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.
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.