire settings, also known as “high-profile” settings, have an arched design that’s similar to the roofline of a cathedral. This holds the center diamond high above the ring, making the diamond look as if it’s floating above the band. 

For an example of the cathedral setting, look at this beautiful gold two-tone cathedral solitaire setting from James Allen. 

Split Shank Solitaire Setting

A split shank setting has a shank that splits in two as it reaches the center stone. This can give the center diamond more presence and make the ring stand out. For example, this split shank solitaire setting has a shank that opens as it nears the center stone. 

Knife Edge Setting

A knife edge setting has edges that form a point in the center of the band, giving it a pointier and more angular appearance that draws attention to the center diamond. For example, this elegant knife edge solitaire engagement ring has a distinct point that gives the diamond center stage. 

Four and Six Prong Solitaire Settings

In a solitaire setting, the center diamond or gemstone is held in place by several small prongs that extend out from the band. The most common configurations are four and six prongs, such as this four prong setting and this six prong setting.

Tiffany Setting

One of the most famous solitaire ring settings is the Tiffany setting. As you’ve probably guessed from its name, this setting was designed by Tiffany & Co. and uses a special six-prong design to maximize the amount of light that reaches the diamond.

The Tiffany setting uses a knife edge, as well as a six-prong design with thin prongs that expose as much of the diamond as possible, giving it the strongest possible sparkle.

Tiffany & Co. have trademarked the original prong design, meaning the only place you can buy a true “Tiffany” solitaire ring is from one of their shops. 

However, just about every jewelry shop will offer a solitaire setting with a similar appearance to the classic Tiffany setting. We’ve explained this setting more in our guide to different ring styles and settings.

Other solitaire engagement ring examples:

Pros and Cons of a Solitaire Setting

In addition to choosing a setting that matches the style of your significant other, you want to ensure it fits their lifestyle and is relatively easy to maintain. Review the pros and cons of a solitaire setting below before making your final decision.

Pros

  • Elevates the diamond, making it more prominent and noticeable
  • Allows a significant amount of light to pass through the diamond—increasing its brilliance and fire
  • Complements and supports a variety of Diamond Shapes and sizes
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Provides a classic, timeless look

Cons

  • Can snag on furniture, clothing and other materials, especially if the diamond is high-set (a lower-set prong may be best for wearers with an active lifestyle)
  • Prongs may loosen with wear. We recommend having the prongs inspected at least every two years to ensure the diamond remains secure.

Where to Buy Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings

Choosing where you’ll purchase your engagement ring is one of the most vital decisions of the ring search process. There are both brick and mortar stores and online vendors who will overcharge you—all while offering you inferior beauty and value. We don’t want that to happen to you or any of our readers.

Unique Three Prong Martini Solitaire Setting from Brian Gavin

Unique Three Prong Martini Solitaire Setting from Brian Gavin

Throughout our years in the diamond industry, we’ve closely vetted diamond sellers to determine the best and most reliable in the business. The diamond dealers below are reputable and offer extensive collections of both beautiful diamonds and settings. All diamonds come with an AGS or GIA certificate—allowing you to trust what they’re selling you. If you have any questions about these vendors, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

James Allen

We recommend James Allen to our readers because of their appealing prices and incredible diamond imagery. You can view each diamond closely with photography and video before making a purchase. They provide excellent customer service and return policies. Read our full review of James Allen.

Brian Gavin Diamonds

Brian Gavin is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a diamond that’s cut well. Choose a diamond from the “Brian Gavin Signature” Hearts & Arrows collection for the some of the best cut diamonds in the world. As the carat weight of the diamond increases, the added brilliance of a Brian Gavin Black or Signature diamond really comes into play. Read our full review of Brian Gavin Diamonds.

Blue Nile

Because Blue Nile maintains the largest online inventory of diamonds and settings, you’ll have a superb selection to choose from. Blue Nile focuses on remarkable diamonds and high-quality jewelry settings. Read our full review of Blue Nile.

Leibish & Co. (Gemstone Alternative)

Leibish is our recommended vendor for gemstone engagement rings. A colored gemstone, like a sapphire or emerald, is a beautiful, lower cost alternative to a diamond.

