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Shopping Guides, Solitaire

An Ultimate Guide to Buying Solitaires

last updated at March 18, 2023 | 15 min Read

You may have seen it in movies or read it in books. That perfect moment when a man gets on his knee holding a gift box, revealing a sparkly, enchanting solitaire ring. His lover, almost dazed by what she sees, clasps her cheeks, questions reality and yells out 'Yes!' to the classic question; 'Will you marry me?'.

Solitaire is seen as a symbol of commitment, a representation of love and an emblem of desire. Known for its purity, radiant shine, and beauty, they are a rendition of true love crafted with unmatched elegance, making it the most popular engagement ring for ages!

But what makes a solitaire the queen of all proposal rings? Why is it so special? And how did it become a household name in the world of jewellery? We are about to tell it all. So sit back, relax, and dive deep into the world of the oh so magnificent solitaire diamond!

What is a solitaire?

When it comes to jewellery, solitaire is a term commonly used by many people. And if you are planning to purchase a diamond ring or any diamond jewellery, it is essential to know what it means before investing in one. Solitaire means jewellery with the setting of one diamond or a gemstone. It is the most popular design among all other diamond jewellery designs.

If you wish to own a classic and sophisticated jewellery piece that will go well with all your outfits - solitaire is undoubtedly the best option. Rings, earrings, pendants, and even single solitaire mangalsutra designs are perfect for everyday wear as well as for parties. Classic solitaire is something that not only is apt for women but is also a go-to jewellery piece for men. In our opinion, solitaire never fails to leave a lasting impression!

Is Solitaire & Diamond the same?

Remember when Rihanna said, "Shine bright like a diamond" - there is no diamond that can shine bright and loud like a solitaire. "Soli" in solitaire stands for solo, meaning a single piece. So to clear your doubt, yes, solitaire is a diamond but just a single diamond. The beauty of solitaire is magnificent, and that's what makes it so unique and popular. Solitaire diamond is usually used in engagement rings, which signifies the one and only for the rest of life.

Is solitaire a real diamond?

As mentioned earlier, a solitaire is a single diamond, regardless of it being real or not. When talking about a real solitaire, anything above 0.50ct is considered a 'solitaire' in the diamond industry. Now, depending on your budget and preference, you can go for a natural diamond or one that resembles the same. If you are not ready to invest in a real one, you can go for cubic zirconia, aka Swarovski diamonds. They look and feel quite the same and are perfect for trying out initially when you are not ready to make that significant investment.

History of Solitaire

Solitaire has been in the game for a long time now; it was the only engagement ring people would wear before the diamond market bloomed. Until the 1940s, the solitaire diamond market was only for the rich and people with high status. But after the entry of De Beers - who took over half of the market, the diamond industry experienced a considerable change. De Beers decided to hire an advertising agency, and the agency's campaign, A Diamond is Forever, made the world view diamond engagement rings differently. 

The campaign turned things around and made them available to everyone regardless of class differences. However, as the solitaires became popular, new engagement ring designs were introduced. The diamonds were not so rare anymore, which increased their production.

How is a solitaire diamond made?

So what makes a diamond so unique, popular, and expensive? It's all about the make of a diamond. Real solitaire diamonds are of two types: a natural and a lab-grown one. Natural diamonds take around 1 billion to 3.3 billion years to form, as the immense pressure from the earth creates them. Interestingly, a diamond is the purest form of carbon. Furthermore, this piece of carbon is measured and cut into a diamond by skilled professionals.

A lab-grown diamond is also made with the same process speeded up by the machine, reducing its price a little bit. Now, when you buy a diamond, whether it is naturally formed or lab-grown, the 4C's determine its worth.

What are the 4 C's of a diamond & why is it important?

When buying a diamond, one has to get all the 4 Cs checked - Cut, Clarity, Carat, & Color. The flaws in a diamond are what helps to determine if it's real or fake. Also, depending on these C's, the price of a diamond is derived. 

Cut:

The cut is not the shape of the diamond; instead, it is the proportion, precision, symmetry, and polish. These allow it to gather and refract more light.

More Light = More Sparkle

A perfect diamond has a Table percentage of 53% to 57% and a Pavilion depth of about 43%. The thickness of the Girdle and Culet are two critical determinants of the ideal cut; the culet should be nothing more than a fine dot, and the girdle neither too thick nor too thin. The facets on the crown and pavilion, if cut a few degrees out of alignment, can dull the brilliance of a diamond and render it inferior or of low grade.

Clarity:

Like all things natural, diamonds are flawed too!

Like all other minerals and gemstones, diamonds are born with several inclusions that develop during their formation. Although almost invisible to the naked eye, inclusions do decide a diamond's price. Internal characteristics are inclusions, while external characteristics are known as blemishes, which are most visible through a 10X magnifying glass.

