Trellis VS Cathedral Setting – 4 Key Differences To Help You Choose

When you’re designing your engagement ring you likely already have a style or setting in mind. So what do you do when your favorite settings are very similar but still can’t choose between them ? You compare them, of course ! Today we’re taking a look at trellis vs cathedral settings to see their key differences but also their similarities. Let’s have a look.

Trellis vs cathedral setting

Trellis settings have prongs that weave together and hold the diamond up, while the cathedral setting’s prongs don’t weave together but form a V. A cathedral setting always has sloping shoulders, from the diamond to the shank while the trellis may or may not have sloping shoulders. A trellis setting is very hard to find and quite rare, while the cathedral setting is the second most common diamond setting, after the classic prong setting. Trellis settings tend to be lower and don’t snag as much as a cathedral setting, and they are better suited for multi stone rings.

What is a trellis setting ?

A trellis setting is a type of prong setting that has the prongs crossing over each other, under the center stone. It’s called a trellis setting because of the way the prongs resemble a vine climbing on a trellis. These settings aren’t very common but they can work with most diamonds, and especially with round or square ones.

There are many, many variations on the trellis setting but its key feature is the prongs crossing over each other.

left – trellis setting, right – cathedral setting

What is a cathedral setting ?

A cathedral setting is a type of prong setting where the prongs form a V or inverted triangle with the diamond, and the ring shank always climbs all the way up to the diamond, forming a slope. The overall look of a cathedral setting is supposed to resemble the high ceilings and arches of a cathedral.

This ring setting is very common, and there are many variations upon it but its distinctive feature is the V or inverted triangle under the diamond.

Read also: Pear VS Marquise Diamonds

1. Cathedral settings tend to be higher than trellis settings

Cathedral settings are usually high profile settings, so they will stand out more. This means your ring will tend to look larger, and the diamond will be brought closer to your eyes. But this extra height also means the ring will snag on clothes more often.

Meanwhile the trellis setting tends to be a lower profile setting, and when it has sloping shoulders, the overall profile is a sleek one that will not snag as easily as a cathedral setting.

Of course, you can find sleek cathedrals and very high trellises, but the average trellis setting is quite low. Not as low as a bezel setting, but still low for a prong setting. 

Cathedral setting diamond ring with vintage filigree and pave diamonds, in platinum. See it on Amazon.

2. Trellis settings are better for multi-stone rings

The trellis setting tends to work better for multi-stone rings than the cathedral setting. The way a trellis’ prongs weave together makes for a very natural-looking setting for several stones on one ring. A graduation trellis setting is even nicer and looks quite delicate.

A multi-stone cathedral setting is also possible, but it becomes even higher and will likely get in the way quite often.

3. Cathedral settings are more common than trellis settings

If you want to stand out more, then a trellis setting is a better option as it’s really not common. This also means you will have to search high and low for a pre-made setting if that’s what you’re after. We recommend you get the diamond first, and then have a setting made for that particular diamond.

And if you want something that looks and feels familiar then a cathedral setting is likely a better answer for you. They’re also much, much easier to find if you’re looking for a pre-made ring.

4. Trellis settings tend to look more intricate than cathedral settings

A trellis setting has prongs that weave together, and if it’s a multi stone ring then they will look almost braided together. This tends to make the trellis setting appear more complex or intricate than the cathedral setting, even if it’s a multi stone cathedral setting.

A cathedral setting’s lines tend to be simpler, more sharp. This can make the cathedral setting appear more minimalist to some.

14k gold trellis-set diamond ring with antique scroll work. See it on Amazon.

Both cathedral and trellis rings are difficult to clean

All that being said, there are also some similarities between trellis and cathedral settings, aside from looking similar. The first is that no matter which setting you choose, cleaning is no easy task. All the nooks and crannies of a trellis or cathedral make for a difficult cleaning job, and you will need something like a soft toothbrush to really get in there and scrub the diamond clean.

All rings get a bit grimy with wear, and a periodic cleaning will be necessary. Neither the trellis nor the cathedral make your job easy, but it’s not impossible.

Both trellis and cathedral settings allow plenty of light into the diamond

The trellis and cathedral settings allow plenty of light into the diamond since they don’t cover up much of it. The only points the diamond is covered is the girdle, and only 4 points at that. So overall a really bright setting for a diamond ring, especially when compared with a halo setting or something that surrounds the diamond with metal.