What is Cathedral Setting Engagement Ring

How to Choose a Cathedral Engagement Ring Setting

Classic engagement rings with a large solitaire are always a good idea. But what about those who want a ring that's a little more interesting than a few carats of diamond on six gold prongs. For those who think bold and unconventional but like the traditional design, jewelers create the Cathedral Engagement Ring Setting.


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History of Engagement Rings 

The tradition of giving a special engagement ring has a long history. It is known that in Egypt the tradition of giving rings as a sign of eternal love originated. But engagement rings, specially designed for marriage proposals, first appeared in practice in ancient Greece and Rome. In such a way the groom informed the bride and the whole world that he was able to take care of her and had enough financial background to support the family. 

Another beautiful legend about engagement rings is associated with Duke Maximilian of Austria. In 1477 he fell in love with Mary of Burgundy, and to keep the girl from refusing to marry him, he enclosed a luxurious gift - a gold ring with a large diamond in addition to a written message. After this romantic story, the tradition of proposing with a special ornament was picked up throughout Europe. 

Bernhard Strigel: Emperor Maximilian I and his family

Bernhard Strigel: Emperor Maximilian I and his family, after 1515 (Copyright Kunsthistorisches Museum, Courtesy of Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna)

 The ring is a gold ring with diamonds, which could only be afforded by royalty until the mid-nineteenth century. But in 1870 a major diamond deposit was found in Africa, so that diamond jewelry became available for ordinary people. De Beers was successfully supplying the world with diamonds for almost half a century before the Great Depression hit the United States and sales plummeted. To save sales, De Beers teamed up with the N.W. Ayer advertising agency to conduct one of the most successful advertising campaigns ever. Ayer ran one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history, "Diamonds are Forever". 


  • 78% of all engagement rings in the world are set with diamonds  
  • The most popular model is considered to be Tiffany Setting, the ring appeared in 1886. The diamond is "held" by six prongs and the stone seems to float. 
  • In the 1920s, the Halo engagement rings were the best-selling. This model has a large stone in the center, which is surrounded by a scattering of small diamonds.
  • In the crisis years of the 1930s, brides wore modest rings with one small stone.
  • In the 1950s yellow and rose gold came back in style.
  • In the 1970s and '80s, the rings became more artistic and colored gemstone rings became fashionable after Princess Diana's engagement.
  • In the 1990s the most fashionable engagement ring was the Marquis-cut diamond, to be replaced a decade later by the Princess. 
  • The 2020s also saw a new trend. One of the most popular models of the coming years has the romantic name of Cathedral Engagement Ring.

What is a Cathedral Engagement Ring Setting? 

The Cathedral Engagement Ring Setting is very simple to recognize. Its design is two graceful arches that resemble the vaults of traditional European cathedrals and hold a large central stone in the air. The arches can be adorned with a scattering of small diamonds or other stones, or they can be minimally gold, with no additional decoration. This is a matter of taste for the bride and groom. As well as the choice of the center stone is left to the discretion of the romantic couple. It can be not only a diamond but also a ruby, moissanite, or emerald. For the more responsible, there are also models with diamonds grown in laboratories. 


By the way, the Cathedral Engagement Ring design looks more spectacular as the arches create more height, so the central stone seems larger, brighter, and more noticeable. Also, the popularity of the Cathedral Engagement Ring is explained by the fact that the ring design can be called timeless.

Styles of Cathedral Engagement Ring Setting

Styles of Cathedral Engagement Rings can be very varied. The design of the jewelry can vary from the width of the shackle and the color of the gold to the number of precious diamonds on the arches and the types of the center and accompanying gemstone. So, for example, you can choose a Cathedral Engagement Ring with a center emerald or ruby and decoration like the classic Halo Engagement Ring. The "backing" of the main stone will remain Cathedral Setting. 


You can also choose the number of prongs for the center stone. It can be 4, 6, or 8 prongs, all depending on the design and construction of the Cathedral Engagement Ring. Here we should consider one thing. The more prongs, the less light hits the diamond, and the less it shines. On the other hand, more prongs secure the stone.  

However, the classic design is still considered a ring with a large stone backed by Cathedral bands. The most popular width of the band is 1.6 to 1.8 mm. In this design, the central stone looks especially spectacular and visually looks larger. 


Central Diamond of Cathedral Engagement Ring Setting

The most successful type of cut for the Cathedral Engagement Ring is the round cut, princess, or cushion cut. The shape of these three kinds of cuts makes them look the most organic, harmonious, and elegant. But of course, if you prefer the Usher, Heart, Marquis or Baguette, it is only your choice. You only need to pay attention to how securely the stone is fixed and how its design avoids chipping. 



Pros and Cons of Cathedral Engagement Ring Setting


There aren't that many cons to the Cathedral Engagement Ring.

  1. Because of the design, the Cathedral Engagement Ring will have to be cleaned more thoroughly, as there are more places where dirt can get stuck. 
  2. Also, because of their bulk design, these rings can stick out more and cling to the clothes, in contrast to the classic rings.

In our opinion, the pros of the Cathedral Engagement Ring are incomparably more:

  1. One of the biggest perks of the Cathedral Engagement Ring Setting is its impactfulness. A raised stone always looks brighter, larger, and makes the ring more expensive. 
  2. The Cathedral Engagement Ring design allows you to pair a wedding band of almost any design and width. Several layers of diamonds on the gold bars will create a gorgeous set. 
  3. The decor of these rings is perfect if you want to bet on a center stone. Without the extra investment, you get a more chic ring. That's one of the main features of the Cathedral Engagement Ring Setting.

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