The list of diamond inclusions includes cloud, feather, needle, pinpoint, crystals, twinning wisps, whereas bruise, chip, cavity, cleavage and knot appear on the stone's surface.

Colour:

One of the most important aspects that define a solitaire is its Colour. Diamond colours range from colourless to light yellow or brown. The lighter the colour of the diamond, the higher its grade. In other words, the absence of colour is what makes the diamond all the more alluring!  A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, and is comparable to a drop of distilled water.

Most of these colour differences are so minute that they are not visible to the naked eye. That’s why the degree of colourlessness is measured by comparing the diamond to masterstones under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.

Carat:

Diamond Carat is essentially the size of the stone. It is the weight of a diamond which is measured in cents. The carat weight of a diamond has a huge impact on its prestige. Any diamond weighing 0.5 cents and above is a solitaire. Wish to know more? Fret not, because you’ll get to read more on ideal carat weights ahead.

How much is 1 carat Solitaire?

While Solitaire sizes range between 0.3 carat to 3.5 carat, a 1 carat diamond falls somewhere in the middle. Its visual size is right about 6.4mm in diameter. Since this size is neither too big, nor too small and falls in the average size category, it approximately costs about INR 250,000 as of 2023. Make note that this is the price of the diamond alone.

An ideal Solitaire size

Research suggests that the most common solitaire carat size for engagement rings is somewhere between 1.0 and 1.2 carats. A single-carat diamond is just over half a centimeter in diameter, less than half the size of a penny! 

However, a decent rule of thumb while wearing solitaire earrings is to keep your daily pair of studs between 0.25 carat and 1 carat in weight. But, you might want to go a little bit bigger and choose diamonds that are over 1 carat if you're looking for a set of diamond stud earrings that you'll wear on special occasions.

Similarly, while picking a solitaire pendant, sticking to a stone ranging between 0.25 to 1 carat is advisable for everyday wear and a slightly bigger gem just beyond 1 carat is perfect for special occasions

Different Shapes of a Solitaire Diamond

Just like how solitaires come in a variety of sizes, they are also available in several shapes. From romantic heart-shaped pieces to classic round ones, here’s a list of the most popular diamond shapes

Round:

Also known as the brilliant cut, round diamonds are the most traditional shapes and that's why they're perfect for a classic look.

Princess:

Known for its sharp geometric edges, the Princess cut is a much loved contemporary design.

Cushion:

Often mistaken for the Princess cut, Cushion shaped diamonds are actually more romantic as they are round edged.

Pear:

Shaped like a raindrop, they’re unique & attractive and perfect if you’re looking for a distinctive jewel.

Heart:

Fundamentally a pear shaped diamond with a cleft on top, a heart shaped diamond is a popular symbol of love. 

Marquise:

Elongated and narrow-shaped, Marquise diamonds can create the illusion of appearing greater than they are. That's why they're perfect for those who love to flaunt their jewels.

Emerald:

The Emerald cut flaunts an elongated rectangular shape with cut corners. Technically speaking, it is an elegantly shaped octagon and has a commanding appearance. If you love power, you will love the Emerald cut!

Radiant:

Similar to the silhouette of an Emerald cut diamond, Radiant cut diamonds are full of effervescent sparkle because its facets are cut more like a round brilliant cut. If you wish to captivate, Radiant cut is for you.

Trilliant:

Also known as a trillion or Trielle, the Trilliant cut is a triangular type of gemstone cut. The cut has many variations and can have curved or non-curved sides. Pick the Trilliant cut for a modern look.

How rare is a Solitaire Diamond?

Since solitaires are naturally rare to find, they automatically become the rarer commodity in the jewellery market. They make up majorly for the engagement ring section of the industry. Majority of people make the lifelong commitment of marriage only once in their lifetime which makes the purchase of an engagement ring only a one-time purchase. While women get their diamond upgraded as per the newest fashion trends, it does not count as a new purchase as it is an exchange transaction. Thus, these factors of natural availability, the non-recurring nature of the event of purchase and the novelty factor of the commodity itself contribute to the rarity of the diamond.

Is Solitaire more expensive than Diamond?

While solitaires are essentially diamonds, they’re the pricier versions of the said precious stones. Here’s why: Even if smaller non-solitaire diamonds are put together in a cluster design and their cumulative carat weight is the same as a solitaire’s carat weight, the solitaire will have a heavier individual carat weight. In simpler words, you would much rather desire a whole cake rather than eight pastry slices making up a faux cake. 

Is Solitaire a good investment?

Yes, solitaires are a good investment. Since they are one of the most precious gemstones in the world, they make for a reliable investment. These dazzling stones bring charm and allure to your wardrobe because of their timeless nature. At Candere, you get 100% exchange value for diamonds purchased from us. So you can enjoy flaunting the classic piece you currently own, or you can easily exchange it with another design if you wish to keep up with the current trends.    

