- 1 Types of Settings
- 2 Styles of Settings
- 3 Materials Used
- 4 Diamond Setting FAQs
- 4.1 What are the Different Types of Diamond Settings?
- 4.2 What is a Pavé Setting?
- 4.3 What is a Half-Bezel Setting?
- 4.4 What is the Difference Between Prong and Bezel Settings?
- 4.5 Is Buying a Setting That Already Has a Diamond Mounted on it Safe?
- 4.6 When Should I Have My Diamond Setting Cleaned Professionally?
Diamond settings are how precious stones, particularly diamonds, are set into jewellery pieces. The selection of diamond settings can determine the final look of an engagement ring, wedding band or piece of fine jewellery. Different styles of diamond settings vary in how secure the diamonds are held and the type of light they reflect. Popular styles include prong, bezel, bar, pavé, flush, and tension settings. By carefully selecting the right diamond setting, it is possible to showcase the diamond’s unique fire and brilliance.
Types of Settings
Diamond settings, or the ways in which valuable stones are held securely in jewellery or other items, come in many different varieties. Prong, bezel, channel, pavé, bar, flush, tension, and invisible are the most popular types of settings; each has a distinct look and purpose. In this article, we will explore each of these settings and their various attributes, as well as how they are used in a variety of jewellery styles.
Prong settings are classic engagement ring settings preferred by many couples. The prong setting consists of several small prongs that fan out around the diamond, helping to maximize the stone’s visibility. This type of setting offers the diamond plenty of security while maintaining its sparkle, making it one of the most popular types of diamond settings. The prong setting is also available in various styles ranging from solitaire prongs to intricate double-prong designs. In addition to providing plenty of sparkle, prong settings can also add character to an engagement ring. From sleek and modern to traditional and ornate, prong settings can be tailored to match any bride’s unique style. By choosing a prong setting, couples can ensure that their engagement ring looks timeless and stunning for many years to come.
Bezel settings are among the most popular type of diamond setting for engagement rings. A bezel setting is made by encircling the stone with a thin rim of metal, which securely holds the diamond both in its place and firmly to the metal. Bezel settings can be found in both heirloom and modern designs, with their iconic domed shape both protecting and adding further visual interest to the piece. Bezel settings give the most protection out of other settings as this method of setting fully covers the diamond in a snug fit that virtually eliminates the risk of the stone being knocked out of the setting. They are also ideal for semi-precious or soft stones, such as pearls, and can be crafted in various metals, including gold, silver and platinum.
Channel set diamond rings feature diamonds set in a channel of metal. Typically, the channel’s side walls form “V” shapes which securely hold the diamond in place and provide a sophisticated look. This setting style is popular because of its modern look, secure fit and seamless look. While the most popular channel set diamond settings are those with a single row of diamonds, they can also be created with a double row of diamonds or customized with mixed-metal combinations. There is no need to fear losing the diamond in a channel setting as the prongs are integrated into the setting. Additionally, the space between each diamond can also be adjusted to personal preference, making it a unique and tailored option.
Pavé setting is an example of a type of diamond setting that is often used for engagement rings. In a Pavé setting, small diamonds or other gems are set close together, like cobblestones paving a path, and are typically set within a metal band. With the stones set as close together as possible and carefully aligned in either a straight line or curvature, they are “paved” to form a custom diamond band. Because the stone settings are so close together, they may not be set very high and will more than likely have several prongs protruding from the ring, often in a flower motif. The individual tiny stones can be of the same size and shape, or they can be gone using a variety of sizes and shapes to create a unique and personal design.
Bar settings are a popular type of diamond setting that are designed to secure the diamond without obscuring the stone’s brilliance. This style achieves this by placing the stones within a metal bar, with the bar secured to the ring band either in the centre, the side or by a pair of bars. The diamond’s brilliance is fully preserved by not concealing the stone within metal prongs. Additionally, the bar setting ensures that the stones remain securely fastened, preventing them from slipping or wiggling when worn. As a result, this type of diamond setting is particularly popular for jewellery worn on a regular basis, such as wedding and engagement rings. However, they are also a common choice for earrings, necklaces, and other forms of jewellery. With its capacity to secure the diamond without compromising its beauty, the bar setting remains an important option in diamond settings.
