What is a Solitaire Diamond? (Pricing Guide, Pros & Cons)

When jewelers want a diamond to be the focus in a jewelry design, they choose a solitaire setting. This simple setting enhances the brilliance of diamonds in cut in any shape or size. It is one of the most classic settings for rings and earrings. Solitaire settings are also the most versatile jewelry setting. It is no wonder that solitaire diamond rings are the number one choice for engagement rings!

What is the Average Price of a Solitaire Diamond?

Jewelers use the 4C’s to determine the price of a diamond. The most influential factor is size. To show the variance of cost between diamond sizes, let’s look at diamonds that have similar color and clarity. Round is the most popular cut, so we will use that shape as a baseline. 

0.25 CARAT


0.75 CARAT

The diamond pricing in this chart is for the stone only. 

What is a Solitaire Diamond Ring?

A solitaire diamond ring is a ring set with only a diamond. This means there is only a primary stone in the setting. There are no accent gemstones or additional diamonds on the ring.  Solitaire diamond rings are the most common diamond rings bought as engagement rings. 

Why Should Buy a Solitaire Diamond

Solitaire diamond rings are classic jewelry pieces. They are the top choice for engagement rings. This is because solitary settings best showcase the brilliance of a diamond. Solitaire diamond rings are also the most versatile. They pair with almost any style of wedding band. 

Solitaire diamonds are available at numerous price points and come in a variety of cuts. You are sure to find one that suits your style and wallet. As the most popular choice for engagement rings, jewelry stores often have a large selection to choose from. 

Diamonds are the strongest substance on Earth. This means solitaire diamond rings are one of the easiest pieces of jewelry to care for. They are durable and easy to clean.

Are there disadvantages to a solitaire diamond ring?

The beauty, value, and overall aesthetic of a solitaire ring setting are solely dependent on the diamond. This can be a disadvantage to those shopping for diamond rings on a budget. Diamonds are priced by size and clarity. It is much less expensive to get a lot of little diamonds than one large one. 

Also, solitaire diamonds are classic but common. If you are looking for a uniquely designed engagement ring, a solitaire ring is probably not the best choice. Aside from choosing the gold for the band and the shape of the diamond, you can’t customize a solitaire ring. 

There are so many options for solitaire diamonds. How do you choose the best one? The beauty of a diamond is in the eye of the beholder. Start by asking the intended recipient for their preferences. As a guide, the most popular solitaire engagement ring settings for 2022 are round, oval, and cushioned.

Round Solitaire Diamonds

Round diamonds are the number one most preferred solitaire cut. They are the most brilliant and hide coloring and inclusions better than any other cut. This means you can save money by getting a lesser-quality diamond without sacrificing beauty. Round solitaire rings are hailed as the classic cut for engagement rings.

Oval Solitaire Diamonds

A close runner-up is an oval diamond. This cut results in a much longer diamond than a round cut. It takes up more room on the finger, giving an illusion of a larger stone. Oval diamonds have recently gained popularity and are considered the most modern cut.

Cushion Cut Solitaire Diamonds

Cushion-cut diamonds are a blend between square and round. These diamonds have the brilliance of a round diamond, but the modernity of a princess cut. Cushion-cut solitaire rings are becoming more and more sought after by brides. 

Examples of Solitary Diamond Engagement Rings with Prices

Blue Nile ranks as one of the best online jewelry stores. These popular engagement rings are sold on their site. The settings are 18K white gold. Each ring has a natural diamond of similar value.















Solitaire diamond rings are timeless. They are excellent investment pieces. The simple setting makes the diamond the star of the ring. Solitaire rings are versatile.

They are the easiest ring style to change. This includes upgrading the size of the diamond, changing the diamond shape, and choosing a different band color. The value of the ring is in the solitaire diamond. Therefore making changes to the band and setting is relatively inexpensive and easy for professional jewelers to do. 

Can You Purchase a Setting & Not a Diamond?

It is common to purchase settings separate from diamonds. Maybe you want to use a diamond from a family heirloom in an engagement ring. Or you found a great deal on a loose stone while traveling. 

