Sterling Silver Solitaire Rings
Sterling silver solitaire rings are timeless and come in a variety of styles, making them an excellent option for gifts and engagement rings. They also add a touch of elegance to your everyday look.
Continue reading to find out more about sterling silver solitaire rings and whether or not you should buy one as an engagement ring.
What is a Solitaire Ring?
A silver solitaire ring makes a classic engagement ring, but what exactly is a solitaire ring?
A solitaire ring has only one stone, a center stone, usually a diamond. No other gemstones accompany it, so there is nothing to distract from the center stone. As it happens, this timeless setting is an icon in the jewelry world and continues to be one of the most popular designs for engagement rings.
Solitaire rings can be set in any metal, from 925 sterling silver to platinum and gold, and while the diamond has long been associated with this style, other stones can also be used for a solitaire ring.
Over the years, the traditional solitaire ring has evolved from a single stone set in a plain metal band to rings featuring smaller accent stones on either side of the center stone, i.e., on the shoulders of the band. It has also become accepted information that the term “solitaire” applies only to the setting itself. In other words, it refers only to the head of the ring and not the entire design.
The History of Solitaire Rings
The earliest solitaire rings date back to the Roman Empire, which featured an archetypal center stone set onto a gold band. These single-stone rings became the precedent for modern-day engagement rings.
However, it was in the late 1800s when Charles Lewis Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany & Co., introduced the solitaire engagement ring as we know it today. This came about after Tiffany created a ring that made the gemstone the “star of the show”. The design featured a 6-prong setting that elevated the diamond above the band, making it appear as though it was floating. It also made the diamond look larger than its actual size, thereby maximizing the stone’s sparkle.
While the original Tiffany solitaire rings were mostly made of platinum, solitaire rings are now available in a range of precious metals, including 925 sterling silver.
The Origins of Sterling Silver
Silver is a centuries-old precious metal that was once regarded as more valuable than gold. In recent decades, however, 925 sterling silver has become the most affordable among the precious metals.
First discovered in around 3,000 BC in Greece and Turkey, these ancient civilizations called silver the lunar metal because of its cool luminous appearance resembling moonlight on water.
The most notable silver mines in the world today are in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Poland.
Pure Silver vs Sterling Silver
Like pure gold, pure silver is too soft to be used as a jewelry metal. It has to be combined with other metals like nickel and copper for added strength and durability. So, while pure silver is 99.9% pure, sterling silver consists of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, hence why sterling silver is often referred to as 925 sterling silver.
Is Sterling Silver a Good Choice for an Engagement Ring?
There are pros and cons to 925 sterling silver rings, so it’s a good idea to do some research to determine whether a sterling silver engagement ring is right for you. To save you some trouble and help you make an informed buyer’s decision, here is a list of the main factors you need to consider.
1. Durability and Maintenance
As mentioned, 925 sterling silver rings are made from an alloy comprising 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, such as copper, nickel, and zinc. The purpose of combining silver with another metal is to make it stronger and more durable since pure silver is too soft for making jewelry. Despite this, sterling silver is still a relatively soft metal, and sterling silver jewelry is prone to getting scratches and dents from everyday wear. Thus, a 925 sterling silver ring may not be the right choice for you if you often work with your hands or operate heavy machinery.
In addition, unlike platinum or gold, silver can tarnish unless it is not worn regularly since the oils on your skin can help keep it shiny. Otherwise, your sterling silver jewelry will need to be cleaned now and then to keep it looking its best. It’s a good idea to check the warranty or guarantee on your sterling silver jewelry to find out whether the shop you purchased it from will clean it for you. If you are shopping online, also be sure to check for a favorable return or exchange policy on items.
One of the things that appeals the most to people about 925 sterling silver is its price. Sterling silver is the most affordable precious metal on the market, making it an excellent option for an engagement ring if you’re trying to save up for a wedding.
Another perk of choosing an affordable metal like sterling silver is that it leaves more room in your budget for a bigger diamond or gemstone.
