Engagement Rings with Side Stone Settings & Beyond

Engagement Rings with Side Stone Settings & Beyond

Side Stone Engagement Rings at a Glance

From simple solitaire to modern side stone engagement rings, jewelry industry patrons continue to evolve in their appetites for ultra luxury designs, the curves, the splits and the ultimate sparkle. For some buyers, pass a certain threshold in the diamond fire, and it becomes too much. For others, no quantity of diamonds could result in too much sparkle. Where you are on the fire spectrum will ultimately help identify the design that is most appropriate to match your taste. Even though the notion of additional diamonds, accent diamonds and side stones is often considered to be synonymous with luxury, it is important to underline that more diamonds does not necessarily equate to a higher end diamond engagement ring. In fact, the quantity of diamonds is frequently increased to drive down costs. Because melee diamonds are less expensive than their larger counterparts, they are often combined to replace one larger, more expensive diamond.

Melee Diamonds Versus Large Diamonds - What’s the Price Difference?

Envision two versions of a classic solitaire engagement ring with no side stones. The first version is set with a single, one carat round cut diamond, with an excellent cut, excellent symmetry, G color and SI1 clarity. The second version resembles a solitaire engagement ring, but in fact features seven round cut diamonds with the same characteristics. The first version, featuring the single diamond, will likely cost in the vicinity of $5,000 - $6,000. The second version, featuring seven diamonds, will cost in the vicinity of $1,500 - $2,000. In other words, melee diamonds cost a fraction of larger diamonds. Create the same carat weight with melees to match the weight of the larger diamond, and the cost of the melees is still a fraction. Typical engagement rings with side stone settings may feature anywhere between 10 and 25 side stones, usually consisting of melees. When paying $5,000 for a solitaire side stone diamond engagement ring, it may surprise you that, in most cases, the cost of the melee diamond side stones accounts for well below 10% of the $5,000.

Setting the Stage without Side Stones

To illustrate the earlier example with seven melee diamonds replacing one solitaire, let’s take this Italian diamond engagement ring. This design features seven round brilliant diamonds with six-prong settings, arranged to emulate a solitaire, in a manner that maximizes the fire and scintillation. While this engagement ring vastly differs from a true solitaire, so does its cost. Depending on the base metal and the diamond characteristics, this particular design is not likely to surpass $2,000.

The Solitaire Engagement Ring

Similar in its design, this solitaire diamond engagement ring features a curved shank with a one carat round cut center. The bezel does make a small contribution to the added cost of this setting. However, even produced in 14k gold, with a GIA VS1 diamond, featuring an excellent cut, excellent symmetry and a G color, this diamond engagement ring will reach a cost of over $8,000 in a heartbeat.

What if We Add Side Stones?

Split the shank, add a total of ten round cut side stones with Vs1-Vs2 clarity and G color, and produced in 14k gold, this split shank diamond engagement ring comes in at $8,400, resulting in a difference of approximately $300, relative to the previous design with no side stones. In other words, almost the entire cost of the engagement ring is ultimately in the main center diamond.

Side Stones or No Side Stones?

In reviewing the numbers, it becomes clear that the decision to pursue a diamond engagement ring design with or without side stones does not come down to cost. Inevitably, much like so many of the other topics pertaining to engagement rings and fine jewelry, the decision comes down to a personal preference. It is, however, also important to note that the decision should include safety considerations, especially for those who travel on a frequent basis. The more diamonds, the greater the sparkle, the more attention the engagement ring draws. For our loved ones, fire and scintillation emanating from a diamond engagement ring is a blessing. For everyone else, you be the judge. It is always advisable to seek expert opinion on all of the topics pertaining to diamonds, and side stones are just one more topic in this beautiful, romantic maze that is diamond engagement rings.