A flush setting, also called a gipsy setting, is popular among diamond lovers as it is elegant, subtle, and versatile. The diamond is placed directly into the metal and has no prongs, leading to a seamless look. This setting allows the diamond to sit on top of a flat, smooth surface, and its edges are close to the metal. The flush setting aims to maximize the diamond’s true brilliance and sparkle. It enhances the visibility of the diamond. This setting effectively displays the diamond’s size, shape, and clarity. The flush setting process involves cutting a full groove from the top of the metal, which is used to secure the diamond. It also requires an experienced jeweller to ensure a precise alignment and to ensure that the diamond fits securely in the setting. This setting also ensures that the diamond does not extend past the ring surface. The flush setting offers an elegant, modern look and is perfect for those who have few frills and prefer minimalist approaches.
Tension settings are known for creating dramatic and daring effects in diamond jewellery. In this type of setting, rather than a band or collection of prongs cradling a diamond, the grasps – usually made from a thin rim of metal – are placed directly on either side of the diamond. When held in place, the diamond seems to float and adds an air of sophistication and luxury. This type of setting is generally used for solitaire diamonds but can also be used to create unique designs and styles. In tension settings, the prongs must be very strong to hold the stone securely, as the diamond is in a place under tension. This type of setting also requires special skill, as the distance between the two sides must be perfectly calibrated to ensure the diamond is safely secured. As it can be challenging to work with, this type of setting is often favoured among experienced diamond setters.
Invisible settings are diamond settings that make the metal components virtually invisible, creating a seamless, cohesive piece. This type of setting is especially suited to round-cut diamonds, as the metal components are almost entirely hidden due to their arrangement and fit. Invisible settings can make a diamond look bigger, as the metal band surrounding the diamond is almost unseen. Furthermore, stones with a high clarity grade, especially those with winged or pointed edges, look much better in a seamless, slip setting. While the diamond ends up being the piece’s focal point, there is still very delicate and detailed craftsmanship invested in the metal band. To create an invisible setting, a jeweller will make four metal prongs in the shape of a disk, symmetrically fit around the diamond. The metal band is then passed up and over the diamond, sandwiching it in place. In the end, the setting will form the shape of a perfect circle.
Styles of Settings
Diamond Settings have been in fashion for centuries and have become a symbol of status and style. From Fashionistas to Royalty and Celebrities, everyone has been trying to stand out with the help of distinctive diamond settings.
The classic setting is a timeless look. This is the most popular style of diamond setting. It often employs a prong arrangement, although the arrangement may vary depending on the type of stone used. This style of diamond setting places the stone at the centre of the band, creating a centrepiece. The classic style typically provides the most secure fit for the stone, with metal around the perimeter acting as a safeguard for maintaining the stone’s position. Additionally, the metal claws of the classic setting typically hold the stone in place more securely than with many other styles of diamond settings. This is due to the metal’s durability, creating a tight grip on the diamond. The classic style of diamond setting is available in both modern and traditional shapes, making it a versatile option for many.
Modern settings have become increasingly popular in diamond jewellery. These settings often emphasize the diamond or other gemstone, limiting the amount of metal used to achieve a sleeker, more striking look. The most popular modern settings are the Tiffany-style solitaire, the prong setting, the bezel setting, the channel setting, the pave setting, and the invisible setting. The Tiffany-style solitaire is the classic look featured in many engagements. The prong setting is popular for pendants and earrings, as it allows for maximum light refraction for exceptional sparkle. The bezel setting creates a secure and protected look for rings, while the channel setting features multiple stones nestled in a channel built from two strips of metal. The pave setting comprises many small stones of similar size, and the invisible setting features stones held in place without visible metal.
