solitaire engagement rings

Everything you Need to Know About Solitaire Rings

Enter the world of solitaire rings & discover everything there is to know about these perennial favourites. Explore solitaire rings with Ernest Jones.

12 February 2021 EDITOR - ERNEST JONES

If you’ve ever wondered ‘what is a solitaire ring?’, then the concise answer would be a ring that is set with just a single stone. But, of course, there is so much more to reveal about this elegant, timeless style.

Join us as we look at the meaning behind solitaire rings, how the leading bridal and jewellery designers have created both classic and modern solitaire ring designs, as well as explore the wide range of solitaire engagement rings available at Ernest Jones. Finally, we’ll look at which type of wedding ring, or band, goes with a solitaire to frame and enhance its dazzling brilliance.

What is a solitaire engagement ring?

Featuring one stylishly set centre stone, solitaire engagement rings are elegant and confidently understated by their very design, but don't think that means they won't stand out. With an impressive sparkle and a range of designs with additional diamond detailing, you’ll be sure to find the perfect solitaire ring to suit your style.

Solitaire rings through history

Rings have symbolised the union of marriage for thousands of years, and solitaires can be traced all the way back to ancient Rome, where the groom would present his bride with a gold or iron ring that was sometimes embedded with a single uncut diamond.

However, it wasn’t until technological advancements, including the development of more sophisticated cutting and faceting techniques in the Georgian and Victorian era’s, that solitaire engagement rings became enormously popular. Although, at this time, diamonds were prohibitively expensive for all but the very wealthy.

This all changed with the discovery of prolific African diamond mines and the famous “A Diamond is Forever” advertising campaign from De Beers, which featured a solitaire diamond. From then on, the availability and price of diamonds meant they were within reach of wider society, and their popularity skyrocketed, cementing them as one of the most recognisable symbols of love and commitment.

The meaning of solitaire engagement rings

So, what does ‘solitaire ring’ mean? Well, the word ‘solitaire’, within the context of jewellery, means a single diamond or other precious stone. Even though it’s widely associated with engagement rings, the term can be applied to all solitaire jewellery including solitaire earrings and solitaire pendants as well. But in a more romantic sense, solitaire engagement rings are often considered a symbol of unification, of two becoming one.

Solitaire engagement ring styles

In a solitaire ring, just one stone is the single focal point, but you’ll find that any size, shape or cut of diamond or precious stone makes a striking centrepiece. The most popular solitaire cut is the classic round brilliant cut, and for good reason. The sparkle of any given diamond is a result of its cut, and the brilliant cut is famous for enhancing the beauty of a diamond by capturing and refracting the light to maximise brilliance, fire, and scintillating sparkle.

However, if you love the solitaire style but would like a more individual look, solitaire rings come in a number of stunning cuts including:

  • Baguette cut
  • Emerald cut
  • Oval cut
  • Princess cut

What about solitaire ring settings?

When it comes to solitaire ring settings, a range of stylish options are available. From the classic claw, prong or bead settings that lift the diamond away from the band and into the light, to the modern pavé finished setting or intricate designs with twist or split shoulders, you’ll be sure to find the perfect design to suit your style.

Solitaire rings look fabulous with any precious metal, and whilst platinum and white gold tend to be the most popular options, yellow gold is an excellent choice for those looking for a classic and luxe look, whilst rose gold is perfect for those who’d like a contemporary, romantic, and feminine ring.

What wedding ring goes with a solitaire?

When it comes to exploring wedding ring that will suit your engagement ring, you'll be spoilt for choice regardless of the cut you’ve decided upon. This is because the classically simple design of a solitaire makes it a very versatile option, so you can rest assured that finding the perfect wedding band will be exciting rather than restricting.

Most solitaire diamonds or gemstones are lifted by their setting, which allows most wedding bands to sit comfortably beneath them on your finger. However, a shaped or curved wedding ring that perfectly frames your chosen stone is also a stylish choice. You could even add a little supporting sparkle by choosing a wedding ring set with dazzling pavé diamonds. If your solitaire of choice is a more modern design with a split or twisted shoulder, try to find a wedding band that matches that shape, so they sit together beautifully. Mixing precious metal colours is increasingly popular and can create a stylish, vintage look.

If your engagement ring is simple and sophisticated, then adding some additional sparkle through the wedding band is an eye-catching option. In contrast, if you have an intricate engagement ring, then a simple wedding band can be the perfect finishing touch. However, there are no hard and fast rules, so be confident and choose the combination that you love the most.

How much does a solitaire ring cost?

Many factors determine how much a solitaire ring costs, from the stone's size and quality to the precious metal you decide upon. At Ernest Jones, you’ll discover a stunning range of solitaire engagement rings from some of the world's most respected bridal and jewellery designers, including the Vera Wang LOVE collection, where each ring includes a romantic hidden blue sapphire, and the gorgeous and virtually colourless Canadian diamond collection from Arctic Light.

We also stock stylish designs with prices starting from as low as £500. So, whatever your taste or budget, we're sure you'll find something that’s perfect for you and your partner.

Buying an engagement ring can seem quite daunting, and we’re here to make sure you feel ready to make the perfect choice. For more help and advice, see our Engagement Ring Guide, which are full of useful information on key factors like the four C’s, metal types and ring size. Our Luxe Journal is also great for inspirational ideas and information, and you’ll find guidance on a wide range of topics, from the ultimate proposal guide to advice on picking the perfect engagement ring.

Shop solitaire rings online

Whether you opt for a solitaire or another stunning engagement ring style, at Ernest Jones we really do understand the importance of finding the perfect engagement ring. So, if you’d like to discuss specific products or collections in more detail, or you have any questions or queries, then book a complimentary virtual or in-store appointment with one of our dedicated jewellery experts, who’ll be happy to help you find that dream ring.