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Diamond Enagement Ring Settings

Diamond engagement ring settings are the mountings which attach the diamond to the ring’s band. In order to choose the best setting, you’ll need to know what styles are available and which ones best suit the bride, because just like different brides-to-be, different settings have unique personalities and styles.

Finding Your Best Engagement Ring Setting

     The best way to tell which setting looks best on the hand is to try on different styles. A bulky setting may overpower a thin, slender hand, whereas a delicate setting may be too fine for a thick finger. Diamond shapes and sizes also affect the setting: a small stone will disappear in a thick, elaborate setting, whereas a larger stone may look ridiculous in a tiny setting. Another consideration for choosing a setting is the activities of the wearer. A high, delicate setting can easily be damaged by vigorous activities, while a woman who does not wear her ring frequently may prefer a more elaborate design. The setting of the engagement ring should also be compatible with the wedding ring without risking damage or scratching.

Types of Engagement Ring Settings

    There are as many varieties of settings as there are brides-to-be. While the basic types are described below, there are endless variations of even simple designs, and custom settings can also be created to suit individual preferences.
Princess Cut Diamond with Round Side Stones Engagement Ring
Engagement Ring with Diamond Accent 
Four Prong Setting

Four Prong Setting
Prong Setting

    Initially designed in 1886, the classic prong setting is the most popular option, especially for solitaires. The diamond is set in a metal basket and secured with three or more prongs or claws, making it appear to hang. Prong settings allow for the most light to enter the diamond and be refracted, increasing the diamond's sparkle, and they are easy to clean. Prong settings are very secure for larger diamonds, but may not be the best choice for smaller diamonds because the stone may appear lost or overshadowed. When choosing a prong setting, six prongs is the most desirable number for security and symmetry. The disadvantages of prongs include the tendency to get caught on hair and clothing. Furthermore, thin prongs may be easily bent or twisted, increasing the chance of losing or damaging the diamond.

Six Prong Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring
Six Prong Side View
Bar Setting

    The bar setting is a variation on the prong setting. Rather than individual claws, prongs on each side of the setting are fused into elongated bars to hold the stone in place. This is a great option that highlights more metal but does not obscure the stone as much as bezel settings might.

Bezel Setting

    A bezel is a metal band that wraps around a circular diamond to hold it in place. You may also see partial bezels which only surround the sides of the stone. Bezel settings provide good protection and are known for their durability. The metal can also accentuate a diamond, making it look larger than it would in a prong engagement ring setting, or covering minor flaws. Bezels also provide a very smooth surface unlikely to snag on hair or clothing. The only disadvantage of bezel settings is that they are usually more expensive than prong settings.
Bar Setting    Bezel Setting
Bar Setting                                                                                                                            Bezel Setting
Flush Setting

    A flush setting is made by creating a tapered hole in which the diamond sits with the surrounding metal pressed around its rim, though unlike bezels, the metal does not fold over the top of the stone. This offers good protection for diamonds and a smooth, sleek surface. Flush settings provide a very tailored, contemporary appearance. The danger of flush settings is that if done improperly, they can easily loosen and the stones may be lost.

Tension Setting

    Tension settings are created with ultra-strong metal, using the band of the ring itself as the only method of holding the stone in place. Small grooves are carved into the edge of the band where it intersects the stone for added security, but the end result is the startling appearance of the diamond being held in midair. Tension engagement ring settings are quite expensive because they must be individually sized; the ring cannot be resized without losing the necessary strength to protect the stone.

Channel Settings

    Channel settings are very popular for accent stones or simple rings such as eternity rings that lack an overall center stone or single focal point. Diamonds of similar size and shape – frequently round or princess cuts – are lined in a channel inset into the ring’s band, with a narrow strip of metal along the sides to hold them in place without prongs or bars between them. Because the stones are inset, this is a very secure setting option, though it does not highlight the gems as elevated settings do.
Channel Setting 
        Channel Setting 
Invisible Settings

    An invisible setting is a very modern option where the stone is bound to the ring without immediately visible means. Typically, the setting involves a stable cup the stone can rest in and that cup is then attached to the band in a bypass or split design. The effect is similar to a tension setting but the ring can still be resized without difficulty.
Pave Settings

    Because of their exquisite elegance and beauty, pave setting engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular. This design literally coats the entire surface of the ring with gems, each set into either a minute depression or secured with thin, unobtrusive prongs. Because of the sheer number of diamonds necessary to create this design, pave settings can be very expensive, but many couples opt for cubic zirconia or other synthetic stones to cut costs without sacrificing the luxury of the design.
Invisible Setting - Men's Diamond Ring  Pave Setting Diamond Wedding Band with Pave Setting
Invisible Setting Men's Diamond Ring  Pave Setting - Diamond Wedding Band with Pave Setting 

Cluster Setting

    A cluster setting is designed to present multiple stones – often semi-precious gems rather than diamonds – in a figural design such as a flower or butterfly. Another cluster option is to use many small stones to create the illusion of a larger gem without the expense of a single stone of higher carat weight.

Varied Settings

Some engagement rings offer two or more settings on a single ring, usually with the center stone highlighted above smaller accent stones. Because of the intricacy of these multi-settings, they tend to be more expensive, although common designs such as a central prong setting flanked by channel-set accents can be found in affordable bridal sets.

Choosing a Quality Setting

    In addition to choosing which engagement ring setting best compliments the bride-to-be, it is crucial to choose a quality setting that will not be easily damaged or require frequent repairs. Most settings are made of platinum because it is stronger than gold, and its white hue will not tint stones or decrease their color value. When examining a setting, test each stone to be sure it is secure and that there are no unsightly or uneven gaps. Stones should sit level in the ring, and the contact points of the setting should be attractive and symmetrical.

    With a bit of consideration and knowledge about different engagement ring settings, it is possible to choose a variation that expresses personality, beauty, and elegance just as much as the diamond it holds. Whether the bride-to-be prefers a traditional prong arrangement or a more unusual cluster or bar setting, choosing a quality piece will ensure a quality ring for years to come.