Vintage diamond settings feature a unique style and grace that is timeless. The designs are historically based on famous jewellery pieces from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco periods. These settings use ornate metalwork, intricate scrollwork, and intricate engravings to bring out the brilliance of a diamond. Classic designs like prong, bezel, illusion, and pave settings allow for vintage designs to be adapted to any style. Prong settings feature claw-like metal prongs that are used to support the diamond while providing a timeless look. Bezel settings feature a metal border, often with a milgrain finish, that protects the diamond while creating a continuous look. Illusion settings create the look of a larger diamond with a series of tiny diamonds placed around the centre diamond. Lastly, pave settings offer a dazzling display of diamonds in perfect alignment, secured by small beads of metal or tiny prongs.
Art Deco, a style of setting for diamonds characterized by its intricate details, is often a popular choice for diamond aficionados. The style typically includes symmetrical shapes and geometric designs, including curved lines and sharp angles. Elegant and sophisticated, Art Deco jewellery features a combination of colourful gemstones, diamonds, and precious metals, often set within platinum. The settings often feature bold shapes and dazzling accents, such as baguettes, filigree, and milgrain. The availability of many different diamond shapes makes it possible to create a variety of stunning and unique Art Deco designs, such as a diamond-studded parquet ring. Art Deco settings are also favoured for their timelessness and classic beauty, making them a perfect choice for future generations.
Solitaire diamond settings showcase the diamond cut in its finest form. Solitaire diamond settings feature a single diamond mounted onto a precious metal band. Ring styles, such as tension rings and prong rings, have been popularized by solitaire diamond settings, giving them a timeless and classic look that never goes out of style. Prong rings feature prongs that secure the diamond from four or six different sides and are often the preferred setting for diamonds of larger carat sizes. While tension rings differ from prong rings, tension rings compress the diamond in place instead of prongs. Solitaire diamond settings also come with unique design elements, such as diamond-encrusted rings, heart-shaped settings, and simple designs, making the setting versatile to wear for any occasion.
The Three-Stone diamond setting style is quickly gaining popularity as a classic and timeless option for engagement rings. This style celebrates the couple’s journey’s past, present, and future by featuring three diamonds in a row. Two smaller diamonds flank the larger centre diamond to symbolize the couple’s devotion and love over time. This setting style is unique in the ability to customize with any shape diamond, including round, oval, cushion and pear. This gives each ring a personal touch that symbolizes the couple’s individual journey together. Additionally, Three-Stone settings can be made with any metal, from classic gold and platinum to rose gold and yellow gold. The Three-Stone setting is a classic choice for those looking for an engagement ring with a romantic story as unique as your love.
A halo diamond setting is one of the most popular styles of diamond setting due to its stunning visual appeal and captivating design. This setting features a central diamond surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds that add subtle sparkle and pop to the overall design. Halo settings are often combined with several other setting styles, such as pave, tension, bezel, prong and channel, to create an incredibly intricate and detailed piece. Halo settings typically use round-cut diamonds as the centre stone. However, many other fancy-shaped stones can be used to make a truly unique statement. The diamond is securely mounted in the centre of the halo with a combination of metal prongs, grooves and pins to ensure stability. The smaller diamonds in the halo provide additional sparkle and can reflect light onto the larger diamond at the centre, further increasing brilliance and shimmer.
Cluster diamond settings offer a more decorative approach and tend to involve multiple diamonds in the same piece of jewellery. This style commemorates a special bond and is popular for larger diamond jewellery pieces. Cluster settings typically set several diamonds in a mass arrangement, adding a sparkling, luxurious look. A common configuration for a cluster is a single larger diamond with several, smaller diamonds arranged around it. In some cases, stones of the same size are placed around the centre diamond and secured together as one piece with a band. The benefit of this style is that it has the look of a much larger diamond while covering a larger area of the piece of jewellery at one time.