You need to find a jeweler that makes settings and custom pieces. You will need to bring them the stone you want to use in the ring. They will build the setting to fit the diamond exactly. If you have a high-quality diamond already, it can be much less expensive to have a setting made than purchasing an entire diamond ring. 

Alternatives to Solitaire Rings

Solitaire rings aren’t for everyone. If you are looking for a diamond ring setting that is less traditional, consider halo settings, pave settings, and eternity bands.

Halo Settings

A ring that has a halo setting features a primary stone with a ring of smaller gemstones around it. It is common to see halo settings with all diamonds. It is also popular to combine diamonds and other precious gemstones in a halo setting. For example, a sapphire might be chosen as the center stone with small diamonds forming the halo. 

Halo settings are a great choice if you want to incorporate gemstones in addition to diamonds in your ring. 

Pave Settings

A ring is considered to have a pave setting if a lot of little gemstones are mounted next to each other in miniature settings. Pave rings are much less expensive than solitaire rings because the diamonds are so small.

Jewelry designers arrange small diamonds into different designs and shapes. In some instances, the diamonds will be set to look like one large diamond from afar.  Pave settings are a great way to save money while still giving genuine diamonds.

Eternity Bands

A band with gemstones set all the way around it is called an eternity band. These can be colorful gemstones like sapphires or rubies.

However, if the eternity band is being used as a wedding or engagement ring, it is usually made by using diamonds. Eternity bands are less expensive than solitaire rings because the diamonds are smaller. 

Eternity bands are a great way to show your love without the flash and fanfare of a traditional diamond engagement ring.

Can You Put a Bigger Diamond Into the Same Ring?

Ready for an upgrade? You can upgrade the size and shape of your diamond solitaire ring easily. Once you select the diamond you want, the jewelry will adjust the setting and prongs to fit. 

If you have a diamond ring that is not a solitaire, it will be more difficult to upgrade the diamond. Depending on the design of the setting, you may not be able to add a larger diamond while maintaining the original look. 

Solitaire rings are the easiest ring to upgrade the diamond size on.

What is the Best Quality Diamond

The quality of a natural diamond is determined by four characteristics: cut, clarity, color, and carat. These are commonly referred to as the “4C’s” of diamond grading.


The cut of a diamond is determined by how it is processed once mined. This characteristic has nothing to do with the natural diamond. Jewelers precisely cut facets into diamonds. This gives the diamond its brilliance. The more faceted a diamond, the more it will sparkle and shine. This is also how you get the shape of a diamond. 


The cut of a diamond does not heavily impact the price. The preference for one cut over another is personal taste. 


The clarity of a diamond is assessed by the number of imperfections it has. Imperfections on a diamond are called inclusions. The clarity grade is listed from FL (flawless) to I3 (very included).

  • Internally Flawless: FL | IF
  • Very Very Slightly Included: VVS1 | VVS2
  • Very Slightly Included: VS1 | VS2
  • Slightly Included: SI1 | SI2 | SI3
  • Included: I1 | I2 | 13

Most cuts will make inclusions less noticeable to the naked eye. The exceptions are asscher and emerald cuts. If your preference is for either of these shapes, you want to get a diamond with as close to a flawless rating as possible. 

As a general rule, a solitaire diamond should have a minimal clarity rating of VS1.


Diamond color is rated on a scale from “D” to “Z”. Diamonds with a “D” color rating are colorless and of the highest value. While diamonds with a “Z” color rating have a yellow hue and are the least valuable. 

The shape of a diamond can influence its color. Symmetrical diamond shapes hide color better. Whereas long diamond shapes like radiant and oval, show color more.


The minimal color rating you want for a quality solitaire diamond is J. However, most cuts look the best with color ratings of G and up. 


Diamonds are sized by carat. A one-carat diamond ring weighs 0.2 grams. The larger the diamond, the more valuable it is. Professional jewelers can manipulate the size of a diamond by how it is cut. It is common for jewelers to cut diamonds in a way that makes them appear larger. This gives the illusion of a higher carat at a lower price point. 

The most common diamond carat for an engagement ring in the United States is 1.09 carats.

The price of a diamond is assessed based on the combination of its color, clarity, cut, and carat. 

