What Is A Cathedral Setting?

An engagement ring setting is the entire metal part of the ring that holds the all diamonds and gemstones in place. A cathedral setting approximates the look of the arches of a church cathedral when viewed from the side. The center stone can be set in a variety of ways and the arch can be subtle or dramatic. Sometimes cathedral rings are referred to as high profile styles because the stone is elevated above the band of the ring, but not all cathedral rings are high profile.

Is A Cathedral The Right Style For You?

Classic and distinctive, cathedral settings add an elegant embellishment to any engagement ring. Depending on the style, there different looks you can achieve. Though cathedrals are typically ornate and vintage-inspired, a bezel set cathedral with a plain metal band can be simple and minimalist. Watch the video for more cathedral design possibilities for your own custom engagement ring.

Browse Cathedral Setting Engagement Rings

See some of the rings we’ve designed using cathedral settings to get inspired.

Cathedral Setting Pros and Con

Pros

  • An elegant look with the possibility for intricate details
  • Provides more protection to the center stone than a typical prong setting
  • Can emphasize the center stone and make a smaller stone appear larger

Cons

  • High profile cathedral settings are more prone to damage, knocking, banging and snagging 
  • Requires more cleaning because negative space in the design creates more spaces for debris to collect

Who Are Cathedral Engagement Rings Right For?

Cathedral settings are a good choice if you want an elegant look or extra room for elaborate details. Cathedrals can be high or low profile, but they are a great option if you want a dramatic profile view. Cathedral engagement rings are not a good choice if you want a low maintenance ring or are rough on your jewelry, work with your hands, or have an active lifestyle because they’re more prone to getting knocked and bumped, and the extra design details create extra space for dirt and skin products to collect.

Additional Resources

7 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy an Engagement Ring

Become an expert with our free guide.

Engagement Ring Styles

Depending on your rings style, a round cut can go classic, vintage, or alternative.

Engagement Rings for Active Lifestyles

Tough on your hands? These are the best ring choices for you.

Ready to Start Designing?

We can work with you in-person at our studio or set up a video call to help you take the first step toward designing a ring. Design consultations are complementary and we will give you a quick call beforehand to make sure we can help you.