Diamond settings come in many styles, with each offering a unique look to the jewellery. Accent settings have a distinctive look, taking advantage of accent stones to create a high-impact visual. The ring makes the diamond look larger by adding accent diamonds to the setting coming from different angles. The placement of the accent stones can be used to enhance the look and brilliance of the main diamond. There are many different variations, such as halos, bead, prong, cluster, invisible, and flush settings, which can all provide unique accents. Accent settings can use a combination of diamonds, gemstones, or even coloured metals to create a different and eye-catching look in the diamond setting. These settings are also fairly budget-friendly, making them a great choice for lovers of luxury jewellery on a budget.
The cathedral setting is a regal style of diamond setting with a unique look and a prestigious design. This style is characterized by a cluster of several jewels set in a raised, symmetrical shape. The centre diamond is set in the middle of the cluster and is complemented by smaller gemstones surrounding it. The marquise, princess, and round-cut diamonds are common types of stones used in the cathedral setting. The design emphasizes the centre diamond while showcasing the brilliance of each side stone. Additionally, the setting gives the illusion that the entire jewellery piece is one unit instead of a cluster of separate stones. The cathedral setting is typically set in either gold or platinum and requires a skilled and experienced jeweller to create intricate details.
Gipsy or flush settings are among the most popular diamond settings available. This type of setting submerges the diamond’s girdle slightly beneath the level of the mounting so that only the crown of the gem is visible. The result is a snug fit that maximizes the exposure of light to the diamond, creating more sparkle and brilliance. Gipsy settings are typically used for round-shaped stones, although cushions and other shapes may also be used. This setting can come in a variety of metals and styles, such as vintage-inspired or modern silhouettes. It is a timeless setting that has been in use for centuries and works best when set with a single stone or a cluster of two or more stones.
Bar settings, a classic diamond setting style, is a simple process that gives the ring an elegant look. The bar setting, also known as the channel setting, features multiple diamonds separated by small metal bars to hold the stones together. The diamonds are placed side by side, and the metal bars connect to form a raised rim, or ‘bar’, that sits above the diamonds. This elevation of the diamonds allows for plenty of light to hit the stones, creating a larger sparkle. Bar settings have been popular for rings and various other styles of jewellery, such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. The metal bar in between the diamonds accentuates the stones and is an ideal way to add a subtle bit of luxury. Furthermore, the spirit of the bar setting reflects a modern yet timeless design, making it the perfect choice for couples who want a traditional or classic look. The bar’s secure setting also maintains the diamond’s safety, making it an excellent choice for pieces with larger stones.
Channel settings are unique diamond settings that secure stones with two stripes of metal or four metal sides. This style of setting helps protect the diamond and creates an uninterrupted, elegant look. This type of setting is perfect for classic, timeless jewellery looks. It ensures the diamond stays in place while creating an eye-catching glimmer. The metal framing is often thin and narrow in design, making the diamond appear larger than it is. As a result, the diamond appears to float freely in the centre of the metal frame. Channel settings also showcase the diamond’s natural beauty, as the metal is carefully crafted to frame it, leaving it fully visible inside. The additional metal also helps protect the diamond from surprise knocks or hits. It also helps to reflect light, making it appear brighter and more beautiful.
The bezel setting is a timeless and classic style of diamond setting. It is one of the oldest and most popular ways to showcase a diamond in its most elegant form. The bezel setting involves placing the gemstone within a thin rim of metal, which is seamless and simple. The metal rim is either tucked beneath the diamond or runs slightly above the diamond, creating a timeless yet modern look. The bezel setting is perfect for those diamonds that may have an imperfection or need more protection. It is also quite popular among vintage rings, as the setting allows the stone to appear brighter without the need of a prong setting. Due to its protective nature and elegant look, the bezel setting is a winning choice for many brides-to-be.
