FIND YOUR PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING STYLEWith so many different styles of rings out there, it can be hard to narrow down your decision. Whether it be your first-time purchasing a diamond, or choosing an engagement ring, we have created this guide to deciphering which ring setting is the perfect fit for you.
PRONG SETTING & SOLITAIRE SETTING
Typically seen as one of my most classic ring settings; the prong setting is a universal pleaser. A prong is considered a small metal claw that secures the diamond tightly in place. Prongs can be seen as pointed, flat, rounded or even V-shaped.
Typical prong settings feature four to six prongs. One of the major benefits of this setting is that there is a minimal metal appearance so that the diamond itself is the main attraction.
- Elevated style makes the diamond stand out in appearance
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Timeless and classic look
- Can snag on clothes because of its elevated setting
- Can loosen over time with wear
THE TIFFANY SETTINGOffering a little bit of history, in 1886 Tiffany & Co. developed a unique solitaire six-prong setting to heighten the light return on the diamond. Known as the “Tiffany setting”, this plain-band setting has come to be popularly known for the design of its prongs. Seeing as though Tiffany has trademarked this particular prong setting, it offers exclusivity to its wearers which can be more appealing to buyers.
- Heightens light reflection due to raised diamond structure
- Can support different carat sizes and diamond shapes
- Classic and timeless look to its wearer
- Diamond setting can loosen over time, therefore it’s recommended to get prongs inspected every few years
- Can snag on clothing because of high setting
Seen as the second most popular ring setting, the bezel setting gives off a modern look that is feasible for an active lifestyle. The bezel setting itself encompasses the diamond or center stone with a custom made metal rim to secure the stone in place. Seen with a full or partial setting; it’s a great customizable choose for teachers, athletic professions and any other active professionals that are concerned with their ring snagging on material and clothing.
- Gives off a sleek and modern look
- Doesn’t snag on clothing
- Protects and prevents damage of diamond itself
- Less visibility of the diamond itself because of the prong setting
- Has less light brilliance than comparative settings
A tension setting is one that applies tension to the metal band that secures the diamond in place. The result of this is that the diamond appears suspended between the two sides of the shank. Jeweler experts use lasers to calibrate precise dimensions of the diamonds so that the diamond or stone is held by the pressure of the custom-designed metal band encasing it. Tension-style settings are comparable to diamond suspension but offer a lower price. This type of setting also adds an extra level of security since the prong setting anchors the diamond in place.
- Secure placement of diamond
- Gives off a modern and stylish appearance
- Requires less frequented maintenance
- Expensive to resize
- Can cause a small Carat weight to appear smaller when thicker metals are used
TENSION STYLE SETTINGSimilar to the previously mentioned setting, a tension style setting is a popular engagement ring that requires the diamond or stone to be set in the band, most commonly seen as a bezel setting.
- Secure placement of diamond
- Less maintenance then prong settings
- Allows light to travel through diamond, which enhances the brilliance
- Can be difficult and costly to resize
- Can cause a small Carat weight to appear smaller when thicker metals are used
Another type of setting is referred to as a channel setting. This type of setting provides a secure way to set smaller sized diamonds in a row on the band of the ring. The stones are set flush with the metal used. Diamonds or stones are set closely together into the groves of the metal channel to enhance the look of the band itself. These are very popular in wedding and engagement jewelry seeing as though they can feature many smaller stones as opposed to one large center stone.
Seeing as though this setting has no prongs, it is a great option for a secure and snag-free design.
- Securely holds diamond in place
- Less likely to snag on clothing or material
- Sharp design with lessening the amount of stability
- Dirt can get trapped in channels which means heightened cleaning efforts
- Can hide diamonds more than a typical prong setting
A pavé setting (“pa-vay”) derives from French dialect which means “to pave”. This type of setting closely sets smaller diamonds together with minimal visibility of the small metal prongs or beads that hold the stones in place. This gives off the appearance of one continuous sparkle.
When constructing, the jeweler will drill holes into the ring and then carefully place the diamonds into the holes. They then form tiny beads or prongs around each individual diamond to secure them.
This setting is also known as a bead setting or a micro-pavé setting. A typicalpavé setting is one that holds diamonds that are .01-.02 sized carats, with any smaller than this being referred to as a micro-pavé setting.
- Center stone of ring is highlighted
- Can be designed in vintage or modern styles
- Side stones provide extra brilliance
- Risk of losing side stones
- Sizing and resizing can be difficult if the ring is pavé set fully around the band
A halo setting is one in which the placement of the diamonds or stones is in an aligned square or circle surrounding a center stone. This type of setting makes the center stone appear bigger in size and is a great option to heighten the appearance of a smaller sized diamond.
