Prong settings are the most common and popular settings for diamond engagement rings. It consists of four or six prongs, acting like small claws, rising up to grasp the diamond. Prong setting allows the maximum amount of light to enter a stone from all angles. This makes the diamond appear larger and more brilliant. Prongs can hold any size stone in place, but are typically used to hold a larger center stone.
PROS: Extremely secure, makes diamond shine brighter, shows off more diamond
CONS: Sits up quite high sometimes, must have it checked by jeweler frequently, will have to have prongs rebuilt at some point in lifelong wear
A channel set features a row of diamonds side by side with no metal separating them, suspended by individual seats cut into each side of the metal channel. This protects the girdle area of the diamonds better than a bead or prong setting and provides a smooth exterior surface. This setting is most frequently used for wedding and anniversary bands.
PROS: Extremely secure, smooth against finger, classic look, convenient for active lifestyles
CONS: Can be more expensive because of the metal and labor that is required
Literally “paving” a ring’s surface with tiny diamonds, a pavé ring sparkles. The ring is covered with dozens of tiny diamonds – so much so that the metal band barely shows through. The technique involves creating tiny beads or prongs from the surrounding metal to hold the tiny diamonds in place. Compared to a channel setting where the diamonds are bigger, more distinct and clearly set within the metal band.
PROS: Loads of sparkle, less expensive because of possible lower total carat weight
CONS: Higher risk of diamonds falling out over time due to the minimal amounts of metal holding them in place
With a Bezel setting, a rim holds the stone and surrounds the gem. Bezels can have straight edges, scalloped edges, or can be molded into any shape to accommodate the stone. It can wrap all the way around the stone or only partially surround it, depending on the style of the ring. This type of diamond ring setting is good for protecting the girdle and often makes the stone look larger.
PROS: Unique and modern look, keeps diamond secure
CONS: Hides a good portion of the diamond and does not let an optimal amount of light to the diamond for sparkle
Not seen as frequently, the bar setting is similar to the channel. This setting uses a thin bar of metal between stones, each one using it for support. Think of it as each stone getting its very own channel to rest in.
PROS: Modern look not easily found, shows off the diamonds well
CONS: Exposes the sides of the diamond to potential wear, needs frequent tightening
Grooves in each stone’s girdle slip into a metal framework below the surface, but the metal cannot be seen, so gemstones sit side-by-side where they create the appearance of a solid surface of gems. So you see a continuous, uninterrupted surface of diamonds or gemstones that make it appear like one large stone.
PROS: Very glamorous look, less expensive that purchasing larger stone
CONS: Must be done by master craftsmen, must be checked frequently