A Few Things You Should Know About Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings

Author Sue Davidson, G.G.
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Date Oct 20, 2014

What is a prong setting? Side stone? Channel set band? Sometimes the words used to describe solitaire diamond engagement rings can sound like a completely different language.

But, when you are ready to start looking for the perfect ring, it's important that you start to understand these terms so you can accurately express what you are looking for and know exactly what you are buying.

Before you get overwhelmed, we want to start you off with a few simple things you should know before you start shopping. For this article, we are going to use a round brilliant cut diamond as our point of reference. But, there are many other shapes of diamonds (click here to learn more).

The solitaire is a diamond that stands alone without any sidestones or adornment. The historical and non-speculative source is Latin solus which means by oneself, alone (a fun fact to tell your future fiance).

A solitaire engagement ring can be accompanied by many different ring settings. Let’s start with three popular "shank" styles. The shank is the part of the ring that surrounds the finger, the band part without the decorative top. The three styles below have four prongs:

A Few Things You Should Know About Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings

Below is a six prong setting. This style is very secure and enhances the shape of round brilliant cut diamonds. The Tiffany classic 6-prong has been popular since its creation in 1886.

The name "Tiffany style solitaire" has been associated with the six prongs for decades. The ring sounds a little more elegant when she says she has a Tiffany style solitaire ring as opposed to saying she has a a six prong solitaire.

A Few Things You Should Know About Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings

Whether a four or six-prong style is desired, one is not better than the other. All decisions when it comes to diamond engagement rings are a matter of personal preference. Both prong settings can be used on most shank styles.

Many women desire sidestones on their engagement ring. Below are three popular side stone styles.

A Few Things You Should Know About Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings

The first featured style of sidestone is channel set. In this setting, a number of smaller diamonds are grooved in a row into the ring metal band and are not separated from each other. The sidestones are supported by walls of metal on two sides. This linear design offers a contemporary and streamlined look.

Next is pavé setting. This is a stone setting in which multiple small stones are set very close together and near the diamond’s surface by a combination of tapered holes and/or tiny prongs holding the diamonds in place. This style looks like the jewelry has been rolled in diamonds. The goal is to have as little metal showing as possible so that the brilliance of the stones can be clearly seen.

Lastly in this selection is the shared prong setting. This design lifts the diamonds higher in the ring alternating in between the prongs so that the diamonds essentially share the metal. This design allows for maximum light performance without compromising the security of the diamonds.

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