Types of Ring Settings
Chances are that you’ve probably “oohed” and “ahhed” over a lot of engagement rings in your life, but have you ever really taken a close look at the setting of the gemstone? Most of us haven’t, and yet the setting is one of the most visually dynamic aspects of a ring’s overall appearance.
A prong setting is the most commonly seen type of engagement ring setting. In this setting, the center stone is inserted between 4 or 6 thin metal bands that are then bent slightly over the stone at the top to hold it in place.
Prong settings are popular because they raise the center stone to make it more prominent and allow the light to shine through it. This type of design highlights the center stone, which is why it is almost always used for diamond solitaire engagement rings.
Channel settings feature a row of smaller stones set flat into the ring. Channel settings are most often seen in companion wedding bands, or in the side stones of an engagement ring astride the center stone.
This type of setting can be combined with a bar setting to create a more unique look: commonly, two circular cut diamonds on top of each other are separated with a bar from two rectangular cut stones atop each other.
For some serious bling, choose the bezel setting. A larger center stone is framed by small diamonds (or other gemstones) to showcase the main stone.
If you have a smaller budget, a bezel setting can be used to your advantage to make your stone appear larger without the expense (smaller diamonds cost less per carat.)
In a cluster setting, several stones (often the center stone is largest, but they can also be the same size) are arranged to create a pattern. Cluster settings can be all diamonds, but can sometimes be a mix of diamonds and colored gemstones.
Some of the most popular patterns are a flower or snowflake, but they can also be a constellation of circular cut stones or a rectangle constructed from smaller geometric shapes.
In a flush setting, the diamond sits in a tapered hole in the band. The top of the stone is level with the band’s surface. The stone is held in place by the pressure of the metal surrounding it, with no prongs or other mounting apparatus visible.
The flush setting de-emphasizes the size of the diamond, and is more popular with side stones or on men’s diamond wedding bands.
Tension settings always make people look twice at your engagement ring. It appears at first glance that the diamond is hovering in midair, but the pressure of the band itself holds the center stone in place.
This type of setting looks more feminine than the flush setting for a no-frills girl who doesn’t like the look of a giant raised diamond. Since the band itself is the setting for the ring, tension set rings are very difficult and expensive to resize.
The setting is one of the most visually dynamic aspects of a ring’s overall appearance.
The bar setting is a row of small diamonds or other gems with a metal bar separating each stone. The stones are usually square, but may be round.
Bar settings are often seen in companion wedding bands, or in the side stones of an engagement ring flanking the center stone. Bar settings may overwhelm slender hands and are most fitting for thicker rings.
Pavé (pronounced pah-vay) is French for ‘paved.’ The pavé setting is similar to the channel setting, but the appearance of the metal is minimized, the idea being that the ring looks like it is literally made of diamonds. In other words, the ring looks like it is ‘paved’ with gemstones.
The type of setting you select for your wedding and engagement rings can make a huge difference in the style.
Pay attention next time you browse for rings, and don’t forget to think about how your ring setting will impact your other choices in your engagement and wedding bands.
♥ Jenny Evans
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