Sterling silver has a neutral color that pairs well with any gemstone. It looks particularly striking with a diamond since its cool tone complements the stone’s brilliance, but you also can’t go wrong with a beautiful sapphire or ruby.
Sterling silver also matches most skin tones, though it looks especially attractive on fair-skinned individuals.
Best Stones for Sterling Silver Solitaire Rings
The most obvious choice for a gemstone for a sterling silver solitaire ring is a diamond. Diamonds are prized for their brilliance and hardness, but they are also quite expensive. Some people, therefore, opt for a lab-created diamond or a diamond simulant like cubic zirconia (often simply referred to as CZ). Others decide on a completely different gemstone, either because it represents a particular aspect of their personality or because they like the color. Here is a list of some of the best colored stones for sterling silver solitaire rings:
- Lapis Lazuli
Popular Gemstone Cuts for Solitaire Rings
Traditional solitaire rings typically feature a single brilliant round cut diamond, but nowadays there are several other gemstone shapes to choose from. Here is a list of popular gemstone cuts for solitaire rings:
- Princess cut: a squared-off cut composed of 57-76 facets
- Emerald cut: a step-cut resulting in a rectangular diamond
- Oval cut: an elongated round cut
- Heart cut: a cut in the universal symbol of love
- Marquise cut: a boat-shaped cut with pointed ends
Other Engagement Ring Settings
Thus far, we have focused on the solitaire setting. While it is a classic setting for an engagement ring, it is not your only option.
Consider your lifestyle when shopping for an engagement ring since not all designs are suitable in this regard. For example, if you lead an active lifestyle or work in an environment that requires you to work with your hands, a solitaire ring may not be ideal for you. This is because a solitaire setting can easily get snagged on clothing or work equipment due to its raised head, which also exposes the center stone to a lot more wear and tear than an inlaid setting.
Here is a list of some alternative engagement ring settings if you think a solitaire may not be the right choice for you:
- Diamond setting – the ultimate classic and a long-time favorite for engagement rings. The focus is on the diamond, putting critical importance on the cut and quality of the stone. Besides the popular cuts mentioned above, there is a trend back to the cushion cut – a square cut with rounded corners like a pillow which is less brilliant than the round cut but has better fire.
- Pave setting – with a continuous row of diamonds or other gemstones set closely together; the band appears to have a continuous glittering surface, manifesting a sense of luxury. The advantage of this dainty design is the added sparkle from the gemstones, producing an impressive line of glittering light. The problem with this setting is that it makes future resizing difficult.
- Three-stone (or Bostonian) setting – symbolic of the past-present-future. Traditionally, the three-stone ring has one large diamond (or another gem) in the center with two smaller accent stones on either side. However, modern designs feature gems of the same size or almost the same size.
- Halo ring setting – this vintage-inspired design features a center stone surrounded by a “halo” of smaller stones. The stones’ cut is critical in this setting to reveal their brilliance and beauty. The princess cut and round cut are the most popular shapes for a halo setting, although cushion and oval are growing in popularity too. A resurgence of interest in vintage fashion and accessories is contributing to the rise in popularity of the halo ring.
- Bezel setting – the most secure setting, where the focus is on a central stone enveloped in elegant gold, silver, or platinum edging. The bezel or partial bezel setting is the second most popular setting and is the perfect choice for someone with an active lifestyle since the setting and the stone are unlikely to get snagged on clothing or equipment.
Determining Your Ring Size
Here are three ways to measure your ring size at home:
- Wrap a piece of string around the base of your finger and mark where the string overlaps. Then line it up on a ruler, noting its length in millimeters. Take note, however, that the string can stretch. So, if you use this method, take care not to pull the string tightly. Otherwise, you will end up with a measurement that is larger than your actual finger size.
- Put a ring that you have on a ring size chart. Search for a downloadable one online. Print the size chart and put your ring on the circle that matches the inside circumference of your ring. The ring size chart will show the millimeters of the matching circle and the ring size it is equivalent to.
