A solitaire engagement ring is the perfect option for the classic bride-to-be. Easily one of the most popular settings out there, solitaire rings have a traditionally beautiful look that puts all of the attention on the center stone. They are more simple and minimalist than some of today’s trendier looks, and they’re also a timeless piece of jewelry that will never feel stale.
What Is a Solitaire Engagement Ring?
A solitaire engagement ring is a ring that features one center gemstone. There are no other diamonds or gemstones anywhere on the ring, and the band is typically plain with no pavé diamonds.
“It’s the design that most people associate a classic diamond engagement ring with,” explains jeweler Sarah Ortega. “A solitaire ring design can be traced all the way back to ancient Roman times, with uncut and unpolished stones.”
Meet the Expert
Sarah Ortega is the jeweler behind Sarah O. Jewelry, Denver’s destination for custom engagement rings and unique diamond and gemstone jewelry.
Pros and Cons of Solitaire Engagement Rings
There are plenty of good things to say about solitaire engagement rings. Ortega points out that one of the main reasons people go for this style is because the design is timeless. It will never feel trendy or out of style, and it’s easy to pass down. “Another reason people love solitaire rings is because their simple and minimalistic design makes it easy to style them with wedding bands,” Ortega adds. These rings are incredibly versatile. They look just as good with an elaborate wedding band as they do with a simple one. “A solitaire engagement ring can look totally different if it’s stacked with fun and funky wedding bands, or it can maintain its simple design with a classic band,” Ortega says.
It’s hard to find something bad to say about solitaire engagement rings, mostly because they’re so simple. However, that might actually be a con for some: “Some people find their simplistic design to lack personality,” Ortega admits. If you’re more interested in features like sparkling diamond halos and milgrain details, as well as side stones to accent your center stone, a solitaire isn’t for you. But if you want a classic look, then it’s perfect.
What to Look for in a Solitaire Engagement Ring
Finding the perfect solitaire engagement ring isn’t just about finding something you love to look at. Here are some questions and answers to consider before purchasing one.
- What is the most important part of a solitaire engagement ring? A solitaire ring is so simple, which means that all eyes will be on the center stone. “Since the stone is taking center stage, you should focus on making sure the diamond is not only beautiful but also of great quality,” Ortega says. “Ensuring your diamond is certified and will last a lifetime is the best thing to look for in a solitaire ring.”
- What is the best stone cut for this type of ring? According to Ortega, the beauty of a solitaire ring is that there is no best diamond cut. “Its simplicity makes it a great candidate for essentially every diamond shape,” she says. She notes that some of the most popular diamond shapes for this type of ring are round, oval, emerald, marquise, pear, and cushion.
- What type of wedding band looks best with a solitaire ring? Again, part of the appeal of a solitaire ring is how it goes with almost any type of wedding band. “The options for stacking are endless, from plain gold bands to custom intricate designs,” Ortega says. “One of our favorite ways to stack a solitaire is with a tracer band. These bands are curved to fit different stone shapes and they make such a beautiful, cohesive look.”
- How can you make a solitaire ring a little more interesting? If you ever feel the urge to change things up with your solitaire ring, you can do exactly that. Ortega recommends stacking multiple bands on both the top and the bottom of the ring as a way to add more shape and design. “Playing with negative space, adding texture, and creating dimension to your stack are great ways to spice up your solitaire,” she says.
How to Care for a Solitaire Engagement Ring
Another pro to solitaire engagement rings: they don’t require any elaborate cleaning methods and caring for them is the same as caring for other types of jewelry. Ortega recommends taking your ring off during activities that might potentially harm the ring, like hiking, swimming, or any work involving your hands. “If you pause to consider taking it off, you probably should!” she urges.
Ortega also strongly recommends getting your ring professionally cleaned every six months to keep it shining and sparkling like new.
When getting your ring professionally cleaned, you can also ask the jeweler to perform maintenance checks. Have them look at the stone settings and the integrity of the prongs to ensure you aren’t at risk of losing any stones.
You can always clean your ring at home on your own with warm water and a drop of dishwashing liquid. Rinse it under warm water and gently rub it with a microfiber cloth.
Here are some beautiful solitaire options for anyone who wants to own one of these classic pieces.
An emerald-cut center stone is set in four prongs and sits on a simple rose gold band. The name, Maeve, is inspired by author Ann Patchett and her recent book The Dutch House.
The interesting Euro shank of this band is an unexpected detail that puts a more modern twist on your ring. It features an oval-shaped center stone with a rose gold band and blush pink enamel.
True solitaire rings don’t include pavé diamonds on the band, but many modern versions of them do. This pear-shaped center stone is set with five prongs and features a yellow gold setting.
Go from classic to unique with this interesting setting. The slanted band pays homage to Bauhaus design and the diamond appears to hover on your finger.
The rope design of this twisted band is interesting, fresh, and adds so much texture and dimension to such a simple concept. It makes the center stone stand out even more.
Tacori’s version of a solitaire engagement ring features the brand’s signature cathedral setting, which is only visible from the side. A marquise-cut center stone feels old-school, but you can customize this in several different ways as well.
A solitaire engagement ring does not have to feature a traditional white diamond. This one showcases a champagne diamond with a unique prong and bezel that makes it really stand out.
A thick, wider band works well with a solitaire ring like this one. Featuring an oval-center stone, this one is classic and simple.
Merge classic and unique with this ring that features an alternative center stone to a white diamond: a gray diamond that is completely stunning. On a simple gold band, it really pops.
This is a one-of-a-kind piece from Mociun, so if it strikes your eye, grab it while you can. A gorgeous marquise-cut light brown diamond sits on a square shank for a modern take on the classic solitaire.
There’s nothing typical about this take on the solitaire ring from Shahla Karimi. Inspired by famous architects of the mid-century era, this one plays with geometry and negative space for a very unique design.
This round center stone sits in a 6-prong setting with milgrain detail that gives it a slight vintage vibe. The wider band looks just right with this ring.
A true solitaire ring, this classic choice from VRAI is simple in all of the best ways. It can easily be customized with a different stone cut and a different metal band.
Another classic choice, this Harry Winston ring features a band of sparkling pavé diamonds for a little extra something. The round-cut stone is a traditional option that ensures this will never go out of style.
This Charles & Colvard option features an oval-cut Caydia diamond, which is the brand’s exclusive assortment of lab-grown diamonds. The plain band makes the stone stand out even more.
If you want something non-traditional that isn’t too unique, this is a lovely choice. The brushed metal finish and bezel setting make it look more modern, and it’s a great stackable piece.
This romantic ring looks even more special with a rose gold band, although you could opt for yellow or white gold if you want. The sparkling champagne diamond in the center gives it the most feminine touch.
This ring manages to be both unique and classic thanks to the direction of the diamond. Known as an “east-west” design, this one features a beautiful oval stone and a plain metal band.
The criss-cross rope band here is a signature DY Crossover design that signifies two lives uniting in marriage to seal love’s promise. This is a beautiful way to show your love for your soon-to-be spouse.
For those who want the look of a diamond without the price tag, moissanite is a terrific option. This solitaire moissanite ring features a beautiful emerald cut and a rose gold knife edge band for some extra personality.
Inspired by vintage designs, this ring features an oval-cut diamond set in a sweeping basket with a halo of soft prongs to make the stone stand out even more. The delicate band and cathedral shoulders make this feel romantic and dainty.
This Art Deco-inspired ring is perfect for the vintage-loving bride. With an old European-cut center diamond and delicate milgrain on either side, this ring is full of lovely details.