What is a Cathedral Setting? Types, Pros, and Cons

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Your engagement ring mounting determines its overall design, beauty, and stone durability, so choosing the right setting is crucial. There are various types of engagement ring settings, but if you’re interested in the cathedral ring setting, you’re in the right place. This guide will answer the question, “What is a cathedral setting?”. We’ll also discuss the different types, pros, cons, and more. 


What is a cathedral ring setting?

Riviera Cathedral Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring

Inspired by the ornate architecture of a cathedral ceiling, this ring setting involves arching silhouettes with a center gemstone flanked by metal that rises from the shank. Thanks to its design, the side profile of this ring setting is quite distinctive. The arches add extra height to the ring, making the center stone more prominent. 

Comfort Fit Engagement Ring - What is a Cathedral Setting? Types, Pros, and Cons
Cathedral setting on hand

A cathedral setting is one of the most elegant, chic, and classic choices for an engagement ring. These settings make the diamond pop. This way, you don’t need additional features or multiple diamonds; you also save some extra bucks. 

What is a petite cathedral setting? 

14K White Gold Petite Pavé Cathedral Engagement Ring

A petite cathedral setting has thin bands, usually 1.6 to 1.8 mm wide, giving the ring a delicate and dainty look. It also makes the diamond or any other center stone more noticeable.


Pros and cons of a cathedral ring setting

People prefer a cathedral ring setting for good reasons. However, this setting also has a few downsides.  

Pros

The advantages of a cathedral setting include the following:

  • It makes the center stone prominent.
  • It adds extra height and character to the design.
  • It eliminates the need for additional features and multiple diamonds.
  • It’s a versatile setting for almost any gemstone shape.
  • The side arches offer better protection to the center stone.

Cons 

Here are the downsides of a cathedral setting:

  • It may snag on fabric and hair, especially with taller cathedral ring settings. 
  • It has various crevices that may require more time and effort to clean. 
  • It’s not as streamlined as other styles, such as the bezel setting.

Types of cathedral ring settings

Cathedral ring settings come in various designs, providing something that would suit everyone’s tastes and preferences. Here are some of the most common types of cathedral ring settings that may appeal to you. 

Channel

14K White Gold Channel Set Cathedral Engagement Ring

Channel set cathedral rings offer the perfect blend of classic and modern design. Channel settings typically feature gemstones set close to each other between two walls of metal made to resemble a channel. Moreover, the modern and chic cathedral style with prongs offers an elegant position for the center stone while securing it in place. 


Petite

Petite cathedral set ring - What is a Cathedral Setting? Types, Pros, and Cons

As the name suggests, a petite cathedral engagement ring features a delicate and dainty band that draws all attention to the center stone. Usually, the band is only 1.6 to 1.8 mm wide and can sometimes feature tiny stones to increase the ring’s overall sparkle. 


Cathedral solitaire

Comfort Fit Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring

To keep things simple and elegant, a cathedral solitaire is an excellent pick. This setting only features a center stone flanked by metal arches coming up from the shank. This design focuses on the center stone, as the band design is extremely minimal and simple. 


Cathedral prong

One of the most common ways of setting the center stone in a ring is with prongs. A prong is a little metal claw that securely holds the stone in place. Prongs come in various shapes, like rounded, flat, pointed, or v-shaped. The most commonly used prong settings are either four or six prongs. 

Four-prong cathedral setting

ZAC ZAC POSEN Cathedral Solitaire Plus Diamond Engagement Ring

A four-prong cathedral setting features four metal prongs securing the center stone and is a popular choice.


Six-prong cathedral setting

Six-Prong Hand-Engraved Diamond Engagement Ring

A six-prong cathedral setting features six metal prongs holding the center stone. Compared to the four-prong setting, it gives a little more character to the ring. However, six prongs can limit the light reaching the center stone and might affect the brilliance of the diamond. 


Split shank

Bella Vaughan for Blue Nile Seattle Split Shank Double Pave Diamond Engagement Ring

Split shank cathedral settings are the more artfully designed. The band artfully splits as it approaches the center stone. 


Double Pave

Double Pave Diamond Engagement Ring

Why settle for one row of diamonds when you can have two? A double pave setting comes with two rows of pave diamonds. It not only gives a ring some extra bling but also gives it a little more character. 


How the cathedral setting compares to others

Let’s see how a cathedral setting compares to other settings. 

Cathedral vs prong setting

The prongs solely hold the diamond into place in a solitaire prong setting. On the other hand, the arches are responsible for keeping the diamond in place in a cathedral setting. Moreover, there is a chance that the cathedral setting may lift the diamond slightly higher than the prong setting.

Trellis vs cathedral setting 

A trellis setting features overlapping or adjoining prongs that support the center stone. However, in a standard cathedral setting, the two arches don’t cross over each other. 

Cathedral setting vs tiffany setting 

In a Tiffany setting, the center stone is raised only with the help of four or six slender prongs with no arches. But in a cathedral setting, the diamond is raised by two arches and prongs.


Frequently asked questions

If you’re still curious about cathedral settings, we’re answering common questions. 

Does a cathedral setting make the diamond look smaller?

The cathedral setting doesn’t make the diamond or any center stone look smaller. Instead, it makes it look more prominent and brighter as it holds the stone high. 

Is the cathedral setting more expensive?

The cathedral setting isn’t necessarily more expensive than other settings. In addition, some cathedral setting types offer an ornate and luxurious design, eliminating spending more money on additional gemstones and other features. 

What is a cathedral pave setting?

A cathedral pave setting features one or more rows of small diamonds on the metal band; it enhances the overall look of the ring, adds character, and increases its shine.  


Is the classic cathedral setting for you?

The cathedral ring setting is a classic eye-catching option that will grab attention. And you have different types to choose from. With the right diamond shape and cut, you’ll have an engagement ring to cherish for a lifetime. 

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