If you have chosen a loose diamond for an engagement ring and are searching for the perfect setting, it can be overwhelming. With many different types of ring settings, it can be hard to distinguish each style and what it is designed to do. You want it to showcase the diamond, of course, but you also want the ring setting to reflect your personal tastes and secure the stone properly.
So, before you shop for your stone’s prongs, baskets and bands, learn the different types of ring settings. Below, we have listed the common ring settings you will find and some pros and cons of each to consider.
When shopping for an engagement ring, the prong setting is a ring setting you will most commonly come across. Quite often, the prong setting is designed with anywhere from three to six “claws” securing the diamond or stone firmly in place within a “basket” or metal “head.”
In addition, the prongs themselves also come in a variety of styles. For example, you can have a prong ring setting with flat, pointed, rounded or V-shaped claws. V-shaped prongs are ideal for heart-shaped, marquise-shaped and pear-shaped diamonds, and flat prongs are typical for emerald-cut stones. Square stones, like an Asscher Cut, might even have prongs serving as “pockets” on each corner.
The number of prongs you choose on a prong comes down to two factors: how secure you want the stone and how much of the diamond you want to show. For instance, if you choose six prongs, it could conceal a smaller stone more than is necessary, whereas four prongs might be just enough. Sometimes, it all comes down to the size of stone you choose. If you’re not sure, reach out to a reputable Verragio jeweler to help you decide.
Considerations for a Prong Setting
- When you want a bright, sparkling diamond that catches the eye, a prong setting is a winner.
- Because of less metal, this also means that the stone’s perimeter or “girdle” is more exposed.
- Prong settings invite in the most light, maximizing a diamond’s glimmer and lightening rich-colored gemstones.
- Prong settings use less metal, ultimately saving money and time in making the piece.
- Prong settings make it easier to clean the stone.
- While prongs are standard for solitaire engagement rings, they can also secure softer and more fragile gems.
- From time to time, prongs can catch strands of hair or even snag threads of clothes.
- High-set prongs can scratch surfaces or even people. They can also be difficult to slip into a glove. However, you can always choose a lower prong setting.
Pronounced “paw-vey,” the pavé setting comes from the French word for paved. And just like a romantic little paved stone pathway, a pavé engagement ring features rows of tiny stones that are fitted into small holes and leveled along the ring’s surface.
Typically, a pavé set ring is also made from a white gold or platinum metal so that the white pavé diamonds can be secured with a raised beaded edge.
Considerations for a Pavé Setting
- Pavé settings accentuate a gemstone, often making a diamond appear grander.
- The design of a pavé setting also offers an uninterrupted flow, providing varying widths.
- Sadly, the pavé setting is not suitable for more fragile, softer gems. However, the good news is that the stones’ proximity gives extra protection for each girdle.
- A pavé setting is level to the central diamond but not as level as a bezel, channel or gypsy style ring setting.
- A pavé setting might not be the best option for people with active lifestyles. For a more secure setting, take a look at bezel-style ring settings instead.
Another type of ring setting is the halo. A halo setting on a ring sounds very much like what it is: a round halo-shaped design that encircles the center stone. Often, the halo features a pavé or even a micropavé of smaller diamonds or gems that accentuate the larger stone, drawing further attention.
You can find halo engagement rings designed in different widths too. Choose something more subtle and minimal with a single halo or truly accentuate the center diamond with two or more halos. There are also halo settings with intricate metal designs in twisted bezels, latticework, and floral patterns and motifs.
Considerations for a Halo Setting
- If you desire more sparkle to your ring, a halo setting is a wise choice. Halo settings can accentuate the center stone, making it appear larger than it truly is and making a ring look more luxurious.
- While a halo can accentuate, it might also take away from a stunning stone. So if you love a halo setting, be sure to strike a balance that doesn’t distract by appearing overly clunky.
- Customization is easy with a halo setting. You can create an engagement ring with mixed metal halos and geometric motifs and designs.
- However, if you choose a colorful halo, it could change the appearance of your center diamond. When selecting a diamond with a high-quality color grade, clear halos are more suitable.
- Halo settings can give an engagement ring a vintage-inspired antique look. This might be perfect when using a family stone.
Three Stone Setting
The three stone engagement ring, also called a trinity ring or trilogy ring, features a row of three diamonds. Usually, the center diamond is the most significant in size, flanked by two smaller stones, together symbolizing the past, present and future of a couple’s relationship.
Considerations for a Three Stone Setting
- A three-stone setting ring gives off a lot of sparkle and brilliance, greatly enhancing the center stone.
- Three stone settings are highly customizable, offering personalization and a variety of choices. For example, you can choose to add multiple larger stones or even different colored stones.
- Due to the detailed nature, a three-stone setting requires more cleaning and maintenance.
Bezel settings feature an edged metal rim around the center stone of a ring. Sometimes the edges wrap around the stone entirely. Other times, they are more minimal and surround the perimeter in sections to create a partial bezel.
