Cathedral Settings in Engagement Rings

by Rhianna SInclair
July 8, 2022 / Engagement Rings, Jewellery Buying Guide

Cathedral settings are a timeless style element found in many engagement rings, both modern and vintage. Find out what defines a cathedral setting and how to incorporate them into your engagement ring!

What is a Cathedral Setting in an Engagement Ring?

The term “cathedral setting” describes the way a centre stone is mounted onto the band of a ring, not just the setting itself. This style features sweeping, archway-like metalwork on either side of a stone setting. As the name suggests, the shape of this style is reminiscent of the graceful architecture of a cathedral. 

The beginnings of the cathedral ring style likely originated in Europe during the Renaissance (1300 – 1600). Since then, the style has changed a lot, morphing into what we know today. The modern version of the cathedral setting first appeared in the Edwardian era (1901-1910). 

Today, cathedral style settings are a mainstay of engagement ring design. From simple arch shapes to extravagant metal work, cathedral setting engagement rings now come in many forms.

Why Choose a Cathedral Setting?

There are many reasons why a cathedral style engagement ring could be the perfect choice for you, but here’s what we love the most about them.

Fall for a Timeless Favourite

Many people (mistakenly) believe the cathedral setting to be old-fashioned, but it truly is a timeless style.

Cathedral settings as we know them today have remained popular for over one hundred years. They have appeared in every era of engagement ring style since the early 1900s. As the arches of the cathedral setting are both elegant and versatile, they can be seen in many different types of engagement ring.

What kind of engagement ring are you hoping for? Minimalist or maximalist? Vintage-inspired or contemporary? Traditional or trendy? A cathedral setting could be a great element to add to any of these style options.

Show off Your Centre Stone

Once you’ve chosen the perfect diamond or coloured gemstone, you want to make sure your engagement ring highlights it, right? Well, cathedral settings are great for this.

The arching lines of the cathedral style draw the eye towards the setting in the middle of it. This makes the stone seem more prominent and helps to emphasise the beauty of your stone. It may even make your diamond or coloured gemstone appear larger!

The cathedral style is also suitable for most diamond and gemstone shapes. This is because the cathedral offers a lot of freedom in how a stone may be set. Whether you are hoping for a claw, bezel, or illusion setting, these can all be worked into the cathedral style. This means the setting can be changed to best suit the most important element of your ring – the gorgeous diamond or gemstone you have chosen.

Customise with Unique Details

Just as a hidden halo might add a little something to your engagement ring, so too can a cathedral setting! This style provides great opportunities for adding extra detail. Scroll work, hidden stones, two tone metal effects and other variations may be included in the arches. This means you can make your engagement ring truly unique to you and your personal style.

A good example of this is our Baroque design. This design features delicate scrollwork in its arches, which adds flair to this vintage-inspired ring. The Baroque shows how the cathedral style can add both height and personality to your engagement ring setting. The possibilities for this are endless within the archway gaps.

For those who prefer a minimalist approach instead, our Tulip design includes a simpler version of the cathedral. This design is an understated yet effective variation on the traditional solitaire, inspired by nature. The cathedral shape draws the eye to the centre stone, while accentuating the subtle floral detail. This shows how you can use a cathedral setting to add personality, without the style of the ring becoming too bold.

How to Create Your Own Cathedral Engagement Ring

So, do you love this style element as much as we do? Great! Let’s talk about how this style could become part of your dream engagement ring.

You now know that cathedral settings can be incorporated into just about any kind of ring. This is amazing, because the setting can be changed to suit your personal style and design ideas. Within the cathedral arches, there are countless options for metalwork and other hidden details. You can also have the added freedom of being able to choose almost any shape or size for your centre stone. The cathedral setting can be customised to suit your tastes, no matter whether they are subtle or over the top.

Custom rings are what we do best, and we can help you create the perfect cathedral engagement ring you are envisioning! Our expert jewellers can walk you through exactly how to add unique details to your cathedral setting. You can even see what your ring’s archways will look like before they are made with our computer rendering design service.

Would you like to see a cathedral setting in your engagement ring? What is your favourite cathedral design so far? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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