If you’ve begun thinking about buying an engagement ring, you’ve likely experienced the internet frenzy that ensues when you dare to type keywords like ‘diamond’ ‘engagement’ and ‘ring’ into Google.
Instead of finding helpful information on different designs, styles or choices, you’re immediately bombarded with adverts from various big name jewellers. But what if you really wanted to know about the history, sustainability and styles of various diamond rings?
Below we can tell you everything you need to know about the solitaire ring design, history, style and cut. Moreover, you can learn who else wears solitaire engagement rings and how you can buy your own sustainable and sophisticated solitaire ring.
What does ‘Solitaire’ mean?
The term refers to a jewelry piece set with only one statement diamond in the piece’s design. Which means a solitaire ring is an engagement ring with only one diamond in its setting. When you think ‘solitaire’ the words solitary, single and solo should come to mind.
Many like diamond solitaire rings as they are classic, flashy and sophisticated. Single stone engagement rings are great statement pieces for classical fiances that will love to wear a larger single diamond on their finger. If you’re a frugal person, it only makes sense to collect all your money and put it towards one fabulous and flashy diamond rather than several smaller and simpler diamonds in a band.
Solitaire rings became popular in the 1880s when Tiffany & Co. introduced their iconic round solitaire engagement rings set in their signature ‘Tiffany setting’. Tiffany’s original design was a unique solitaire engagement ring diamond with six prongs/claws to hold the gorgeous stone. Soon after many white gold solitaire rings were available in every store front to charm young lovers and consider solitaire wedding rings in their future.
Cut and shapes of solitaire engagement rings
It doesn’t take a while for most to realize that buying an engagement ring with many diamonds is expensive. But if you could use the same amount of money towards buying a ring with just one spectacular statement diamond - consider it money well spent when your fiancee' can’t help but show off their big diamond to everyone who notices it.
Solitaire engagement rings are traditional, classic and stunning - but since there’s only one diamond in the ring, the cut and shape of the diamond you choose is of utmost importance.
Below are the best recommended cuts for a solitaire diamond ring:
When a diamond is cut into a rounded shape, it highlights the multifaceted and straight-lined nature of the diamond and ensures the stone shines and sparkles at every angle.
Celebrities who’ve worn Round Cut Solitaire Rings:
Kate Upton: This supermodel’s beau proposed with an 8-carat Round Solitaire ring from Anita Ko that is reportedly worth $1.5 million.
Mila Kunis: Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Tiffany & Co. said ‘love is forever’ with this 5-carat round cut solitaire engagement ring.
In this shape, the diamond is a rectangular shape with slightly rounded edges (like a pillow or cushion would be). In this deep cut the diamond has large facets, and as light enters the diamond and bounces around in its interior facets, light is being reflected outwards in a deep and spectacular sparkle.
Celebrities who’ve worn Cushion Cut Solitaire Rings:
Kim Kardashian-West: Kanye West proposed with a 15-carat Cushion-cut Solitaire diamond ring designed by Lorraine Schwartz. This enchanting and enormous diamond engagement ring is worth an estimated $2 million.
This more natural oblong shape is flattering and complimentary to anyone’s hand.
Oval cut diamonds are excellent at reflecting and refracting light, not to mention they are a perfect blend of classic round cuts with a modern or contemporary take.
Celebrities who’ve worn Oval Cut Solitaire Rings:
Hailey Baldwin Bieber: After Justin Bieber proposed to his gorgeous supermodel (now his wife) she wears a 6-10 carat solitaire diamond engagement ring designed by Solow & Co.
Blake Lively: The 12-carat oval-set solitaire pink diamond with a rose gold band is the perfect engagement ring for this iconic and stylish pop-culture icon and her husband.
This shape has a square silhouette with a shorter and shallower crown. This cut is a popular contemporary design that would make anyone feel like absolute royalty when wearing it.
