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Solitaire vs. Three-Stone Engagement Rings

One of the first questions you have to ask yourself while engagement ring shopping is whether you want one stone or three. For some people, this decision depends on the center stone they choose. Others know what they want right away. If you’re among the shoppers who aren’t sure which style they want, that’s okay. This guide will explain the differences between the two engagement ring styles and help you determine which option is right for you. 


What Is a Solitaire Engagement Ring?

For this blog, we will be referring to single-stone engagement rings with a plain band as “solitaire engagement rings.” Occasionally, jewelers use the term solitaire engagement ring to refer to any ring with a single center stone, even if it has a pave band. At Lauren B, we consider all single-stone engagement rings “solitaire” as long as they don’t have a pave band– even if they have pave detailing on the basket. 

A solitaire engagement ring is a ring that has one center gemstone. The traditional version will have no other diamonds or gemstones anywhere else on the band, though there are exceptions, as mentioned above. This is the style most associated with the classic diamond engagement ring. The style can be traced back to ancient Roman times, though the stones were uncut and unpolished. 

Solitaire engagement rings are timeless and while they might not be “trendy,” they will never go out of style. The simple design makes them easy to pair with various wedding bands, from simple bands to the most extravagant options. A solitaire ring can provide a completely different look depending on what it’s paired with.

4.15 carat Oval Lab Diamond Lotus Prong Engagement Ring

2.5 carat Radiant Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

3 carat Round Diamond Yellow Gold Solitaire Six-Prong Ring


What Is a Three-Stone Engagement Ring?

A three-stone engagement ring is precisely what it sounds like – a ring with three stones. There are different types of three-stone engagement rings, letting you choose one that speaks to you most:

  • Plain band three-stone rings: No accent stones on the band
  • Pave band three-stone rings: Accent diamonds on the band
  • Mixed gemstone three-stone rings: Color diamond or gemstone center stones with colorless/near colorless side stones or vice versa

The most popular three-stone rings are those where the center stone is the main focus, while the side stones, located on either side of the center stone, are smaller and match each other. However, there are three-stone rings where all three stones are the same size and shape. These rings are referred to as “trilogy rings.”

Some people choose a three-stone engagement ring simply because they like the style better than a single-stone ring. However, other people choose this style because of the meanings that have become associated with the style over time. 

Traditionally, a three-stone engagement ring symbolizes the betrothed couple's past, present, and future. The larger center stone symbolizes the couple’s present, while the two side stones represent their past and future. This meaning reminds the couple of their beautiful history, the love they share in this moment, and their exciting future. 

Some less common meanings that have been associated with a three-stone engagement ring include:

  • Trilogy ring: Also known as a trinity ring, some couples see this style of ring as a representation of the Holy Trinity. Per this meaning, the three stones represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is typically associated with a ring where all stones are equal in size. 
  • Friendship, love, and fidelity: A more modern meaning for these rings is that they represent the three building blocks of a strong relationship. 
  • Family: Some couples see this ring style as a representation of their family. This is especially popular if the couple shares a child. 

Whether you like three-stone rings for the meanings behind them or you simply like their style, they are a popular option for engagement rings among today’s style trends. 

3.59 carat Radiant Cut Lab Diamond Three-Stone Lotus Ring

4.58 Carat Emerald Cut Lab Diamond Three-Stone Ring

7.75 Carat Oval Sapphire And Diamond Three-Stone Ring


Solitaire vs. Three-Stone Rings

Are you still unsure which style is right for you? Consider some of the most important aspects of engagement ring shopping: the price, finger coverage, and brilliance. Here’s a quick comparison of the two styles for each category.

Price

At first, you’ll likely think a solitaire ring would be much cheaper based on the number of diamonds. While this can be the case, it isn’t a guarantee. Three-stone rings often have two smaller diamonds, which typically don’t cost as much as one would think. The price difference between the two styles likely won’t be too drastic. However, a solitaire ring will most likely be more budget-friendly.

3.02 carat Antique Cushion Lab Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

$7,100

3.07 Antique Cushion Lab Diamond Three-Stone Engagement Ring

$7,800

Finger Coverage

Three-stone rings will cover much more of the finger than solitaire rings simply because the stones take up more surface space on the band. If you want a ring that covers a lot of the finger or is more likely to make a statement, a three-stone ring is the way to go. If you want a daintier style, opting for a solitaire is better. 

Brilliance

The brilliance of these rings will depend entirely on the center stone you choose. For example, a round solitaire can’t be fairly compared to an emerald three-stone because they’re drastically different cuts. A round diamond is a brilliant cut, a stone that is specifically cut to maximize shine and sparkle. Although an emerald three-stone has more than one diamond, it cannot compare to the most brilliant diamond cut: the round.

Additionally, keep your diamond cut grade in mind; if you have three high-quality diamonds, the ring will have high brilliance. Lower-quality diamonds will produce lower brilliance–even if there are three of them.


Are You Team Solitaire or Three-Stone Ring?

Deciding on your engagement ring setting is challenging. There are many reasons to choose either style, and both styles have beautiful elements. If you want a stunning ring with a lot of meaning behind it, a three-stone ring is a beautiful option. If you prefer a timeless style that’s simple and elegant, choose a solitaire. 

Whatever style you choose, Lauren B can help you pick the perfect stone and setting to create your dream engagement ring. Choose from various metal colors, lab-grown and natural diamonds, and many other elements, and curate your ideal engagement ring, no matter how many stones it has. You can also check out our Instagram and Pinterest for more inspo!