My ideal ring was a solitaire on a pave band (once I saw that I didn’t like halos on me), I got a surprise proposal with a plain solitaire. I loved it instantly but would still have said my ideal was a pave band, so I thought I’d go for a pave wedding band, – which is a great look. Well blow me if when it comes to trying them on, I loved a pave band and a 2 mm channel set diamond band at Tiffany, but when I tried on the matching plain band from the jewellers who make my engagement ring, it was like the moment Dorothy puts on the Ruby Slippers!
I am now a complete convert to my plain setting and it really is my ideal. Here are some of the reasons:
1. – and this is HUGE, – it’s so robust and practical. I love my ring, aesthetically and sentimentally, it cost a lot of money. I want to wear it all the time and without fear or regular two week plus periods of deprivation while it’s back with the jewellers having pave diamonds replaced. I do put my ring on my ring tree when hand mixing and handling raw meats and very rarely for really rough jobs (moving paving slabs on the terrace) but I shower, pastel, acrylic and watercolour paint in it. I’ve hiked in it and washed elephants in Thailand wearing it. It is easy to clean any crap out of it and the worst that is likely to happen is scratches to the shank, – which my jeweller polishes out for free at the annual service, it’s platinum so that helps.
2. Comfort: I now have a Cartier (2nd hand) full diamond eternity that I often wear with my rhr, I do “feel it” more than I thought I would and I find I’m quite squeamish about dirt and hygiene in relation to it, so I’m really happy I didn’t go down that route with my wedding band which I choose to wear all the time.
3. Classic aesthetic: a plain solitaire has never been completely out of fashion and it’s never been a faddy trend. I’m sure fashions for ring shanks will ebb and flow: chubbier, brushed or fancy finishes etc, but a plain solitaire is less identifiable with a particular decade than most rings and looks as good on on liver-spotted, wrinkled nonogenarian hands as the hand of someone in their early twenties. It looks great with jeans, corporate dress or evening dress. It can be lovely to look at a ring and be able to date the marriage, – so there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that, it’s just an observation and a preference.
I think there is a dichotomy when it comes to my engagement ring and trends generally: because my ring is “boring” I’m less likely to get bored/sick if it. We are usually tolerant of distant past trends but often intolerant of recent trends, – I remember everyone laughing and sneering at the flares, loon-pants and long straight hair of the 70’s in the 80’s – and we all enthusiastically embraced boot-cut and long straight hair in the 90’s. Nobody seems to have successfully resurrected the 80’s ubiquitous perm and mullet but give it time…
A plain solitaire is the little black dress of the ring world.