How to maintain & keep a Solitaire Clean?

Here's a step-by-step guide to cleaning your solitaire and keeping it shining!

Step 1: Wash Up!

If you wear your solitaire on a regular basis, it’s important to wash it from time to time. Make sure you don’t use bleach as it can harm your jewellery.

Step 2: Wipe Gently

Wipe your jewel with velvet or soft cotton cloth at regular intervals after you are done wearing it and immediately after washing it to maintain the shine of the solitaire.

Step 3: Store Safely

Make sure to store your solitaire pieces in the jewellery box they came in. In case you have misplaced your box, you can keep it lined in a soft velvet or cotton cloth or pouch, separated from other jewellery. This is mainly to avoid scratches or chipping of the diamond and to retain its original shine. 

And that folks, is how you can keep your jewellery forever new!

Caring for a Solitaire

A diamond is the hardest substance on earth and so not too much care is needed in maintaining it. But since it can be prone to chipping, breaking or cracking on heavy impact, make sure you avoid wearing your solitaire while performing chores or any outdoor activities like sports or visiting the amusement park. Make sure you get your solitaire jewellery washed to get rid of unwanted dirt from time to time and your diamond will remain forever shining!

Solitaire - Perfect for Engagement

Solitaires have been the go-to engagement ring option ever since one can remember! But historically speaking, Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring In 1477 for his own proposal to Mary of Burgundy. Thus began the trend of solitaire engagement rings among European nobles and aristocrats.

But it wasn’t until 1947 that Solitaires became all the rage in the engagement ring market. De Beers launched its classic slogan “A Diamond Is Forever” comparing the durability of a diamond to the lifelong promise of a marriage. This made the diamond’s purity and shine a symbol of two people’s commitment to each other. Ever since then, every woman desires to be proposed with a solitaire. So when you plan to pop the question to your beloved, make sure you pick a beautiful solitaire!

Other Solitaire Jewellery

When you think of a solitaire, the first thing that comes to mind is an engagement ring. But you can wear this brilliant stone in other forms as well! From stunning stud earrings to pretty pendants and beautiful bracelets, the possibilities are endless! Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is the perfect example of how a woman can wear brilliant solitaire earrings, necklaces and bracelets all at once!

How to shop for a Solitaire online

There is no doubt that buying the perfect solitaire is time consuming. First you have to look for a design you like. In today’s fast paced world, one can’t find the time to visit a traditional jewellery store and look through each design. 90% of the time, these stores do not have customization options. To save yourself from time consuming processes and having to compromise on what you want, simply shop online at candere.com! 

Visit the website and look through the various jewellery categories and collections from our extensive catalogue that’ll spoil you for choice. Once you have picked your desired jewellery from 8000+ designs, add it to your cart and proceed to checkout. On the checkout page, enter your delivery details and pick your preferred payment method. Enter your payment details and click on place order. Viola! Your favourite jewellery will be handcrafted with love and care and delivered to your doorstep.

When & Where to wear a Solitaire

When it comes to wearing solitaires, a ring is the most popular option. You can don it as a statement piece or stack it with a diamond studded band. A solitaire ring is a classic that goes with any kind of aesthetic be it minimalist everyday fashion or a celebratory look. 

Other than rings, you can wear solitaires in the form of earrings as well! Smaller 1 carat solitaire studs can be worn to complete your everyday look. They seamlessly go with contemporary fashion, be it casual everyday looks like denim jackets, flannel shirts or even cashmere and other knitwear. You can also pair delicate 0.5 cent solitaires with your workwear for an elegantly professional look. From button-up shirts to classy blazers, these shimmering stunners make sure to elevate each of your looks! You can also dabble in larger 2 carat solitaire earrings when you wish to glam up your wedding or festive look. Pair them with your saree, kurta or lehenga and see how magical your overall look turns out to be! 

When you plan to go clubbing all night long with your friends, make sure you shine brighter than the disco lights! Wear a solitaire pendant on a chain necklace and pair it with a little black dress for an unforgettable night out. You can pair that same solitaire pendant with a simple platinum chain with your workwear or athleisure. With these show-stopping solitaires, the possibilities are endless! 

Are there colourful Solitaires?

Solitaires naturally come in pure transparent white to transparent yellow or brown shades only. A solitaire’s charm is in its pure whiteness that is transcended through the light that it reflects and refracts. A solitaire is purely transparent but can be paired to perfection with various coloured. Design wise, it has always been a great idea to make statement pieces pairing a solitaire with other gemstones like rubies, emeralds and sapphires.

It brings a unique allure to the overall look of the piece of jewellery as a shining white diamond looks even more beautiful when contrasted with deep blues, greens and reds.

Here’s our two cents on Solitaires. Make sure you take a good note of all the points, so you are well equipped to make the right diamond purchase for you. Stay tuned by subscribing to Stylery for future updates!

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