Pavé setting is a style of diamond setting where the gemstones are held in place by small metal beads or bars called prongs. These prongs, typically in four or six, are placed all around the edges of the stone to ensure that it is securely sitting in its place. Pavé settings are particularly nice for wedding and engagement rings, adding extra sparkle and texture to the ring. This setting style is also very low profile, letting the stones take centre stage and giving a sophisticated, elegant look that is perfect for formal occasions. Pavé setting is not just for round and princess cut diamonds but can also be done for oval, marquise, pear, and emerald cut diamonds. This gives immense flexibility when trying to create the perfect modern and timeless set.
Tension settings create an illusion that the diamond is floating. To create this effect, a jewellery designer will usually use tiny prongs to carefully hold diamonds that are positioned in a way that they appear to suspend in the air. This style also tends to create an “X” shape or “V” within the setting that can be admired at a 360° angle. This type of setting is also a great option for diamond shapes such as cushion, radiant, and pear-shaped stones due to the flexibility of its design. Furthermore, tension settings allow more light to enter the diamond, emphasizing its beauty and sparkle. When selecting a tension setting, your main focus should be on the quality of its craftsmanship in order to ensure that it lasts in time. Lastly, you should always evaluate the tension setting of your engagement ring for durability and security.
Invisible diamond settings are incredibly popular for engagement rings as they allow the brilliance of the diamond to take centre stage. This is usually accomplished by setting the diamonds in a way that requires the use of several coins and a single bar to hold the stones in place. As a result, only the edges of the coins and the bar are visible, leaving the stones “invisible”. In this type of setting, the stones are secured in place, allowing them to shimmer and display all of their beauty without any distractions. The prongs of invisible settings can be curved for a more complex feel or straight for a more classic look. While the concept of an invisible setting is relatively simple, its appearance is intricately detailed. It perfectly frames the diamond, allowing its brilliance to truly stand out.
One must consider the materials and metals used in their fabrication when discussing diamond settings. Many metals can hold and display a diamond, as they provide the structural support needed. This includes gold, silver, platinum, palladium, titanium, and steel alloys. Additionally, jewellery designers often use more exotic and rarer metals, such as osmium and ruthenium. This section will discuss the materials used in diamond settings and how they can be combined to create a unique look.
Gold is one of the most sought-after materials for diamond settings due to its durability and lustrous shine. Its elegance adds a luxurious feel to any stone setting and pairs well with many types of diamonds and coloured gemstones, such as sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. Gold settings are preferred for their strength and longevity, ensuring that diamonds remain secure and won’t move or slip out of the setting. Gold settings come in several varieties depending on the karat and alloy used, ranging from basic 10k yellow gold to more intricate 18k yellow gold and 24k white gold. The prong setting is one of the most popular gold settings, though other styles, such as bezel, pave, and halo settings, are also quite common. Whether you’re looking for a subtle or bold design, gold settings can help create the perfect look for any diamond.
Silver is one of the most popular metals chosen for diamond settings. Its brilliant white lustre makes it a perfect complement to sparkly gemstones. Silver is malleable and ductile, making it ideal for intricate settings. Silver-set diamonds are stronger than those set in gold, as they are less malleable and resist wear and tear better. Silver diamond settings can be accented with other precious stones, such as pearls and rubies, for a truly stunning look. Silver is more resistant than white gold but requires regular maintenance when it comes to tarnishing. Most silver pieces are protected with plating or coating to prevent tarnish. When looking for a diamond setting, silver is typically a less expensive option than white gold or platinum, so it may be a great choice for budget-conscious shoppers.
Platinum is an ideal material for many diamond settings because of its durability, malleability, and ability to be set with small gems. Its material properties produce resilience and make it ideal for everyday wear. Platinum is highly malleable, meaning that it can be easily carved, sculpted, and bent into intricate patterns that add to the beauty and strength of a diamond setting. A diamond set in platinum will shine brighter, reflecting more sparkle and brilliance due to the white-silver colour. Coupled with its strength, it also holds its form for longer periods, even with regular wear, ensuring that the diamond setting remains as beautiful as the day it was purchased. Its ability to be set with small gems allows for an extra detail of brilliance on an engagement ring or other jewellery related to diamond settings. Platinum can also be styled more easily, as it requires minimal maintenance to keep its lustrous finish.
