Should You Choose A Cathedral Engagement Ring? Here's What You Need to Know Before Buying

Should You Choose A Cathedral Engagement Ring? Here's What You Need to Know Before Buying

Cathedral diamond rings get their name for one obvious reason: They're designed to look like the arches of a church cathedral.

Commonly called a high-profile style, cathedral rings typically come in two different styles, an arching cathedral design that uses metal to hold the center stone, or a floating style that still holds the diamond in place (but give the illusion that it's floating above the metal band).

That might be a simple explanation for cathedral diamond engagement rings, but there's actually a lot to know about this beautiful style — and why it might be the perfect engagement ring for you.

What is a Cathedral Setting?

Cathedral diamond engagement rings range from simple settings with smooth bands, to blinged-out with two — or even three — rows of pave diamonds to accent the center stone.

Many people also assume that cathedral diamond rings are all high-profile (AKA the center diamond is set high above the ring band). That's not necessarily true.

While some cathedral rings are high profile, the term “cathedral” simply refers to how the band is styled to look like a cathedral arch. In reality, the bottom tip of the diamond — also known as the culet — can certainly be at the same level of the band for the cathedral setting. So, don't be afraid that a cathedral ring will be too high for your finger, because that's not always the case.

Even better: You can customize many aspects of cathedral diamond ring settings, no matter if you opt for a solitaire cathedral engagement ring or a princess cut cathedral engagement ring (or any style, really). These rings can be set with prongs, bezel, tension or a basket design. The center stones can be placed low or high above the arches — It is entirely up to personal preference.

Variations in Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring Settings

Even though cathedral engagement rings are a classic ring choice, they come with many variations. Here are some different features that you can choose with cathedral settings:

  • A range of different arch degrees. They can range from extremely small arches to dramatic curves to frame a high setting, whatever you prefer.
  • Arches can be either concave or convex.
  • Arch widths can differ in proportion to the size of the center stone.
  • You can choose between solid or split band arches.

The Advantages of Cathedral Diamond Rings

While we can go on all day about the benefits of picking a cathedral diamond engagement ring setting, we're going to stick to the style's true pros.

First off, the elegance of cathedral settings is unmatched. This is mainly due to the extra fine detail that can be incorporated into these engagement rings. Also, cathedral engagement rings provide more room to work with, allowing for leniency with extra pave diamonds or metal work — making it extra easy for you to customize the ring to your wishes.

Make sure you check the profile images of our engagement ring settings. On the ones with cathedral settings, we've taken advantage of this extra space and adorned many with small detailing on the sides. That way you're always finding new things to love about your ring.

cathedral engagement rings views from all angles

Another main benefit of cathedral engagement ring settings is that it provides a lot of protection for the center stone. This is especially true and comes in handy if the stone is sitting low, and the arches extend to the stone's girdle. If you want to have a larger and heavier center diamond, the cathedral setting will certainly protect and support that stone as well. The natural curving nature of cathedral engagement rings provide an overall well-structured and solid feel and look.

Also, cathedral diamond engagement rings can fit into almost any budget.

The Drawbacks of Cathedral Engagement Rings

While there are very few cons to picking cathedral engagement rings, there are a couple things you should know before deciding.

The main con with this type of setting is that not everyone likes the additional design features. Some people prefer the center diamond to be the only focus on the ring — and for people who prefer extreme simplicity, this type of ring can look cluttered. This isn't necessarily a con, just personal preference.

Also, you'll have to take your lifestyle and career into consideration when deciding on a cathedral engagement ring setting. The reason: Because some styles extend above the finger, they're not a good choice if you have an active lifestyle or work with your hands a lot because the stone can snag and break loose.

If you love this style, though, you can again check the images of the sides of our engagement ring settings. Like we mentioned, not all cathedral engagement rings are high set. Checking the profile of the ring you have in mind will instantly tell you if it's high or low set, and we have plenty of cathedral diamond rings that sit closer to the finger for people with active jobs and hobbies.

Top Cathedral Engagement Rings

So, it's settled: You're ready to declare the cathedral style as the style for your diamond engagement ring. What now? We've rounded up some of our favorite cathedral engagement rings to help inspire your search.

Poise Basket Diamond Engagement Ring

Poise Basket Diamond Engagement Ring

A smooth, petite band puts all the attention where it should be on this cathedral diamond ring: the center stone. The diamond sits inside a basket with Poise basket diamond engagement ring, meaning you can rest assured knowing it won’t suddenly break free.

Weaved Cathedral Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

Weaved Cathedral Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

A thick metal band gives way to a criss-cross design at the center stone in the Weaved cathedral solitaire diamond engagement ring, adding just enough detail to make things interesting (without adding other distractions).

Oval Plain Shank Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Oval Plain Shank Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

The jaw-dropping halo adds more carat weight to the Oval plain shank halo diamond engagement ring without adding a lot of distracting details. Bonus: The cathedral style creates a natural basket for the diamond, allowing you to get the style without adding extra height.

Braided Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring

Braided Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring

The smooth prong style — paired with the weaved style of the band — transforms the Braided cathedral diamond engagement ring into a jaw-dropping attraction. Bonus: The accent stones add 0.30 carats of weight to the ring.

Channel Set Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring

Channel Set Cathedral Diamond Engagement Ring

Classic meets modern with the Channel set cathedral diamond engagement ring. The thick band gives ample space for the half-carat of round pave stones set into it, while the modern cathedral style with smooth prongs holds the center stone securely in place.

Sleek Cathedral Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

Sleek Cathedral Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

Keep things simple - with all the focus on the center diamond — with the Sleek cathedral solitaire engagement ring with a petite band.

Cathedral engagement rings are a classic, and this collection is just scratching the surface of the settings we have available in this style. If you don't see the one you like, or need to find one with a lower setting, browse our entire range of classic engagement rings using the button below. We're confident you'll find the one that will fit her personal style, her hand, and her lifestyle.


Where do cathedral rings get their name?

Cathedral rings get their name from the beautiful arches of a church cathedral. On a ring, these high arches securely hold the center diamond in place.

What is a cathedral engagement ring?

The cathedral engagement ring is a style of engagement ring with high arches of metal (similar to the arches of a church cathedral) that adorn and secure the center stone. This particular setting sits higher above the shank, thereby placing the spotlight on the center stone.

Does a cathedral setting make the ring look bigger?

Yes, in some cases, the cathedral setting does make the ring look bigger by adding extra height and making the center gem look more prominent.

Can I set a princess-cut diamond on a cathedral engagement ring?

Yes, you can customize a cathedral engagement ring and set it with a princess-cut diamond or any other diamond of your choice. Reach out to one of our expert gemologists who can help you with the same.

Is the cathedral setting more secure?

The cathedral setting is quite secure. Its side arches help shield the center diamond from everyday wear and tear and help keep it safe.
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