What Is the Definition of a Diamond Solitaire?

by Deb Lindstrom

A solitaire diamond ring is often completely just that: a ring having a solitary diamond. Some solitaires do have side stones, but for a solitaire diamond ring to be worth its asking price, it is not the total carat weight of the entire ring's stones that count; it is the carat weight of the solitaire or center stone that matters most in a diamond's current worth and possible future value. Spending four times the true value of a ring by focusing on its total diamond carat weight, not that of its main stone has needlessly emptied bank accounts and fooled many.

History

The exclusive New York Jeweler Tiffany introduced a six-prong version of the first solitaire diamond ring in 1886. Obviously, it remains the preferred style for most engagement ring designs today.

Significance

Why has the solitaire diamond ring remained so popular? Perhaps because one large stone stands out more and one large stone best symbolizes the coming relationship in which two shall become as one. If not that, than it definitely has mesmerizing attributes that force focus onto the scintillating, flashing stone; and the bigger it is, the more focus it seems to get.

Types

There are many different types of standard diamond cuts, all with a pre-defined number of facets depending upon the cut. The Round brilliant cut remains the most popular, likely because the apparent size of the stone seems large when compared to its actual carat weight. In order of apparent size vs. actual carat weight, these are the standard stone cuts for solitaires: Princess, Emerald, Pear, Oval, Heart, Trillion/trilliant, Marquise, Radiant, Asscher, and Cushion.

Features

The following list of features, in the presented order, is weighted accordingly by order in the list when certifying diamond grade and worth.

1) Cut, 2) Carat weight, 3) Size - in millimeters 4) Color, 5) Clarity, and lastly 6) Fluorescence

Carat Weight and True Ring Value - Caveat Emptor

Do not take the purchase of a solitaire diamond ring lightly. A fair sum of money crosses hands for a ring of some mid-or-higher grade cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, as described above, and without a bit of insight, overspending for the ring in question is the rule rather than the exception. Therefore, solitaire diamond rings of reasonable value must first have a center stone of around one carat or more in weight if they hope to receive serious consideration for valuation purposes. When the ring's "ct. tw." (carat total weight) of some 1-or-2.xx carats (+/-) displays prominently, but not the carat weight of the center stone, be wary of the ring's true worth. Many small and much less creditable stones make up the overall or total carat weight of the combined diamonds in a ring with side-mounted stones, but without any significantly-sized single stones, total carat weight often only serves to reduce the ring's overall value.

Photo Credits

  • Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Deb Lindstrom has 20-plus years experience writing tech manuals, Humane Society pieces, business certificates, essays and manuscripts, and is now a freelance writer for eHow and other publications. She holds a B.S., magna cum laude, holds an M.L.I.S. degree, and almost has her M.S.I.T. and M.P.W. degrees.