In addition, Leibish & Co. maintains a large collection of fancy color diamonds like canary yellow diamonds and purple diamonds. While gemstones tend to be less expensive than diamonds, most colored diamonds are more expensive than colorless diamonds. Read our full review of Leibish & Co.

Diamond Solitaire Ring Price

The price of a solitaire diamond ring can range from as little as $500 to $25,000 or potentially far more, depending on the size, shape, clarity, color and cut quality of the diamond.

For example, this 0.40 carat, J color, SI1 clarity, excellent cut round diamond set in this beautiful 14K white gold solitaire setting only costs $730. Meanwhile, this much larger 2.10 carat, F color, VS2 clarity diamond paired with this 18K white gold solitaire setting costs $24,970 in total. 

Because the solitaire setting itself has a fairly simple design, without any additional diamonds or gemstones, it’s usually the most affordable type of setting. As you can see from the two solitaire rings above, the price can vary dramatically based on the diamond or stone you choose. 

Below, we’ve provided pricing examples for four common diamond sizes — one carat, two carat, three carat and four carat — to help you work out how much you’ll typically need to spend for a solitaire ring. 

Price of a 1 Carat Diamond Solitaire Ring

Generally, the price of a one carat diamond solitaire ring is between $4,000 and $16,500. Like with any diamond jewelry, the price can vary hugely depending on the diamond’s shape, color, clarity, and cut quality.

For example, this princess cut diamond engagement ring in white gold costs $4,250, while this round cut diamond ring in yellow gold costs almost 20% more at $5,160. We recommend our readers look for a diamond that’s well cut and offers plenty of brilliance.

Need help choosing the right one carat solitaire ring? Follow the tips in our 1 carat diamond ring guide to select a stunning 1 carat engagement ring.

Price of a 2 Carat Diamond Solitaire Ring

In general, the price of a two carat diamond solitaire ring will be between $8,000 all the way up to $60,000 or more. Like with a smaller diamond, the total amount you’ll spend can vary based on the diamond’s cut, clarity, color and shape.

For instance, a dull 2 carat round cut diamond ring might only cost $8,290, while a stunning 2.20 carat Princess Cut diamond ring in white gold might cost over $19,000. In choosing a diamond engagement ring, make sure the diamond is well cut and gives off brilliance and fire.

Looking for a two carat diamond ring? Learn how to select a beautiful 2 carat ring by following our 2 carat diamond ring buying guide.

Price of a 3 Carat Diamond Solitaire Ring

Generally speaking, the price of a three carat diamond solitaire ring ranges from $19,000 to as much as $100,000 or more. As always, the diamond’s cut quality, color, clarity and shape will affect how much it costs, with a higher quality diamond costing more than a poor quality one.

For example, this 3 Carat round cut diamond in rose gold costs just over $20,000. For a diamond of the same carat weight, cut quality and clarity but a higher color grade, you’ll often need to spend more than $40,000.

It’s important to look for a diamond that’s well cut and offers brilliance and fire, especially when you’re purchasing a 3 carat ring. For more tips, check out our 3 carat ring guide.

Price of a 4 Carat Diamond Solitaire Ring

Generally, the price of a four carat diamond solitaire ring can range from as little as $30,000 to $250,000 or more. Like with other diamond sizes, the key factors that affect cost are the shape, color, clarity and cut quality of the diamond.

For example, this 4.02 carat, J color, VS2 clarity, excellent cut diamond is available from James Allen for $45,700, with a free setting included. Meanwhile, this slightly larger 4.05 carat, D color, IF clarity diamond costs more than $250,000. 

Considering a four carat diamond? Our 4 carat diamond ring buyer’s guide goes into further detail on what to look for and how to get the best deal.

Best Solitaire Engagement Rings

Although solitaire engagement rings tend to be on the simple side, there are still many variations and styles to choose from. Look through our ring inspiration to see which style, shape, and setting you like best.

Round Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings

Princess Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings

Oval Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings

Cushion Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings

Vintage Solitaire Engagement Rings

Below, we’ve listed 10 of the best solitaire engagement rings. These rings come in a wide range of styles and are easy to personalize with your preferred choice of diamond or gemstone, giving you lots of control over their final appearance. 

Many of these settings are available in several metals, including platinum and different types of gold. To select a different metal for any ring, click the link and choose from the different metals offered by James Allen and Blue Nile.

