Engagement Ring Settings
Choosing an engagement ring setting is an important decision. It can significantly impact what the stone in the ring looks like, as well as how much cleaning the ring will require. There are many different settings to choose from, and we will discuss the most popular settings in this article.
Engagement ring settings can significantly impact the lifespan of your diamond ring. It will also affect any rings worn in close proximity to your diamond ring. Remember that diamonds are extremely hard and often damage other jewelry as it moves against your diamond ring.
How Important is the Engagement Ring Setting?
There are many different settings and quite a few variations to each overarching setting design. It is best to explore different settings and understand their pros and cons before making a final decision on which setting best suits your needs.
For the most part, we do not always pay a lot of attention to engagement ring settings because the ring’s beauty is what attracts us to it in the first place. Technical elements are an afterthought.
The bezel setting is the second most popular ring setting for an engagement ring. It is especially well suited to an active lifestyle because it offers added security for your gemstones. The bezel setting encircles the stone with a thin metal rim. This provides more security for the stone and will prevent snagging because the stone and metal do not stand out in angles.
It helps to protect the center stone in two ways: firstly, it stops it from being damaged through being struck by an external force on an edge. It also makes it harder to lose the stone because it is encircled completely by metal.
A bezel setting is easier to clean, but it also hides more of the stone. This results in less brilliance and does not reflect much light.
A tension setting literally uses tension in the band to keep the stone in place. This means that the diamond appears suspended between the two sides of the metal band. Most jewelers will make sure that there are small grooves in the band to further secure the stone.
This setting looks a lot like suspension, but it is not as expensive and less complicated to manufacture. It enhances the effect of light reflection and means far less cleaning and maintenance is required than for a prong setting.
You will need to choose a stone for this setting that does not have visible inclusions. This type of setting will make any inclusions much more visible. When selecting this setting, ensure that you have the ring size correct, as resizing can be difficult and expensive.
This setting is also not particularly appropriate for smaller stones as it can make them look even smaller than what they are. A tension setting can create the illusion of a floating stone and add to a diamond’s sparkle. There are also rings that look like tension settings, but they are actually bezel settings. They are referred to as a tension-style setting.
The prong setting is the most popular ring setting on this list. There are also different types of prong settings. A prong setting helps to capture the brilliance of the center stone by holding it in place with elegant metallic claws.
It is common for a prong setting to have four or six prongs, but there are other combinations as well. The prong setting is suitable for different sizes and shapes of the center stone. It is easy to clean but can become loose over time and snags easily.
This setting is best suited to a larger center stone. Most often, this setting is more popular for diamond ring settings than it is for other stones.
Three Prong Setting
A three-prong setting is not as popular as even-numbered prongs, but it can make your stone look bigger. It is most often used in simple diamond stud earrings or solitaire engagement ring settings.
The number of prongs ultimately will likely be determined by the diamond shape.
In a pavé setting, the claws that keep the stones in place are less visible. It also places smaller gems closer together to create the idea of being “paved with diamonds”. To create the elusion of a continuous sparkle, the pavé setting places small stones very close together and makes the tiny metal beads or prongs holding the stones in place nearly invisible.
This is achieved by drilling holes into the band and putting tiny stones into these holes. Then the beads and prongs are formed around the stones to keep them in place. This has led to this setting also being called a bead setting.
The pavé or bead setting serves to highlight the center stone and brings out the brilliance of the stone. This setting is suitable to a vintage as well as a modern style, but resizing can be difficult, so it is best to be very sure of the ring size in advance.
If you want to make your stone look bigger, then the halo setting is for you. It involves placing a stone at the center and then surrounding it with a circle or square of smaller gemstones. Because it can make your gemstone look considerably bigger, it has become a popular way to make a smaller-carat stone look bigger while saving money and not denigrating the appearance of the ring.
It is also common for a halo setting to be paired with a paved band. One of the advantages of this setting is that it maintains a secure grip on your center stone and protects it from loss and damage. It is also great for many different diamond shapes.
Halo settings are a good option for any size stone, not only smaller stones, and although any diamond shape works well, halo diamonds work best with this setting. If a diamond ring is not for you and you want other stones, then a halo setting offers a great opportunity to play with colors.
The channel setting takes a bunch of smaller diamonds and places them in a tight row into the band. This creates a channel look of sparkling stones flush with the shank and placed into grooves that keeps them close together.
This setting makes it very difficult for stones to snag, and it protects them well from dings and scratches. However, they are harder to clean and are difficult to resize.
This setting is popular for wedding bands and most often does not involve a large center stone. Channel settings are popular options for a diamond ring but also look great with other stones. You can even combine different stones in your channel setting.
The cathedral setting is one of the most classic engagement ring settings and holds a certain kind of classic elegance. It uses metal arches to hold the gemstone in place. Prongs, bezels, and tension settings are common and are then surrounded with mounting arches above the shank.
