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Understanding Settings

Understanding Settings

The first thing most people see when they look at a ring is the central diamond or gemstone — and that's how it should be! But when you're buying a special ring, you want to understand everything about its construction and design. One of the most important elements of a ring's design is the setting: how are the stones held in place? A ring's setting can be prominent and artistic or subtle and practically invisible. The first step in deciding which setting is right for you is to consider which style appeals to you aesthetically, and which type is most appropriate for the ring you're buying.

Setting Styles


This style of setting showcases a single diamond or gemstone, with no accent stones around it. The most common technique for mounting a solitaire is prong setting.


Ring with Side Stones:
Side stones, or accent stones, help complement the brilliant center diamond or gemstone. There are endless variations on the use of side stones, but common techniques for mounting side stones include channel settings and prong settings.


Three-Stone Rings:
A popular choice for engagement or anniversary rings, the three-stone setting carries a very special meaning. Each diamond or gemstone represents the past, present and future of your relationship. Three-stone rings are mounted with a variety of setting techniques, prong settings being the most common.


Matching Bridal Set:
Some engagement rings can be paired with a matching wedding band that wraps around the center stone or fits against the engagement ring like a puzzle piece. These intricate designs come in many beautiful variations, from simple and sophisticated to elaborate and dazzling.

Setting Techniques


Bezel Setting:
A bezel setting is held in place by creating a metal frame around the circumference of the stone or at it's girdle. It can wrap all the way around the stone or only partially surround it, depending on the style of the ring. This type of setting is good for protecting the thin edge of the stone (girdle) and often makes the stone look larger. It gives jewelry a very bold, modern look.


Invisible Setting:
Invisibly set gemstones sit very close together, with their metal setting hidden underneath — so you see a continuous, uninterrupted surface of diamonds or gemstones. We think this type of setting is a great way to showcase the brilliance of princess cut diamonds, because there are no prongs or bezels blocking the light as it enters and illuminates each stone.


Prong Setting:
The most common type of setting, especially for solitaire rings, is the prong setting which holds your stone securely while still allowing a good deal of light to enter your diamond or gemstone. To increase this effect, the center stone is sometimes raised above the shank, to give it a larger, more important appearance, with only a suggestion of metal showing.

In such a setting, the prongs are attached to the central setting of a ring, known as the head or basket. Each prong extends upward and outward from the head, gripping the diamond with an arch at the top. Prongs can be placed at four corners of a stone or at five or six points evenly spaced around the stone. Other variations include V-prong setting which is used on marquise and pear shape gemstones to protect the pointed tips from chipping or breaking.


Channel Setting:
In a channel setting, diamond(s) or gemstone(s) are set flush between two strips of metal that holds them in place side by side with no additional prongs between the stones. This type of setting protects the edge, or girdle, of the gemstone, and is a very secure setting. Channel-set gemstones provide a smooth setting making them less likely to get snagged on hair or clothing.


Pavé Setting:
Pavé is French for "paved," and this is a technique for creating the appearance of a surface entirely paved in gemstones. Many gemstones are fit into small holes and set almost level with the surface of the ring, with no metal between them.


Cluster Setting:
When diamonds or gemstones are set close together in a group, the result is known as a cluster setting. Sometimes the stones can be arranged in the form of a stylized flower, or just in an abstract arrangement. Cluster rings are usually multi-level, with considerable height above the hand. The arrangement of the stones can be open and airy looking, or they may be more tightly arranged.


Bar Setting:
Similar to a channel setting, a bar setting uses a thin bar of u- or v-shaped metal to hold diamonds or gemstones in place on two sides. When there is a series of stones set next to each other using this technique, you will see a narrow bar between each one.


Tension Setting:
This sleek, modern setting uses pressure to hold a stone between two open ends of a metal mounting, creating the illusion that the stone is floating. This setting is a beautiful choice for any bride-to-be who appreciates modern, cutting edge style.


Illusion Setting:
A type of prong setting, this technique adds a faceted, shiny metal plate around the girdle of a diamond or gemstone. The reflective plate makes the stone appear larger and more brilliant.