Generally speaking, a bezel ring can protect the stone’s girdle better than a prong setting. If you live an active lifestyle, a bezel setting might be the wiser choice.
Considerations for a Bezel Setting
- A bezel setting will better protect a stone’s girdle, preventing any nicks or chips. Furthermore, it can conceal existing nicks and chips, especially if the stone is an heirloom and has seen many years of use.
- Unlike a prong setting that can snag or scratch, a bezel setting offers a smoother surface.
- The metal around the stone can be fitted around any stone shape, offering ultimate security.
- White metal bezels will enhance a white stone, while yellow gold bezels offer contrast and accentuate colored gemstones.
Channel settings are an extremely popular type of ring setting, both in engagement rings and wedding bands. A channel setting features a row of stones sandwiched together without any metal between them. This channeled row of stones is set within a track along the band, each side a metal of your choosing. In terms of cost, round stones are easier to set than square or rectangular stones and are therefore more affordable.
Considerations for a Channel Setting
- Like a bezel setting, a channel setting protects the girdle of the stones set flush within the channel. It also provides a more secure setting overall.
- Without prongs, a channel setting offers a smoother surface that doesn’t catch on items or scratch.
- One disadvantage of a full channel setting is that, with stones all the way around, resizing can be a challenge. However, a smart alternative is to leave about one-third of the bottom of the shank left unchanneled, just in case. Another option is to use the Verragio Fit-Right solution, which simply solders to the inside of the band.
- Since a channel setting needs to be compressed closely together to secure the stones, fragile gems are not recommended.
Another type of ring setting is the bar setting, which features stones separated and held in place by thin vertical metal bars. It’s quite similar to a channel setting or pavé setting, but with bars between the diamonds or gemstones.
The only part of the stone exposed is the top and bottom. Leaving the bottom exposed means it is possible it can be compromised. However, the advantage is that it allows some light into the stone, making it sparkle.
Considerations for a Bar Setting
- A bar setting offers an extra bit of security, protecting the sides of each stone’s girdle.
- Bar settings are a fantastic option for active people, since the surface is smoother.
- Bar settings offer a more contemporary look to an engagement ring.
Rings designed with a tension setting make a diamond or gem appear to float between the band’s compression-spring shanks. Because of this design, a tension-setting engagement ring often gives off a minimalistic modern style. However, due to the pressure of the shank, a tension setting is only suitable for hard stones like diamonds, sapphires and rubies.
Considerations for a Tension Setting
- Because the stone floats without a bezel or prong, it refracts lots of light and offers a dazzling look.
- With each ring designed to be custom-fit to ensure the stone’s security, resizing a tension-setting ring can be extremely difficult. Sometimes, only the manufacturer can resize or repair a ring with a tension setting.
- Without protection around the stone’s girdle, it’s not recommended for active lifestyles.
Gypsy Setting (AKA Flush Setting)
Another different type of ring setting is the gypsy setting — a truly unique style. A bit like a bezel, the stone is set flush into a hole within the ring. After setting the stone, the ring’s metal is pressed and hammered gently around the perimeter to fasten it in place. The gypsy setting not only makes a lovely engagement ring but is a setting you will often find in a wedding band and even men’s rings.
Considerations for a Gypsy Setting
- Like a bezel setting, the gypsy setting can protect the stone’s entire girdle from nicks and other damage. In addition a gypsy setting can conceal pre-existing nicks and chips.
- A gypsy setting is an exceptionally secure type of ring setting.
- It gives a smooth, modern look without protruding stones or prongs.
- Due to the time-intensive setting process that wraps the metal around the stone, the gypsy setting is generally more expensive than a classic prong setting.
- Fragile gems, like emerald, opals and tourmalines, are not ideal for the gypsy setting. For this setting, a harder stone like a diamond is recommended.
An infinity setting symbolizes eternal love, which is why it’s a popular choice among couples. It has two interlinking bands that wind together gracefully to create an infinity symbol on each side of the ring. Sometimes the interlinking band features a pavè setting, while other times it might appear smooth and minimally designed. You can even find infinity interlinking bands that feature a “twist” version with both a pavè and smooth design.
One great advantage of an infinity setting is that the interlinking bands and metals are highly customizable. You can choose to personalize the infinity setting in several ways.
Considerations for an Infinity Setting
- With all kinds of customization and personalization options, an infinity setting offers a unique ring setting.
- The infinity setting symbolizes the promise of everlasting love.
- The “twisting” interlinking band offers an intricately detailed design.
- Similar to the three-stone setting, the infinity setting takes a good bit of effort to clean.
- With more surface area exposed, the infinity setting is not ideal for active people.
With this thorough guide on the different types of ring settings, you and your partner should have a glimpse of what kind of engagement rings and wedding bands you gravitate toward. However, once you have an idea, we suggest venturing out to a nearby Verragio jeweler and trying on a few different ring settings to see what speaks to you. Seeing an engagement ring or wedding band on the hand is a far more enlightening experience than seeing one on screen.
Reach out to Verragio today and make an appointment with one of our highly reputable jewelers to find the perfect ring setting.