The diamond may be the most important component of an engagement ring but without the ring setting, all you’ll have is a loose diamond. The ring setting is the foundation of the ring, the base that will hold the diamond in place, which is why you should give it just as much importance as the gemstone you’ll be placing on it.
There are many different styles of ring settings and it can be overwhelming to choose especially if you’re not sure what the recipient wants. Most people buy ready-made rings and don’t really bother to research the different kinds of settings available. After all, if a ring looks good, you don’t really have to know what type of setting it is. However, if you want to make it special and you want to explore all your available options before you purchase the first ready-made ring you find, knowing the different kinds of settings can prove valuable to your search for the perfect ring.
Top Engagement Ring and Wedding Ring Settings
The Prong Setting
The prong setting is, without a doubt, the most popular ring setting today. Commonly seen on solitaires, the prong setting is characterized by either four or six prongs/claws enclosing the diamond. The prong setting is notable for allowing maximum light to enter the diamond in different angles. It is the most optimal setting for maximizing the brilliance of a diamond. It also makes the center stone look bigger. The prong setting is not only the perfect backdrop for a diamond but it also offers adequate protection as the claws protect the diamond from chipping or falling off, which can be a problem with daily use.
Prong settings are flexible and can be used for most diamond shapes. It is commonly seen on round brilliant solitaire rings but it is also used alongside a variety of ring settings and styles, including pave rings, three-stone rings, and channel rings.
Channel setting is commonly used alongside prong setting for engagement rings. The center stone is usually set in a prong setting and the side stones are set on a channel setting. A channel setting is characterized by two lines of metals holding a row of diamonds or gemstones in between. There is no metal separating the gemstones from each other.
Channel setting is also popular in wedding rings with diamonds, particularly in eternity rings. The setting gives adequate protection to the stones while allowing adequate brilliance.
Pave setting is another popular setting option for engagement rings. It is characterized by a row of small stones set very closely together. Unlike channel set stones, pave set stones have tiny beads of metal separating them from each other. For engagement rings, it is common to have a center stone set on a prong setting alongside pave set accent stones. Pave setting is also used widely in eternity diamond wedding rings.
Micro-pave setting is a variation of the pave setting where smaller stones are set closely to each other.
The bezel setting is also fairly popular in engagement rings. It is best for fancy shape diamonds like heart, triangle, and octagonal diamonds, as it emphasizes the shape of the diamond. In a bezel setting, the stone is surrounded entirely with a thin piece of metal. Not only does it offer extra protection for oddly shaped diamonds but it also helps emphasize the shape of smaller diamonds. It is perhaps one of the oldest settings for jewelry and is commonly used in engagement rings, as well as pendants and earrings.
The tension setting is a slightly more modern option compared to the aforementioned ring settings. In a tension setting, two bars of metal hold the diamond in place. Unlike other settings, the tension setting does not offer as much protection for the diamond but it does offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to style. Tension set rings come in a wide-variety of styles and are commonly used in contemporary ring designs.
Illusion/ Cluster Setting
Illusion and cluster settings are sometimes used interchangeably because both are made of several smaller stones that make up one big centerpiece. In an illusion setting, smaller diamonds are set close to each other to create the illusion that they are one big stone instead of several small stones. A cluster ring is similar but a larger center stone is usually clustered with smaller stones to create the illusion of a bigger diamond.
Wedding ring settings are typically more straightforward than engagement ring settings because the stones used on wedding rings are a lot smaller. Some wedding rings are even just made up of plain precious metal without any gemstones.
Women usually choose a matching setting for their engagement ring and wedding ring so that both rings complement each other when worn on the same finger.
Regardless of the setting you choose for your engagement ring and wedding ring, the most important thing to consider is your personal style. Wedding rings don’t always have to match so the couple can express their personal styles individually.