Where Do Diamonds Come From

Diamonds are the world’s strongest natural substance. Millions of years ago, extreme heat and pressure turned pure carbon into diamonds over 100 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. Over time, volcanic activity pushed diamonds closer to the surface. 

The first natural diamond, the polki diamond, was mined in India over 2,500 years ago. Now the top countries that mine diamonds are Canada, Russia, Australia, and Africa. Only 20% of diamonds mined are high enough quality to be considered gemstones. The other 80% are used for industrial purposes. 

Due to their extreme strength, diamonds are commonly used for grinding, drilling, and polishing. To increase the availability of diamonds for industrial purposes, scientists developed a way to create diamonds in a lab. Eventually, this led to lab-created, gemstone-quality diamonds as well. 

Lab-made diamonds are near-identical to natural diamonds in chemistry. They also look like natural diamonds. It is impossible to accurately identify a lab-created diamond from a natural diamond without a microscope.

Man-made diamonds have recently increased in popularity due to their availability. They are also more sustainable and conflict-free compared to natural diamonds. 

How Do You Care for Solitare Diamond?

No one wants to wear a dull or dirty diamond. Help your solitaire ring shine bright with these easy maintenance tips.

Bring it to a jewelry store

When you purchase your jewelry, ask the jeweler if they offer cleaning or maintenance plans. Most stores will offer FREE inspections and cleanings. Some even provide insurance policies. For example, my jeweler guarantees free replacement of any stone that is damaged or lost from its setting IF I get my diamond jewelry inspected once every six months. 

If a jewelry store is local to you, I highly recommend getting your diamonds cleaned and inspected professionally. Jewelers will get your diamonds sparkling like new. They also double-check the setting and band while you’re there. It’s normally free to have done and the perfect excuse to visit the jewelry store more often!

Cleaning your diamond at home

You can quickly shine up your diamond with standard, household items. Soak the diamond in soapy water and gently rub or brush away the grime.

You can use a microfiber towel or soft-bristled toothbrush. Be very careful not to disrupt the setting. Depending on if your ring is set in gold, platinum, or sterling silver, there may be different care instructions for the band. Stay away from abrasive cleaners and brushes.

Lately, home jewelry cleaning machines have become popular. There are even small ultrasonic cleaners that replicate professional cleaners. These are convenient but can cause more damage than good. If your setting is loose, cleaning machines worsen the problem. Don’t use at-home machines unless you frequently get your diamonds professionally inspected.


Diamonds are very strong. While this is good for durability, it is not always great for other jewelry in your jewelry box. It is best to store each diamond piece separately. Keep it in the box it came in when you bought it or purchase plush bags. 

To keep your diamond as pristine as possible, reduce exposure to any chemicals and oils. I remove my diamond rings before doing the dishes, showering, or going to sleep. The oils in your skin and hair can cause just as much build-up to your ring as chemical cleaners. 

Insuring Your Diamonds

Over 60% of women don’t insure their diamonds and fine jewelry. Did you know you can usually add valuable jewelry to your homeowners or renters insurance policy? This is a commonly overlooked, but very important step in any expensive jewelry purchase. Each insurance agency and policy addresses jewelry differently.

Make sure to read the fine print or speak to an agent to make sure your diamonds are fully covered. In most cases, you need to supply proof of purchase or a recent appraisal from a certified jeweler.

Once added to your policy, the jewelry will be covered for replacement under specific conditions. For example, if your diamond solitaire ring is stolen from your home, the insurance will cover a replacement at the registered appraised value.

There may be a limit to how much jewelry you can add to your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Depending on the company, there can be a total value you cannot exceed or a per-item value you cannot exceed. If this is the case, you may want to consider investing in jewelry insurance.

This usually costs 1-3% (due annually) of the total value of the insured jewelry. Jewelry insurance is expensive, but it also covers more incidents than a homeowners or renters policy. The replacement policy covers theft, loss, and damage. 

Diamonds are timeless gemstones that symbolize love. There is no better way to display a diamond than in a solitaire setting. While popularity in cuts and settings may change, diamonds will remain the centerpiece of engagement rings. Their strength and classic style make diamonds an excellent investment. If you decide to purchase a solitaire diamond ring, rest assured it will be loved and cherished for generations.