This setting serves to make the center stone look significantly bigger by drawing attention to it. Due to the nature of the setting, it easily snags en takes a lot of time and effort to keep clean. Furthermore, while we indicate that it draws attention to the center stone, there are some who feel that it actually draws attention away from the center stone, so it might be best to explore different cathedral settings to see which design you prefer before making up your mind.
Cathedral-style settings are a great option for people who prefer vintage styles. A center diamond can be surrounded by different sizes of set precious stones that accent your diamond. It adds extra sparkle to your diamond ring.
The bar setting involves stones that are set individually along the bar of the ring. The stone is usually secured on two sides. Although this setting is similar to a channel setting, channel settings enclose the stones, where bar settings allow for more visibility of the stones.
This setting is suitable as a stackable ring and tends to intensify the sparkle of a stone. Although this setting allows for more sparkle than a channel ring, it comes with a disadvantage as well in that it is less secure than a channel ring.
Resizing of this kind of ring is difficult and expensive, and due to how to stones are positioned, they can chip.
This setting is one of many prong settings. It features a single diamond or other precious stone. The solitaire setting attracts all attention to the single stone and involves very little distraction as there are no other stones or metalwork around it.
A solitaire engagement ring is an elegant and classic setting that one often sees in movies and advertisements. A famous example of solitaire settings is the tiffany setting engagement ring.
This is an example of a simplistic engagement ring setting that is also suitable for wedding bands and a good option for men’s rings. The stones are very well protected because they are buried flush into holes in the ring settings. No part of the stone protrudes.
The is extremely little chance of snagging, and these ring settings are often associated with laid-back boho lifestyles.
It has become exceedingly popular for women to want to stack their rings. Usually a wedding and engagement ring along with other bands. Experts suggest that if you want to stack your rings, you should start with a classic setting base design. The first ring in a stack is usually an engagement ring or promise ring.
You should stick to an odd number of rings and try to mix and match the stone, metal, and shape of the bands. It is also best to go for a raised setting.
Finally, it is suggested to build your stack over time and not to purchase all the pieces at once or in quick succession. Take time to build your ideal stack.
Choosing Your Ideal Engagement Ring Setting
Choosing an engagement ring setting can be a big decision, and there are many factors that can impact your decision. For example, are you looking for a center diamond setting or something with smaller diamonds? The engagement ring setting will impact what kind of wedding bands you could pair with them. Are you looking to follow engagement ring trends, or do you want to explore unconventional engagement ring styles?
Remember that a larger stone might be limited in the type of ring settings that you can choose. If you like bezel settings, do you like it when the bezel completely surrounds the band, or only partially? A full or partial setting often has a price difference, and partial ring settings are easier to resize.
Do you want your diamond exposed so that it catches more light, or do you want to be protected? Do you prefer a cluster setting or a single stone setting? If you are specifically set on a specific diamond shape, then you will need to find a setting that best suits your choice. For example, princess cut diamonds look best in a prong setting. You can then also choose between a three, four, eight, or six-prong setting.
There are so many engagement ring styles out there that it can be difficult to identify which one you like best. You should always consider your wedding band together with your engagement ring. If you have a diamond ring as an engagement ring and the diamond is quite exposed, it could potentially damage your wedding band if worn daily. Diamond jewelry is often the source of damage to other jewelry.
When storing your engagement ring, you should make sure that it is secure in its storage and not rolling around, as this can lead to damage to your other jewelry.
Three Parts of a Custom Ring
If you are looking to approach a jewelry shop to have a custom ring made, then there are three main things that you need to consider.
Maybe you have your own stone that you want to be set into a ring; maybe you are looking to just build a ring from scratch. Either way, the size of the gemstone might impact the kind of setting. A smaller gemstone looks much better than certain settings than they do in other settings.
If you are looking at a diamond ring, then the metal is less important, but some stones tend to go better with specific metals. For example, a cubic zirconia is best set in sterling silver and should not be set in something like platinum.
Some people feel that a ruby set in rose gold looks strange, and others just simply do not like yellow gold. It is often considered a dated option. Rose gold is more modern and romantic, but if your partner likes traditional jewelry designs then they might not like rose gold.
As much as the classic and well-recognized tiffany setting is popular and timeless, it is ill-suited to an active lifestyle. Diamond ring settings like the tiffany setting snag easily increase the risk of damage to the ring or even loss of the stone should a significant external force cause a prong to stretch or break.
Certain diamond ring settings require a lot more care than others. If you are unlikely to put in the extra time to keep the diamond ring clean, then it might be best to go for a setting that is lower maintenance.
At the end of the day, whether you have a diamond ring or a different gemstone, the ultimate setting will be up to you. For the most part, it is not necessary to overthink the decision, but it might help to understand the basics around each setting option.
When you spend so much money on a diamond ring, and it is so symbolic, you want to maintain its quality. Remember that a diamond ring loses around 30% of its value once purchased, meaning that you will always spend more on a diamond ring than it is ultimately worth. When you buy a diamond ring, you are doing it for the symbolism, not the monetary value.
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