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As traditional as the name implies, cathedral refers to the way in which the center diamond is mounted and featured on the ring. The cathedral setting is defined by arching lines that rise up on each side of the center stone, lifting it off the base of the setting. This arrangement focuses the eye on the center diamond, while also enhancing its perceived size. These side arches are reminiscent of the architecture of a cathedral, from which the setting’s name is derived. Our cathedral engagement rings are offered in styles from modern to vintage, in every available metal.
The term “cathedral setting” refers to a ring setting style where the center diamond is held aloft by two metal arches rising from the shank or base. The arches resemble the architectural lines often found in cathedral ceilings. A cathedral setting refers to this raised style, rather than to the particular setting style of the center diamond itself (which might be prong, bezel, or another variation).
Because cathedral settings feature a center diamond raised on metal arches to be closer to the viewer’s eye, the center stone will appear slightly larger in relation to the ring when viewed from above. In addition to creating a slightly larger appearance, a cathedral ring will also draw attention to any center diamond, regardless of size.
Because cathedral settings feature a raised center diamond, they are one of the most flexible engagement ring styles when it comes to pairing a wedding band. Other, lower profile settings often require a contoured wedding band, which bends around the engagement ring’s center stone. Because the cathedral engagement ring setting is raised, a simple wedding band will usually sit flush against the base of the engagement ring. When shopping on Lumera, only wedding bands that will fit with your chosen engagement ring are shown, eliminating the possibility of purchasing an incompatible wedding band.
Whether an engagement ring shank (or band) is narrow or thick, a cathedral band can work well. Cathedral engagement rings are best for those who do not mind a higher profile ring (which may be more prone to damage or snagging). That said, a cathedral setting is unmatched in the ability to spotlight a center diamond, and enhance the stone’s size and appearance.
A cathedral setting is very secure; the metal arches provide a stable foundation for the center diamond. While a raised center stone may be subject to more frequent contact with hard surfaces, under normal care, cathedral settings do not increase the risk of damage to jewelry.
A solitaire setting simply refers to an engagement ring with one and only one precious stone, usually a diamond (some solitaires will have a limited number of very small accent or pave diamonds, often embedded into the primary diamond’s setting, but the engagement ring is still considered a solitaire).
Cathedral refers to the style of setting, specifically the center stone raised above the ring by metal arch work. A cathedral setting might also include pave or accent diamonds and precious stones. So, a cathedral setting would also be called a solitaire, if only one precious stone is present in the ring.
Yes, a cathedral setting may be set with a variety of pave or accent diamonds, in a variety of shapes and sizes. The cathedral engagement ring style does not limit the variety of setting possibilities when it comes to accent stones.
The cathedral setting style is perhaps best for those who want a bit of drama in their engagement ring. The cathedral arches will lift the center diamond, and make it appear larger and more pronounced. A cathedral setting might not be ideal for wearers with a very active lifestyle (who intend to wear their cathedral engagement ring most of the time), or those who prefer a minimalist jewelry style.
A cathedral setting will accommodate any center diamond shape. The most popular are, , , , and diamond shapes.