When selecting a ring, the design you opt is often linked to the setting of the ring. Likewise, if you’ve already decided on a diamond, some settings will be more suited than others, making sure that the stone stays secure and is displayed in the best light.
The ‘setting’ refers to how the stones are held in place, each one offering various benefits depending on your lifestyle and personal taste. If you’re not familiar with the different settings, read on for the pros and cons of some of the more popular diamond ring settings.
The most common ring setting, and a classic choice for solitaire engagement rings, the prong setting refers to tiny metal claws that grip the diamond and hold it in place, usually with four or six prongs.
A benefit of the prong setting is that the diamond is elevated with minimum metal, allowing more light to pass through, adding to the stone’s brilliance and sparkle. Prong settings compliment a variety of diamond shapes and sizes, offering an elegant, timeless look. They’re also simple to clean, which is an added bonus.
Be aware that prong settings can snag on clothing and furniture, so if you have an active lifestyle it may be worth opting for a lower-set prong. Overtime snagging may cause the setting to loosen with wear, so it’s recommended that you have the prongs inspected every few years to ensure the diamond is still secure.
The second most popular ring setting is the bezel, offering a sleek, modern look. The diamond is held within a thin metal rim, custom-made to surround the stone and hold it in place, making it more secure than the prong setting.
Due to the tight hold of a bezel setting, it’s ideal for those with an active lifestyle as it won’t snag on clothing and fabrics. The design also offers more protection for the diamond, preventing damage, with no need to get a routine check.
The downside to a bezel setting is that the diamond is slightly more hidden, offering less opportunity for light reflection and brilliance.
A tension setting will secure the diamond so that it appears to be suspended between two sides of the shank, offering a very unique look. Small grooves are cut into the sides of the band, using lasers to give the exact diamond dimensions. The stone is held in place with the pressure of the band pushing onto the sides of the stone.
For added security, a ‘tension style’ setting emulates the same elaborate appearance, but with a prong or bezel setting used on the side or underneath the diamond. Due to minimal metal around the stone, tension settings can really enhance light reflection, adding to the diamond’s dazzle.
As thicker metal is required in the band, tension settings can, however, make smaller carat diamonds appear a little underwhelming. They can also be more difficult and costly to resize.
This elegant setting adds extra sparkle, often used to enhance a center stone by encrusting the surface of the ring with smaller diamonds or gemstones. The stones are set low and close together with tiny metal beads or prongs holding each one in place. The term pavé set applies when the diamonds are 0.01-0.02ct, and are known as micro-pavé if they are any smaller.
Bare in mind that fully pavé set bands can be much more difficult to resize, and do present a small risk of losing the side stones. In this case, however, replacements are not necessarily too difficult to source.
Setting smaller diamonds in a row, a channel setting securely holds the stones close together within the band of the ring, creating a sparkling channel flush with the band. This setting is a popular choice for rings without a center stone, such as wedding bands and stackable rings. Due to the lack of prongs, it’s another perfect, snag-free choice for those with active lifestyles.
The channel setting does present a more timely cleaning process, as dirt can become trapped within the channels. Repairs and resizing can also be a little more challenging, so be sure to check for loosened stones after any repairs.
Referring to the placement of gemstones surrounding a center stone, the halo setting adds sparkle to the ring and makes the center stone appear larger. This is a perfect option if you want to create extra dazzle without swapping out a smaller diamond for a costly large center stone.
The halo setting offers a secure hold on the center stone and compliments a variety of stone shapes, working with coloured gemstones or different metals for a contrasting look.
If using side stones, be aware that they can become loose over time, and depending on the amount of stones lining the band, resizing can be tricky.
A popular choice for wedding bands, especially men’s rings, this setting positions the diamond securely in a hole within the band, resulting in a diamond that sits flush with the band. As the diamond is held so tightly, it’s very unlikely to loosen, offering the most security and protection for a highly practical ring that is ideal for those working with their hands.
Although the visibility of the diamond is reduced with less light passing through and so offering less sparkle and brilliance, the setting does offer a simple, sleek look which is understated yet polished.
Three Stone Setting
A versatile setting, often used for engagement and anniversary rings, a three stone setting sets the gemstones close together symbolising past, present and future. Most commonly, a center stone sits between two smaller stones, with a round brilliant cut and princess cut proving popular shapes within this setting.
A three stone setting can maximise sparkle and brilliance, enhancing the appearance of the center stone and allowing for a greater surface area of overall gemstones. Opting for contrasting colours can also create a personalised ring design unique to you.
A downside to a three stone setting is that more cleaning and maintenance is required over a single stone setting. Be sure to get expert advice when pairing the side stones so as to avoid overpowering the center stone.
When considering the setting of your ring, be mindful of your lifestyle, opting for a setting that doesn’t put your diamonds at risk due to your daily activities. The setting you choose may also depend on the shape of your hands and fingers, along with the size of the diamond you’ve chosen.
For tailored advice selecting the design and settings that’s right for your ring, contact Steve at ADWB.