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What does solitaire mean? In jewellery

What Does Solitaire Mean?

The term Solitaire is thrown around quite a bit, with many people associating it to a popular card game which originates from the 18th Century, with many individuals still playing today.

However, a Solitaire, in jewellery terms, refers to the setting, whereas the Diamond refers to the single stone. Think of a simple Diamond Stud Earring or a Diamond Engagement Ring, both are classed as having a Solitaire setting, each with a single stone.

To clarify, when we talk about Solitaire Rings, it doesn't mean that the stone has to be a Diamond. Solitaire, like mentioned above, refers to any item that has a single stone, no matter what the stone is or what shape its formed in.

For Solitaire Rings, it’s also important to know that if the stone is sitting inside the band it’s not classed as a Solitaire. Only stones sitting on top of the band are considered a Solitaire.


What is a Solitaire Ring?

Many people refer to Solitaire as the most popular style for an Engagement Ring. Although Solitaire style rings have been around for a very long time, they were bought to fame by Tiffany & Co in 1886.

With that being said, the Solitaire style is the most versatile of all ring styles, mainly due to the fact that having only a single stone makes it much easier to cast it into a variety of different settings.

Solitaire rings


History of Solitaire

Solitaire rings were the only rings that ever existed before the jewellery industry expanded to the heights of today.

Diamonds were considered only for the rich back then, but since De Beers took ownership in the 1940’s, along with an advertising company N. W. Ayer, a little later on, the campaign “ A Diamond Is Forever” was launched.

It was a highly successful campaign resulting in high demand for Solitaire Rings. However they were not enough to please the entirety of those looking for unique rings, which is why new styles were invented. Such as Pear, Accented, Halo & Three-Stone etc.

Different Solitaire Setting Styles

As talked about earlier, the Solitaire Diamonds can come in a variety of different settings. Which again is why they are so popular. Below we will discuss the most sought-after styles.

  • Trellis Setting – Just as gorgeous as the following styles, the Trellis style is similar to the Peg Head Setting, but not as nearly as dangerous. Its prongs weave over one another holding the stone and have less risk of it being caught on something.
  • Peg Head Setting – This setting has an elegant and sleek appearance where it holds onto the diamond with 4 or 6 prongs. This type of style allows you to see the entirety of the Diamond, depending on how many prongs it has. It is, however the most dangerous what with the stone being so exposed, it can get caught on items.
  • Basket Setting – This style is suitable for everyday wear because it consists of an extra band on metal that protects the stone it holds.
  • Bezel Setting – With this setting, damage to the stone is less likely because it is surrounds by a band of metal. Its edges are smooth and the stone itself is safe from dropping out or being damaged. The only downfall is the stone it hold may appear slightly smaller than what it is. 

Solitaire Setting Styles

Different Solitaire Diamond Cuts/Shapes

A diamonds cut refers to the dimensions of the diamond itself. They are cut differently to create a difference in sparkle and brilliance. Want to find out more in detail? Take a look at The Four C’s To Consider When Buying A Diamond Ring.

  • Round Cut – the most popular of all, this diamond is round in shape and has more brilliance and fire than the others
  • Princess Cut – This diamond is square in shape that’s rounded on top, often referred to as a Square Cut. A popular choice for Earrings and Rings.
  • Oval Cut – this cut is often purchased for its elegance and sophistication properties. Oval in shape which help elongate the finger on which it sits.
  • Emerald Cut – usually confused for the Emerald Gemstone which is green in colour, this cut is more of a rectangle shape and one of the oldest style cuts.
  • Cushion Cut – this cut has a square or rectangle shape with rounded corners, much like a normal cushion, hence the name.
  • Marquise Cut – this cut, also known as “little boat”, has elongated and pointed ends which resemble a rugby ball. Similar to the Oval Cut the Marquise will help to elongate the finger.
  • Asscher Cut – this cut has two kinds, the standard and the royal. With the royal kind being extremely rare. This cut has the ability to create the “hall of mirrors” effect.


All in all, the Solitaire will never go out of fashion. They are perfect for not only rings, but earrings and pendants too, making them ideal for many types of different occasions.
They hold a classic and timeless style, as well as the many different design options (design, size and cut) to choose from making them more unique to you depending on what you choose. Here at Sonny's Jewellers we have many solitaire settings to choose from and will assist you in any way to help you find you perfect solitaire.
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