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Why the cathedral setting is here to stay

By Stephanie Dore

Little black dresses. Great denim. Diamond studs. Chucks. There’s a reason classics are, well, classics. Similarly, there are a few engagement ring styles that are just plain here to stay. And one of the most popular is the cathedral engagement ring. But what is a cathedral setting, and what is it about this look that makes it such a classic? It’s a simple idea, really. Take a diamond solitaire and add little shoulders that point directly at your center stone. Like magic, you get the whoa factor. But it’s more than that. So let’s see why, exactly, cathedral settings are here to stay.

Take Me To Church

So, cathedral rings aren’t really a “setting style” as much as they are a “shoulder style”. Which is a bonus because they can be combined with a lot of other setting styles, be it a 4-prong, a 6-prong, a halo, a bezel…only your imagination is the limit. Add those graceful, sweeping shoulders—named, of course, for the arches of a cathedral—and you’ve got an elegant ring that’s good to go.

Like A Little Prayer

Those raised shoulders aren’t just for looks—in fact, they can offer a bit of extra security for your center diamond, protecting it from some degree of daily wear—but they sure are pretty. Love the little extra details? Those shoulders can be accented with beautiful pave diamonds, delicate engraving, or even filigree work. 

Split Decision

You can also go thin and delicate or big and bold with a wider shoulder. Go single or split—cathedral ring settings come in all shapes and sizes. While a classic round solitaire might look best with a single cathedral shoulder, elongated shapes like ovals, emeralds, and marquises are stellar in a split-shank cathedral. This style features a single band that splits into two points at the shoulder to perfectly frame your diamond. 

Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong

Cathedral ring settings don’t just highlight your center diamond, they set it higher—and are known for this high profile look. It’s a classic look that elevates your diamond so that lots of light gets in there and sparkles back at you. But be warned—if you’ve got a super active lifestyle, the high profile can be more likely to snag against stuff, putting your diamond (and your favorite sweaters) at risk.

Couple Goals

If you know you’ll be forever bothered by a gap between your engagement ring and wedding band, a cathedral style setting can help alleviate that. Because a classic cathedral sits above the band, a slim, matching wedding band will snuggle right up, leaving no gaps. Often, you can find perfectly matched pairs and purchase them at the same time so you won’t have to try to match them later. 

Forever, forever, ever, forever, ever?

We know, you don’t need any more convincing that the cathedral engagement ring style is as classic as they come. You just want to see the rings. Whether you shop the collection, take our style quiz to design your own, or reach out for a helping hand at hello@frankdarling.com, we’re here to make sure your dream ring comes true.