Decoding Design | Choosing the Perfect Diamond Solitaire

Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings designed by Dana Walden

What is a Diamond Solitaire, Anyway?

According to the Gemological Institue of America (GIA) "a diamond solitaire refers to any piece of jewelry with a single diamond. Diamond solitaires can be a ring, necklace, earring or even men’s jewelry. They have come to mark some of the most significant occasions in one’s life, like sweet-sixteen, anniversaries, and the most notable, an engagement proposal."

Designing the Perfect Diamond Solitaire

Creating a well-balanced solitaire that is timeless and beautiful from every angle is a tremendous design challenge. Many think that solitaire settings are easy to design because of their simplicity, but it's actually quite the opposite. With a diamond solitaire, there are no bells and whistles to hide behind. It's all about exacting, balanced, harmonious design.

ASTRID diamond solitaire engagement ring

Designing the perfect solitaire is like drawing the perfect circle, freehand. Seems easy but it isn't, and completing the task requires a great deal of skill. Enter ASTRID, Dana Walden's first engagement ring design and arguably the most perfect handmade diamond solitaire you've ever seen.

Dana Walden ASTRID sketch

ASTRID was designed back in 2008, when typical solitaires on the market were bulky, thick, and metal-heavy. Our co-founder and designer Dana Chin set out to refine that typical design and set out to create a new classic with cleaner lines, a sculpted basket, and a diamond that sits a bit lower on the hand.

Astrid on finger shot - engagement ring solitaire

Our Diamond Solitaire Design Ethos

In general, a DW solitaire has a light and airy feel thanks to the following features:

  • Expert design that allows the diamond to be the focus without being distracting or metal heavy.
  • The diamond is set as low as possible, while allowing for a good amount of light to enter the stone.
  • There is a fine balance when it comes to how thin the band (or shank) on your solitaire can or should be. Dana Walden has taken the time to master the art of making them as thin as possible without sacrificing the structural integrity of your ring. We also consider client preferences, finger size, and the exact metrics of the diamond being used.
  • Our baskets (the part of the ring that holds the diamond) are different in each solitaire. The ASTRID, for instance, has an exquisite v-shaped basket that tapers out to each clawed prong - this artistic touch creates transition along your ring's profile, as your eye moves up towards the center diamond. GEMMA diamond solitaire engagement ring Our GEMMA and GRACIE rings are paved with diamonds along the girdle (the widest point) of your center diamond. Our JESSA is clean and modern, with minimal lines and very few embellishments, as it holds a 2+ carat diamond center stone.
  • Our work features finely clawed prongs, as opposed to rounded prongs that you will often see in commercial rings. They are more difficult to fashion, but they create fluidity, transition, and lightness to our solitaires. It's all in the details!
  • Our solitaires can be handmade in a number of different metals (14K or 18K white gold, 14K or 18K yellow gold, 14K or 18K rose gold, and platinum. Each metal color & solitaire combo creates a different feel. For example, if you want a timeless diamond solitaire under $8000 with an heirloom quality to it, we would suggest our ASTRID with 1 carat diamond in 18k yellow gold. JESS diamond solitaire engagement ring If you want something a little more playful and romantic with a fancy diamond, we would suggest a JESSA in 14K rose gold. This is where finding a great jeweler that is also a designer and artist comes in to play - we're really good at taking all of your aesthetic notes and turning them into a tangible piece of jewelry that you can where every day.

Let's Get Started

This is where finding an artistic jeweler comes into play. Dana and Rad meet with every bridal client one-on-one to take all of your aesthetic notes and they'll work with you in an iterative design process to create the perfect diamond solitaire engagement ring for you. Explore our classic solitaire settings here, and Book Your Appointment here.