Palladium is a popular choice of material for diamond settings due to its cost-effectiveness, malleability, and hypoallergenic properties. These characteristics make it an ideal choice for both fine and costume jewellery. It is also desirable because its natural colour is light grey, giving it a more aesthetic appearance than yellow gold and white gold. Additionally, palladium alloy is resistant to oxidation and doesn’t require any plating. Furthermore, as it is a naturally strong metal, it isn’t prone to scratching like gold or silver. It is also more hypoallergenic than many other metals, making it a better choice for people with metal sensitivities. A lot of jewellers choose palladium for creating diamond settings as it is lightweight and durable. Depending on the stone size and design, the price of a palladium setting can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Titanium is a popular material used in diamond settings due to its extreme strength and durability. The lightweight metal is highly corrosion-resistant and has a low thermal conductivity, making it ideal for the environment around diamonds. Titanium settings are both long-lasting and relatively low maintenance, making them perfect for those on a budget. They also tend to be more comfortable for the wearer, eliminating most of the metal’s weight. Titanium settings are also known to be hypoallergenic, as the metal is usually very pure and doesn’t usually cause skin irritation. In addition, titanium is an inert metal, so diamonds set in this metal won’t be affected by any harsh chemical treatments.
Stainless steel is a versatile material used in diamond settings that is renowned for its strength and durability. It is corrosion-resistant and often has a bright, mirror-like appearance. Commonly used in wedding engagements, stainless steel is a cost-effective yet incredibly elegant option for showcasing diamonds. Its naturally lustrous finish helps the diamond stand out, creating a truly stunning effect. Mirrored surfaces create dazzling reflections, enhancing the diamond’s scintillation and sparkle. Stainless steel is very malleable, so it allows for intricate engraving and some intricate settings, such as pavé. In addition to rings, stainless steel is used to make chains, hoop earrings and pendants, providing the perfect backdrop for diamonds of any size or shape.
Copper has been used since ancient times to create unique diamond settings. It has a luxurious reddish hue that is both eye-catching and sophisticated. Copper is a versatile metal, allowing for the creation of complex, intricate designs that cannot be made with any other material. Additionally, this mineral is lightweight, durable, and cost-effective, making it a popular choice for jewellery designers. Combined with other metals, it can create various looks and styles, ranging from princess-cut engagement rings to intricate three-stone semi-mount earrings. Copper is a great choice for those seeking an elegant, timeless jewellery look that won’t have a heavy price tag.
Diamond Setting FAQs
What are the Different Types of Diamond Settings?
There are many different types of diamond settings. These include bezel settings, prong settings, flush settings, bar settings, and channel settings. Each setting offers a different type of protection, security, and design for the diamond.
What is a Pavé Setting?
Pavé setting is a method used for setting small diamonds, which involves drilling tiny bead-like holes into metal and pushing the diamonds into the drilled holes. This style of setting allows for a continuous sparkle around the diamond, giving it a beautiful and unique look.
What is a Half-Bezel Setting?
A half-bezel setting is a diamond setting where a metal wrap covers one side of the diamond while the other remains open. This style of setting creates the effect of the diamond “floating” in the setting and gives the diamond a unique look.
What is the Difference Between Prong and Bezel Settings?
The main difference between prong and bezel settings is the design. Prong settings have metal prongs that hold the diamond in place, while bezel settings are encircled by metal, which completely wraps around the diamond.
Is Buying a Setting That Already Has a Diamond Mounted on it Safe?
Yes, purchasing a diamond setting that already has a diamond mounted on it is safe. However, asking for certification on the diamond and an appraisal from a certified gemologist is important. This will ensure that the diamond is of good quality and will protect the buyer against any potential scams.
When Should I Have My Diamond Setting Cleaned Professionally?
It is recommended to have your diamond setting professionally cleaned every six months. Professional cleaning will help to maintain the brilliance of the diamond and will help to preserve the quality of the setting over time.