1) 14K White Gold Presentation Solitaire (Six Prong)

white gold proesentation Six Prong Solitaire Setting

Six Prong Solitaire Setting from James Allen

Inexpensive, elegant and simple, this 14K white gold solitaire ring has a knife edge design that draws the eye to the center stone. A great choice of setting if you’re looking for something with an elegant, unostentatious look that can suit any diamond size or shape.

2) 14K Yellow Gold Petite Solitaire Engagement Ring

Yellow Gold Petite Solitaire Setting

Petite Solitaire Setting from Blue Nile

Another elegant, simple solitaire setting, this polished yellow gold ring has a classic look that’s a good match for any center diamond. As it’s yellow gold, this ring is a great choice for diamonds of lower color grades, as we’ve explained in more detail here.

3) 14K Rose Gold Contour Solitaire Engagement Ring

Rose Gold Contour Solitaire Setting

Contour Solitaire Setting from James Allen

Available in beautiful rose gold, this solitaire ring has a contoured design that flows towards the center stone and around the finger. The prongs of this ring are designed specifically to mount a round diamond or gemstone. If you’re not a big fan of rose gold, this setting is also available in toher types of gold and platinum.

4) Platinum Tapered Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring

Tapered Cathedral Solitaire Setting

Tapered Cathedral Solitaire Setting from Blue Nile

With a classic cathedral design, this solitaire ring elevates the diamond above the band for an impressive appearance. It showed with a princess cut but can accomodate any shape. This elegant ring is made from durable platinum, which offers a range of unique advantages over 14K and 18K gold.

5) 18k Yellow Gold Flat Edged Solitaire Engagement Ring

18K Yellow gold Flat Edged Solitaire Setting from James Allen

Flat Edged Solitaire Setting from James Allen

This contemporary ring has a flat, 2.4mm thick edged design, giving it an appearance that’s both sleek and sturdy. Ideal for people who truly appreciate the classics. Pictured on the left in yellow gold, it’s also available in several other metals including rose gold, white gold and platinum. 

6) 14k White Gold Hand-Engraved Solitaire Engagement Ring

Hand-Engraved Solitaire Setting

Hand-Engraved Solitaire Setting from Blue Nile

This beautiful solitaire engagement ring from Blue Nile features hand engraving almost all the way down, giving it an elegant, classic appearance in either 14K White Gold (pictured) or Platinum. A great choice if you’d like to give a stylish solitaire ring with a more unique design of its own. 

7) 14k Yellow Gold Cable Solitaire Engagement Ring

Yellow gold Cable Solitaire Setting

Cable Solitaire Setting from James Allen

Another unique and beautiful ring, this solitaire engagement ring has a cable design that uses two twisted gold cables. Like many other unique solitaire rings, it looks fantastic paired with a matching gold cable wedding band or a simple band in which case the cable engagement ring stands out even more. 

8) 14k Rose Gold Hexagon Halo Solitaire Engagement Ring

Rose gold Hexagon Halo Solitaire Setting

Hexagon Halo Solitaire Setting from Blue Nile

This vintage-inspired solitaire engagement ring features a hexagon-shaped halo with milgrain accents that surrounds the center diamond. Unlike most halo rings, there’s no halo of smaller diamonds, meaning all of the focus is on the center stone. This beautiful setting is available in 14K rose or white gold. 

9) 14k White Gold Criss-Cross Solitaire Engagement Ring

White gold Cross-Cross Solitaire Setting

Cross-Cross Solitaire Setting from James Allen

This eye-catching solitaire ring has a criss-cross design, with a split shank that joins together at the base of the ring. The setting also features a split prong basket, giving it a unique look that’s sure to stand out from the crowd. If you’re the kind of a person who likes extraordinery things and wants to stand out in a crowd, this ring is perfect for you.

10) 18k Yellow Gold Wire Band Solitaire Engagement Ring

yellow gold Wire Band Solitaire Setting

Wire Band Solitaire Setting from Blue Nile

This unique solitaire engagement ring has a wide, brightly polished 5mm band that frames the center diamond and makes a real statement. A unique option that’s worth considering if you’re looking for an unconventional solitaire setting.