Celebrities who’ve worn Princess Cut Solitaire Rings:
Hillary Duff: This pop-culture princess was proposed to with the perfect white gold solitaire engagement ring with a sizable princess cut diamond.
Scarlett Johansen: Many forget Scar-Jo and Ryan Rynalds were once engaged but the beautiful 3-carat princess cut solitaire engagement ring doesn’t deserve to be forgotten.
These diamonds are cut to an enchanting teardrop shape and are considered an outstanding cut to maximize a diamond’s sparkle and reflection. The rounded top allows the larger facets to collect light before the pointed tip reflects and sparkles the light outwards.
Celebrities who’ve worn Pear Cut Solitaire Rings:
Kaley Cuoco: This Big Bang Theory actress loves Karl Cook and her big and banging Nadis Diamond’s pear cut solitaire engagement ring.
Elizabeth Taylor: Who could ever forget the giant 69 carat pear shaped solitaire diamond ring that Richard Burton gave the iconic actress. This solitaire diamond was later recrafted into a necklace piece because it was (obviously) too heavy for Elizabeth Taylor to regularly wear
If you have fallen in love with the solitaire design and style then you’ll understand there’s a lot of pressure on choosing the perfect diamond for this ring (because it only has one afterall).
Diamonds have a complicated and conflicted history, and these rare gemstones have not always brought out the best in humanity. The blood diamond industry has profited off conflicts and wars because that makes for a more competitive and motivated diamond mining process. Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie helped shed some light on the treacherous reality of many diamond miners.
But the single diamond that sits in your beautiful solitaire engagement or wedding ring, does not have to be a part of this terrible past. Sustainable diamonds exist and they are eco friendly, conflict free and entirely ethical. The only obstacle to obtaining sustainable diamonds is the determination and commitment of each customer currently web surfing for their engagement and wedding rings. There will be many pop up ads and product placements from large diamond companies and corporations on your browser and social media feed - but sustainable diamond retailers and jewelers will be hidden under these.
The reality is that many well-known jewelers still support, fund and buy from unsustainable diamond traders. Therefore, it’s up to individuals to find, support and buy from smaller jewelers and retailers (like Malleable) that specifically create and trade ethical and sustainable jewelry. Below we’ve outlined a checklist of some things to look out for when browsing for your perfect engagement ring.
When jewellers craft their beautiful engagement rings it’s possible to do it in a way that does not damage the planet unnecessarily. Look out for ads and webpages that identify themselves as using sustainable materials and crafting processes. Using recycled materials and metal (such as sterling silver and recycled gems) is a great way many jewellers make their pieces more sustainable.
Of course, using recycled materials requires some resources, skills and knowledge that not every jeweller has, but the team here at Malleable is up to the challenge. Making new and inspiring pieces from recycled gold, sterling silver, platinum and palladium is a part of the ethics and sustainability practices at Malleable.
We’ll create unique solitaire engagement rings including a selection of white gold solitaire engagement rings.
But sustainability goes beyond recycling old metals: it’s a conscious effort to use less energy and fossil fuels when operating storefronts, workshops and transporting diamonds or jewelry. Always remember to research a jeweller's policies and ethics when it comes to their impact on the planet, as the company’s you support become a part of your own carbon footprint.
Ethical material sourcing and staff treatment
When researching your jeweller’s sustainable practices and policies, keep an eye out for their certifications and policy statements. Every website should have an ‘About’ page or declaration of some kind. If a company page does not obviously state they are certified as sustainable and ethical, then this should be a red flag.
At Malleable, we are proud to declare that all our staff are paid above the Toronto living wage and ethical business practices are a top priority. All our gold is ethically sourced through Fairmined Eco Gold networks which allows for transparency and accountability in the industry. The same is true for each diamond, as they are conflict free and in line with the Kimberly Process guidelines.
If you buy a solitaire engagement ring in Canada, you should be able to trust that it is only a symbol of your love for your partner - and not a symbol of greed, corruption, conflict and global climate change. With Malleable you can finally have that peace of mind.