The meaning of solitaire engagement rings
12th December 2022
Solitaire diamond engagement rings are some of the most popular styles for proposals. They’re classy and classic and are loved for their simplistic, elegant design that showcases the chosen gemstone.
Whether you opt for diamonds, sapphires, or something else, learn all about what is a solitaire ring and why you might want to choose a solitaire engagement ring over other designs.
What is a solitaire engagement ring?
When referring to jewellery, solitaire is used to describe a single gemstone. Simple in form but stunning in execution, solitaire rings feature just a single stone and are an excellent way to highlight the beauty of the diamond or other gem chosen for the ring.
The shape of the diamond in a solitaire engagement ring can be any shape and have any type of setting in the band, however, the most iconic solitaire ring design – and the one you’ll see most often – includes a round cut diamond.
What does a solitaire engagement ring mean?
Solitaire rings date back to Ancient Rome to a time when the style consisted of a simple band with an uncut diamond inlaid in the metal.
It took until the 1400s for the concept of engagement rings to become a staple among high society in Europe, but it wasn’t until the 1800s, that the solitaire ring itself was made popular in the west. Most Victorian-style rings were cluster designs with multiple smaller stones surrounding a larger central diamond but, when Tiffany & Co released their iconic 6-prong solitaire ring in 1886, the new style took the market by storm. Since then, it has become a staple in ring design.
Today, the four-prong solitaire engagement ring is the most popular choice as it is the perfect setting to showcase the stunning stone. The solitary diamond represents the singular love that you have for each other.
Why choose a solitaire engagement ring?
A solitaire ring is a classic design and is perfect for those who like to proudly flaunt their gems and for those on a slightly smaller budget alike. Because the setting maximises the beauty of the stone, even a smaller diamond will look stunning in a ring like this.
This style of ring is also extremely versatile, with a variety of different metals, gems, and stone shapes available to choose from, a solitaire ring can be made to suit anyone’s personal style.
Popular solitaire engagement ring shapes
Also known as round brilliant diamonds, this shape is one of the most popular choices for engagement rings, thanks to its superior sparkle. When looking from the side, the stone looks like a typical diamond shape with a flat top and tapered bottom while from the top it looks round. Keep an eye out for terms such as “ideal cut” for the best sparkle.
A princess diamond features a clean, square shape and is thought to have risen in popularity due to its more modern shape. These are perfect for a partner who wants something a little more unique but still classy and classic.
Somewhere between a round and princess shape, a cushion diamond is a soft and delicate stone cut. This diamond shape is loved for its timeless appeal and has been a favourite for over a century due to its enhanced brilliance.
The emerald-cut features layered faceting that offers a unique sparkle and is known for being one of the most sophisticated and regal shapes. Because of its larger surface area, inclusions are often easier to spot, so it's best to choose a higher-quality diamond for this shape.
A pear-cut diamond is an unusual shape with rounded edges that join at a tapered point. Feminine and elegant, this style will help to elongate the look of someone’s fingers and is ideal for those who want something a little different.
A favourite among royals, the oval cut diamond contains facets that are cut in a similar pattern to the round brilliant so it has the same brilliance when cut well. Thanks to its elongated shape, it will also help to accentuate long and slender fingers.
The radiant cut diamond combines the classic emerald cut with the sparkle of a round brilliant. Radiant cuts can be either square or rectangular with rounded corners and feature 70 facets to give them their amazing ability to reflect light and create a gleaming sparkle.
The Asscher cut diamond is a variation of the emerald cut – it has a square shape with distinctive cut corners to give the stone a geometric feel. While this cut doesn’t offer the most sparkle, it’s renowned for its clarity and lustre and has a highly sophisticated, vintage feel.
The marquise cut has a slender shape with pointed ends. It has the benefit of looking larger than its weight meaning that it will look bigger even when next to a diamond of the same carat weight. It also boasts fabulous sparkle and brilliance and the longer shape can help elongate fingers.
Ideal for the ultra-romantic, a heart-shaped diamond is the ultimate symbol of love. This shape reflects light really well for a lot of sparkle and is a truly unique style for your loved one. Make sure you look for a stone with a symmetrical cut for maximum sparkle.
Solitaire engagement rings on a budget
Thanks to their simplicity, solitaire engagement rings can be really budget-friendly. Visit our engagement ring budget calculator to help you work out how much you can afford and make your engagement perfect.