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Ring in the Romance with a Cathedral Setting Ring

A classic for a reason, the cathedral setting ring style withstands wear, tear, and the test of time. Romantics at heart know that a ring is more than a ring-it’s a symbol of your loving commitment to your partner. But a ring’s design is equal parts practical and sentimental. To marry (pun intended) those two parts, let us introduce you to the cathedral setting engagement ring.

The cathedral ring setting is a romantic ring shape with arches that gracefully sweep up to support your center stone. Its name traditionally pays homage to Gothic church architecture. But, our clients have mentioned it reminds them of their chuppah or their wedding exit with an archway of sparklers. Love that. While aesthetics and symbolism make for a nice touch, it’s important that the setting you choose for an engagement ring goes beyond appearance. So, is a cathedral setting ring right for you?

What is a Cathedral Ring Setting?

So, you’re diving into the world of engagement rings and stumbled upon the term “cathedral setting engagement ring”. We’re here to break it down for you.

Inspired by the vaulted ceilings of majestic cathedrals that are renowned for their grandeur and elegance, the cathedral ring setting is a sight to behold. Here, arches extend from the shank to support your diamond or gemstone. These arches not only create a visual pedestal that shows off your rock, they also add security and support. Not to mention the multiple points of reinforcement. This means that an accidental bump of the head of the ring is less likely to turn into a full bend or break.

A round brilliant cathedral setting engagement ring with two blue topaz side stones rests on a finger.
If you want your engagement ring to rival the beauty of Notre-Dame de Paris then the cathedral setting is the one for you.
The underside of a cathedral ring setting shows 6 white gold arches springing from a yellow gold band.
Getting its name from the high arches that lift and support your center stone, the cathedral engagement ring draws all eyes towards its oh-so-shiny center.

Benefits of Choosing a Cathedral Setting

With a cathedral ring setting, no one can miss your center stone. It sits high and has arches pointing straight to it. It elevates it ever so slightly to give your diamond prominence, making it THAT girl. This design also helps catch the light better. With all the small spaces around the stone, light filters in and bounces off every facet. Everyone knows that level of sparkle is priceless.

This setting is also steeped in symbolism. While we’ve covered how it got its name, its shape plays to the meaning of those sacred spaces. The protective arches resonate with themes of shelter, sanctity, and eternal commitment, making the ring not just a piece of jewelry but a profound emblem of love. V romantic.

But those arches aren’t just for symbolism and show. They offer a sturdy embrace to the center stone, adding an extra layer of security. This means not only does your gem look good, but it’s also shielded from the potential knocks and mishaps of daily wear.

Understanding Cathedral vs Non- Cathedral Ring Settings

It’s likely you’ve had a diamond cut picked out since the beginning of your engagement ring search but haven’t discovered the variety of ring settings until now. Let’s unpack the differences between cathedral ring settings vs non-cathedral ring settings.

We’ve preached (yes, pun intended) on the virtues of cathedral ring settings, but others can be just as beautiful. Prong and solitaire settings are minimal and slim, offering a flatter profile emphasizing the entire shape of your stone. Bezel and tension settings elegantly hold your stone or stones in place with metal coming up to the edge a statement that’s bold and modern.

The structure of these settings vary greatly but are, in fact, combinable. For instance, you could create a bezel cathedral setting for a mix of modern and traditional. Or use a tension setting with cathedral arches. If you’re looking for a ring that captures light magnificently and stands out, the cathedral setting is your best bet. However, if you lean towards a minimalist aesthetic or are wary of a ring that might catch on things due to its elevation, the more low-profile non-cathedral setting might be your match.

Consider your lifestyle, personal style, and activity levels when deciding on a setting. You always want to ensure you’re playing to your (and your ring’s) strengths.

A three stone step cut emerald engagement ring.
The arches of your cathedral don’t have to be just tall-they can be long as well, as the gently sloping arch in the custom three stone above. Want your own custom ring? Our expert ring designers can help!
A cathedral setting engagement ring with a princess cut diamond and channel set band.
Looking for tips on how to make your cathedral setting engagement ring appear larger than life? We’ve got you covered.

Does a Cathedral Setting Make the Diamond Look Bigger?

Is that a cathedral setting ring, or is your diamond just happy to see us? Yes, this setting pulls a little optical illusion, and objects may look bigger than they appear. With the slight elevation off of the shank and finger, a smaller stone can look larger because it’s closer to the eye. It also reflects light when it sits higher, so the sparkle and shine may make it look more prominent, too.

To pull this off, ensure that you’re considering proportions and balance. The width of the band, the size of the arches, and the carat weight of your stone should all work harmoniously to emphasize your engagement ring’s beauty.

Exploring Types of Cathedral Ring Settings

There are a few types of cathedral ring settings to consider. Let’s explore each so you can really decide what’s right for you.

She’s a classic for a reason

The timeless choice for many, the classic cathedral setting epitomizes elegance. Arches that gracefully rise from the band to embrace the center stone offer a refined and traditional appearance. It’s like the little black dress of ring settings—you can’t go wrong.