- Buy a ring sizer. A ring sizer is not expensive, and there are many options available online. There are two types – a thin measuring tape or a key ring lined with a gradient of ring sizes. The ring sizer works for men, women, and children.
Standard ring size measurements are a half-size equivalent to a 0.4-millimeter increment, beginning with size 3, which is equivalent to 14mm, size 3.5 to 14.4mm, size 4 to 14.8 mm, and so on. The most common sizes for women are 6 (16.5 mm), 6.5 (16.9 mm), and 7 (17.3 mm), while the ones for men are 10 (19.8 mm), 10.5 (20.2 mm), and 11 (20.6 mm).
FAQs About Sterling Silver Solitaire Rings
Are sterling silver solitaire rings expensive?
Sterling silver solitaire rings can be pricey depending on the size and quality of the diamond or gemstone you get. However, they are still an affordable option given the price of sterling silver.
Why are sterling silver solitaire rings expensive?
A solitaire ring is typically set with a solo diamond or gemstone. This means that people often opt for a larger stone. However, this can make them expensive because one 5-carat stone costs a lot more than several stones of 1 carat each.
Does a solitaire ring need to have a round diamond?
A traditional solitaire ring has a single round diamond set on a plain domed shank. A round-cut diamond is elegant and classy, which is why it is the most popular choice for a solitaire ring.
However, all the other gemstone cuts look just as beautiful in a solitaire setting, so you don’t have to feel limited to a round cut.
Are solitaire rings a good choice for an engagement ring?
A solitaire ring is a timeless choice for an engagement ring since it symbolizes eternal love and commitment.
What is the difference between a solitaire ring and a diamond ring?
The most notable difference between a solitaire ring and a diamond ring is that a solitaire ring features a single diamond, while a diamond ring could have several diamonds.
How do you clean a sterling silver solitaire ring?
For regular cleaning, prepare a bowl of lukewarm water with a few drops of mild dish soap and leave your ring to soak in the solution for 10-15 minutes. Afterward, gently scrub the ring with a soft-bristled brush and rinse under cold water.
To remove tarnish, mix two parts baking soda (or cornstarch) with one part water to make a paste. Apply the mixture onto the ring and allow it to dry completely in order to remove the tarnish. Rinse and dry with a soft microfiber cloth.
Note that baking soda is a mild abrasive that can scratch sterling silver, so it’s best to use this method only when necessary.
How to store a sterling silver solitaire ring?
Store your sterling silver solitaire ring inside the box it came in when you purchased it or in a tarnish-preventive bag. Do not expose your sterling silver jewelry to air and light while in storage, as this results in tarnishing. Also, never rub your silver items with other materials except for a polishing cloth or felt.
Can I purchase a sterling silver solitaire ring online?
Of course! There is a range of reputable online jewelers that have stunning 925 sterling silver rings in stock.
March babies are fortunate enough to have two birthstones, namely aquamarine and bloodstone. Though very different in appearance, both March birthstones have a reputation for promoting the health of the wearer. Aquamarine gems evoke blue skies and calming waters, while the dark green bloodstone with its characteristic red flecks is associated with vitality and strength. […]
The month of June is one of the few that boasts not one, not two, but three birthstones (August and December also have three birthstones). While the traditional June birthstone is pearl, moonstone and alexandrite have been added to the list of modern birthstones. Pearl has long been admired as a gemstone, although it is […]
The current millennium is being called the ‘New Stone Age’ because crystals, in their glorious colors, have entered every aspect of people’s lives, starting with the fashion industry. Learning of the power of healing crystals, fashion moguls, followed closely by entertainment celebrities, have begun to rely on these stones for calming nerves and anxiety, and […]
A proposal is already a memorable event all on its own, but why not add a bit of extra flair to the occasion with a sparkling crystal engagement ring? Why Choose A Crystal Engagement Ring? Diamonds have long been the traditional gemstone for engagement rings. Not only are they beautiful, but as the world’s toughest […]