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A single gemstone (usually a diamond) or sometimes a symmetrical pearl set alone as the sole ornament for a piece of jewelry, usually a finger ring, but sometimes a pendant. The diamond solitaire became popular from c. 1880 when high-quality stones became more available, and is still favoured, especially for an engagement ring; a finger ring set with such a stone.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson