A Complete Guide to Cathedral Engagement Ring Settings

The world of engagement ring settings can be as intimidating as it is enthralling. If you have narrowed down your selection to a cathedral setting, you will still find a myriad of styles within this genre. If you haven’t narrowed down your selection at all, perhaps a cathedral setting is a good place to start.
Danhov CL140 Classico Solitaire Engagement Ring
Danhov CL140 Classico Solitaire Engagement Ring
This guide will explore the practical and aesthetic attributes of cathedral settings, to help you make the best choice for your engagement ring.

What is a Cathedral Setting?

Inspired by the grand architecture of a cathedral ceiling, a cathedral setting encompasses arching silhouettes and a centre diamond flanked by metal that rises from the shank. The side profile is distinctive and may also feature diamond pave and/or other decorative design elements.
Flush-Fit Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring
Flush-Fit Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring
Demystify jewelry making and learn the care that will go into your ring with our fascinating guide on the jewelry manufacturing process.

What is The Difference Between a Cathedral Setting and a Solitaire?

What sets a cathedral setting apart from a classic solitaire are the arches of the ring shank that meet the diamond setting at a higher level. (The classic solitaire shank attaches to the base of the head which sits directly atop the shank). This also allows the diamond to sit a bit higher than most classic solitaire styles, and offers some protection as well – a consideration for those with active lifestyle. The side profile view of a cathedral setting usually features open metal-providing airy comfort as well as ease of cleaning. There are a number of good reasons that cathedral style settings are an excellent choice. For those on a budget, a simple cathedral without additional diamonds can be just the ticket, but there are a range of more ornate styles with diamonds that can be very striking.
Petite Open Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring
Petite Open Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring
Classic 4 Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Classic 4 Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Profile views demonstrating the differences between cathedral settings and traditional solitaire settings
Our guide to prong settings can give you an in-depth understanding of the features and our complete guide to diamond ring settings showcases every style. If you are just starting your engagement ring journey, these pages can provide you with a closer look at the popular styles.

Benefits of a Cathedral Setting

There are practical and beautiful benefits to choosing a cathedral setting:
  • The elevated setting elevates the diamond, making it appear larger and brighter and in many cases.
  • The side arches offer additional protection and security for the center diamond.
  • The ornate gallery is often used as a space for designers to express a little creativity with surprise details such as intricate metal work or additional diamonds and gemstones.
  • Cathedral settings can utilize a ‘petite’ style that showcases thinner bands – this is perfect for smaller hands or simply to further enhance the impact of the central diamond.
  • Cathedral settings are classic but there is also room for personalization – the metal type, diamond detailing and additional features make cathedral settings a timeless but unique choice for engagement rings.

Cathedral Setting Considerations

If you’re deciding whether a cathedral setting is the correct choice for yourself or your intended, there are a few things to take into consideration. As with all engagement ring styles, some features of cathedral settings might be less suited to certain lifestyles. It is all about finding the right ring for your needs.
  • The intricate, open metal-work of a cathedral setting provides more opportunities for dirt and film buildup, making it slightly higher maintenance. This is easily solved by learning to care for your jewelry at home.
  • The cathedral is generally less petite than minimalist solitaire styles.
  • Most cathedral settings sit higher than some other styles. For hands-on activities, we advise you removing your ring.
  • Proportion is everything. Our designer settings have a range of carat weights that are suitable for the design and ensure a beautiful balance. For larger diamonds, we can advise on the best settings to achieve balanced proportions.

Popular Types of Cathedral Setting

The possibilities for cathedral setting designs are far-reaching, providing something to suit a variety of tastes. Here are some of the styles that are most beloved by our customers to inspire your search.

Petite Styles

Petite Open Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring
Petite Open Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring
The petite style is perfect for a daintier look and emphasize the centre diamond. This open cathedral setting features a diamond band for an extra lift of sparkle.

Engraved Styles

Engraved Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring
Engraved Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring
Metal engraving or metal beadwork are wonderful ways to add intriguing detail and texture to a cathedral setting. They are a great way to achieve detailing for those working with a modest budget, and who simply want the center diamond to hold the limelight.

Detailed Styles

Verragio PAR-3074 Bead-Set Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring
Verragio PAR-3074 Bead-Set Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring
This Verragio design showcases the ornate possibilities for cathedral settings and the time and care that goes into these intricate works of art.

Choosing a Cathedral Setting

Given the inherently sentimental nature of an engagement ring, we believe that personal taste should be the driving factor for your search. An understanding of how certain styles hold up to lifestyles and your particularly hands-on activities is also an important consideration.
We are here to offer guidance on all engagement ring decisions; from setting styles to choosing a diamond, we will be with you every step of the way.

Be Inspired By Our Designer Engagement Rings

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