A platinum cathedral engagement ring with four prong setting.
Cool. Classic. Chic. The OG Cathedral never disappoints.
A side view of a three stone cathedral engagement ring with yellow gold setting.
The three stone engagement ring allows the cathedral setting to soar to new heights. If you’re looking for a cool and contemporary look, she’ll never bring you down.

Cool and contemporary

A contemporary spin on the classic, the graduated cathedral setting features arches that increase in size as they near the center stone. This gives the diamond a main character moment, creating depth and a layered visual appeal. We love to see it.

Wild and whimsical

For those who crave a touch of whimsy, the twist or split shank cathedral setting weaves magic. Instead of being solid, the band splits or twists as it approaches the center gem, adding dynamism and movement. It’s a setting that captures the unpredictable, delightful turns of love and one we can’t get enough of.

A round brilliant solitaire engagement ring with fun filigree detail that loops and whirls on its way to its arches.
Delicate pave details and fun filigree help add wild whimsy to an otherwise unassuming ring. Contact us to design your own whimsical engagement ring.
An oval cut cathedral engagement ring with halo and pave details
A glittering halo is a fantastic way to add diamond coverage to your engagement ring. And when combined with pave details down the profile of a ring it creates a fully icy look that shines with every step.

Bring on the glam

Infusing added sparkle, a cathedral setting ring with pavé accents combines the traditional cathedral design with the brilliance of pavé-set diamonds or gemstones on the band. The result? A ring that shimmers with every turn, echoing the multifaceted nature of enduring love. Cue the oohs and aahs.

Strengthening Your Choice: The Strongest Setting for a Ring

The cathedral setting is a strong choice for a ring you’ll wear for the rest of your life. Its arches distribute pressure and weight, providing structural support. This design’s very architecture fortifies it, lessening the odds of damage from daily wear.

But its strength also lies in the metal you select. Metals like platinum or alloyed gold, renowned for their durability, can amplify the setting’s robustness. The prongs play an important part in the strength of this setting, too. More prongs, like the classic and elegant six prongs, offer enhanced grip and protection.

But this is all contingent on expert craftsmanship. Only with meticulous design, precision, and skilled execution can a ring truly last the test of time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cathedral Setting Rings

You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers.

Q: Is the cathedral setting more prone to snagging than other settings?

A: Due to its elevated design, there might be a slightly increased chance of a cathedral setting snagging on fabrics or hair. However, this largely depends on the specific design, the height of the arches, and your lifestyle. Properly designed cathedral settings minimize this risk.

An Asscher cut solitaire cathedral ring with yellow gold band and white gold prongs
Two tone rings offer elevated elegance and unparalleled visual appeal
A side view of the Cathedral Royale. Yellow gold arches create a floral pattern that easily supports the center stone.
The delicate arches of The Cathedral Royale conjure the wild outdoors.

Q: Can cathedral settings accommodate any gemstone shape or size?

A: Yes! Cathedral settings are versatile and can hold a variety of gemstone shapes, but make sure the design is tailored to the specific gem. Larger gems require more robust or wider arches, while certain shapes benefit from a particular arch design to maximize aesthetics and security.

Q: Are cathedral settings more expensive than other types of settings?

A: The cost of a cathedral setting often depends on the complexity of the design, the metal used, and any additional features like pavé accents. While the design might add a bit to your final cost, it won’t make or break your budget.

As always, you should be on the lookout for brands that prioritize transparent pricing and upfront educations, you know, like Frank Darling. Contact our Ring Concierge, or drop us a line at with the skinny on what you’re looking for, and we can help you out in no time at all.

A three stone cathedral setting with radiant diamond and trapezoid side stones
Buying a cathedral engagement ring doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Lab grown diamonds are chemically and physically identical to natural, but are a fraction of the cost.
A large north south Marquise cut diamond on a yellow gold cathedral setting.
We love the tapered edges and broad coverage of a Marquise diamond. When combined with a cathedral ring setting the resulting look is as modern as it is classic.

Q: How do I care for and clean a cathedral setting engagement ring?

A: Like all fine jewelry, cleaning your cathedral setting ring regularly is essential to maintain its sparkle. Use mild soap, water, and a soft brush to clean all angles, especially the underside. Get a jeweler to check it out occasionally to keep all stones secure.

For a Love That Soars As High As a Cathedral

Cathedral setting rings stand tall (pun, yes, still intended) in the world of engagement ring settings. They’re a beacon of timeless beauty and structural ingenuity. They catch the light, make your diamond seem bigger, and keep it secure.

But, as with all things tied to the heart, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Finding that perfect ring is deeply personal, reflecting individual tales of love, dreams, and aspirations. So, whether you’re leaning towards a classic cathedral design, intrigued by contemporary twists, or still exploring the vast world of ring settings, remember the best choice is the one that resonates with the romantic side of you. Discover all of Frank Darling’s engagement rings and fall in love with the perfect one.

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