Solitaire Rings vs. Other Settings

Thanks to their simplicity and elegance, solitaire settings are extremely popular for engagement rings. However, with such a large range of different options available, it’s easy to get caught up comparing solitaire rings with other popular setting types.

Below, we’ve compared solitaire rings to three of the other most common settings — halo, pavé and cluster engagement rings.

Solitaire vs. Halo Engagement Rings

Solitaire settings are often compared to halo settings. If you’ve narrowed down your search to a solitaire or halo setting and can’t decide which to choose, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind.

First, the strength of a solitaire setting is its simplicity. If you want to make the center stone your ring’s centerpiece, a solitaire setting is an excellent choice. It’s a simple, elegant, unpretentious setting that draws all of the attention towards the center stone, without any distractions.

A halo setting, on the other hand, is all about maximizing the perceived size of the diamond. By placing diamonds around the center stone, it creates the illusion of a larger carat weight, giving your ring more presence on the finger.

If you’re looking to maximize the visual impact of your ring without spending too much on a very large diamond, a halo setting can be a great option. On the other hand, if you prefer a ring that’s elegant and simple, the solitaire setting is more likely to suit your tastes. 

There’s also the cost factor. Because halo settings contain numerous small diamonds, they cost more than solitaire settings. Not only are solitaire settings typically very affordable, but they also cost less (both in terms of money and effort) to clean and maintain. 

Solitaire vs Pavé Engagement Rings

Solitaire and pavé settings are often compared. Both settings display the center stone without any side or halo diamonds. However, while a solitaire ring has a plain metal shank, a pavé ring has a shank that’s adorned with small, pavé-set diamonds.

Unlike a halo or cluster setting, a pavé ring usually won’t make the center diamond look larger than it really is. It does, however, create the appearance of continuous sparkle, with the small pavé diamonds emphasizing and drawing attention to the center stone.

As with other settings that feature small diamonds, pavé engagement rings cost slightly more than solitaire rings. It’s also important to order the correct size, as a pavé ring will typically be much more difficult to resize than a solitaire ring. 

Solitaire vs. Cluster Engagement Rings

The cluster setting is similar to the halo setting in that the center stone is surrounded by smaller diamonds, creating the illusion of a larger stone. However, while the halo setting uses as halo of small diamonds, a cluster setting features one or more clusters of diamonds grouped together. 

The benefits of a cluster setting are similar to those of a halo setting — it creates the appearance of a larger diamond and can make an engagement ring attract more attention. 

The solitaire setting, on the other hand, displays the center diamond on its own, with an elegant, clean design that doesn’t feature any other diamonds or gemstones.

The Best Wedding Bands for Solitaire Engagement Rings

Because of their simple design, solitaire engagement rings can look great with just about any wedding band. 

As a general rule, it’s best to choose a wedding band that matches the metal and style of your fiancé-to-be’s engagement ring.

For example, this knife edge solitaire engagement ring in 14k white gold matches this 2.5mm knife edge wedding band in the same metal. This 14k yellow gold solitaire engagement ring is an excellent match for this wedding band

Our guide to buying the right wedding band goes into more detail on what you should look for when choosing a wedding band to match a solitaire engagement ring.

Evaluating a Diamond Ring for Beauty and Value

Interested in finding the most beautiful diamond at the best price?

Check out our other Diamond Pro resources for selecting the perfect ring for the one you love.

  • Diamond Cut: The most important factor for a diamond’s brilliance and sparkle is its Cut. Choose only an Excellent or Ideal cut diamond for the most stunning stone.
  • Diamond Shape: Diamond Shape is chosen primarily on personal preference and style. Review the shapes to decide which one matches your significant other’s taste and lifestyle.
  • Diamond Clarity: Select a diamond that’s eye clean, but remember you don’t need a diamond that’s flawless when under magnification. Blemishes and inclusions often cannot be seen with the naked eye at a VS1 or VS2 Clarity grade. While you can pay more for a higher Clarity grade, it will primarily go unnoticed.
  • Diamond Color: Choose a diamond that’s appears white to the naked eye in relation to its setting color. To the naked eye, a diamond in the G to I range will appear colorless and will cost far less than diamonds in the D to F range.

Shop for solitaire diamond engagement rings here.

Have more questions about diamonds or engagement rings? Send our experts an email.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
Top Recommended Vendors
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What we love about them:
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James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
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