A halo setting can also be a great money saver on a smaller carat sized diamond while not sacrificing looks of the ring. Adding a halo of colored stones or adding a different color metal to the setting can add a beautiful contrast in colors. Halo settings can often be seen paired with a pavé band but can also stand alone with a simple ring band as well. A double halo is one that has two aligned circles of stones that encase the center stone.
- Boost appearance of smaller carat diamonds
- Securely holds and protects gemstones
- Can add contrast with colored metal or gemstones
- Smaller side stones can become loose
- Size stones can make it difficult to resize
CATHEDRAL SETTINGA cathedral style setting is considered of the most elegant engagement ring settings. Named because of its similarity to the arches of a cathedral, this type of setting uses arches of metal to hold diamonds or stones in place. A cathedral setting can be set with a bezel, prongs or tension setting seeing as though this setting is defined by how the stones are mounted with arches about the shank. Arches in this type of setting can be very cost efficient because they make the appearance of a center stone look larger.
- Unique design
- Adds character and height for low cost
- Secure placement of center stone
- Can snag on clothing or material
- More time consuming to clean because of crevices
BAR SETTINGSetting diamonds between vertical placed bars of metal is another type of setting used for precious stones. Bar settings which are similar to channel settings; offer a slight difference of the diamonds being exposed on two sides. They are then held in place by metal bars that hold the stones securely on the opposing two sides. A bar setting can compliment a center stone or by itself to give a beautiful stackable ring or wedding band.
- Stones are more exposed to add sparkle
- Can function as a stackable ring
- Gives off better visibility of diamonds or gemstones
- Less secure than a channel setting
- Stones can be chipped due to more exposure
FLUSH SETTINGA flush or gypsy setting, sets the diamonds into a hole that is drilled into the ring band so that the ring sits flush with the ring band itself. The jeweler will then hammer metal around the diamond to hold it in place. Because of the hammering aspect, this type of setting is not feasible for softer stones because they may be damaged in the process. Seen as a popular choice for wedding bands, the diamond sits securely in the ring band and is protected from falling out.
- Offers practicality and functionality
- Protection to stones and diamonds
- Good for active lifestyles
- Reduced visibility of stones
- Not as attention grabbing
THREE-STONE SETTINGSeen as a versatile setting for any occasion such as engagement or anniversaries; three stones are closely set together said to represent the couple’s past, present and future. The three stones can be of a similar size or have the middle stone be larger than the rest. The most popular gemstone or diamond shapes for a three-stone setting is a round brilliant cut or a princess cut. This setting can also be personalized with colored stones such as rubies, emeralds or even a birthstone.
- Maximizes the stones sparkle
- Can be personalized
- Multiple larger stones can be used
- More maintenance is required than a single stone ring
- A poorly paired setting can overshadow the stones individually
A vintage or antique style setting is usually designed to match a specific time period such as the Victorian or Art Deco era. Many times these rings feature detailed work such as filigree. Filigree is a type of metalwork that solders tiny metal beads or twisted threads together on the surface of the jewel.
- Unique and decorative; can be a conversational piece
- Can be made to match a time period or personalized to preference
- Gives of character and charm
- Can require more cleaning because of intricate detail
- Extra time will need to be allotted for certain details
CLUSTER SETTINGThis type of setting clusters stones together tightly so that they appear to be a large diamond. It can be seen containing a larger center stone or clusters of stones equal in size.
- Appears to be a larger stone even though it’s in fact multiple smaller stones
- Can complement smaller hands or fingers
- Considered a lower cost option than one large placed stone
- Smaller stones can be loosened over time
- Can require more maintenance for cleaning the smaller stones placed closely together
ETERNITY BANDAlthough they are not exactly a type of setting; they are in fact a style of band that can be seen usually for a woman’s wedding band or other special occasion such as Valentine’s Day. These bands get their particular name from the “eternal” presence of diamonds or other stones that decorate the band of the ring in its entirety. Eternity bands can be made in a prong, channel, flush or bezel setting.
- Offers a sparkle that is consistent around the whole finger
- Securely holds smaller diamonds
- Offers a variety of style
- Can be costly to resize
- High maintenance to clean because of smaller stones
SHANK/SPLIT-SHANKA shank refers to the ring band or part that encompasses your finger. Most shanks are seen as round but they can also be seen as a square shaped or other unique shapes depending on your preference or jewelers capabilities. A split-shank is a ring where the shank splits into two separate ones.
- Provides uniqueness in appearance
- Can be designed for a classic or modern look
- Side stones can be added due to the extra surface area
- Will require more cleaning than comparative settings
- Not practical for people that are heavily working with their hands