You’ve dreamed about that gorgeous engagement ring that’ll symbolize your unique love. You’re sure of the cut and the metal for the engagement ring. But what about the ring setting?
The ring setting? Yes, the ring setting.
The ring setting refers to the way a gemstone is attached or mounted to the metal band. Just like the gemstone, the setting adds to the ring’s overall appearance and beauty.
Your ring setting choice will depend on the gemstone’s shape and cut. The cut refers to how the stone is polished to create many flat planes called facets. Some gem cuts include round, princess, pear, marquise, and cushion.
Still wondering what the setting is all about and why it’s crucial to the beauty of your engagement ring? We’ve got you. Let’s walk you through the various types of settings and help you decide the best one for you. We’ll start by identifying the parts of a ring.
Parts of a Ring
For a better understanding of ring settings, it’s important to know the various parts of a ring. Here’s a quick guide.
The center stone: This is the central stone in an engagement ring.
💡 Note: A ring can have more than one stone. These are called side stones.
The head: This is the metal that holds the gemstone. Some rings have claw-like metals called prongs, while others have a metal groove called a bezel. They prevent the center stone from falling out.
The shank: This is the metal band that encircles the finger.
Shoulder: These are the top left and right sides of the head.
Gallery: This is the area below the head at the bottom of the center stone.
The cathedral: These are arches of metals that extend above the shank to create an open space. A ring that features a cathedral is called a cathedral ring.
Hallmark: This is the marking inside the shank that indicates the type of metal and its quality.
Sizing area: This is found at the base of the shank. It is the area where a jeweler can resize the ring.
Types of Engagement Ring Settings
Here are 13 types of engagement ring settings.
This glamorous setting is a center stone mounted on the wedding band secured by a rim aesthetically adorned with small stones that encircle the center stone.
The result is a dazzling sparkle of light like a halo, as the name implies. The smaller stones can take the shape of the center stone, or they can have a different shape.
This setting is popular with celebrities and royalty around the world.
The halo setting elevates the center gemstone, making it appear about half a carat higher. Because of its popularity, you may need to customize it for a unique design.
This simple yet outstanding setting features a single stone. and a basic, neat design – perfect for the minimalist bride.
Its timeless and versatile design makes it a perfect match for various wedding bands. It works with any gemstone shape and size and is more affordable than other settings. So, it’s a great choice if you’re on a budget.
If the stone is high set, the prongs could snag clothing. Also, sometimes the prongs get loose and the stone may fall out.
This modern and durable setting features a thin metal strip encasing the gemstone on the band. The metal strip may cover the entire circumference of the stone or a part of it.
Broadly speaking, “bezel” is a term that encompasses all ring settings that don’t use claws or prongs to hold the stone in place. We refer to it in this instance though as a specific type of ring setting.
The bezel setting protects more fragile gemstones like pearls, morganite, and opal. It won’t snag clothes and is easier to clean and maintain. It’s perfect for wearers with an active lifestyle.
On the downside, it’s more expensive than other setting types. Also, it covers a portion of the gemstone, reducing its brilliance and making it look smaller.
Classic and elegant, this setting can be recognized by an elevation at the edges of the ring’s shank close to the head (arches holding the stone). It mimics the architectural structure of a cathedral, hence its name.
This setting gives the gemstone more prominence and stacks beautifully with notched wedding bands. It’s a great choice for the traditional bride.
Cathedral-set rings are not suitable for wearers with an active lifestyle, and the opening at the arches is prone to gathering dirt. It can also snag clothing.
Learn more about the cathedral setting.
Also known as gyspy setting, the flush ring setting features a gemstone sunken into a drilled hole in the metal band.
This simple and classic setting is also a popular design for men and women’s wedding bands.
It keeps the gemstone secure and is great for active wearers. Conservative brides looking for just a little sparkle will love this setting.
The issue with this setting is it hides the gemstone’s visibility and brilliance.
This setting highlights a seamless sparkling row of small gemstones set securely in a cut channel. The stones are snugly arranged together on the shank without spaces or metal between them.
The channel setting is a popular choice among young brides who like some extra sparkle. It can have an elevated center stone or not.
The gemstones are secure in the channel and less likely to fall out. Also, it will not snag your clothing. However, it reduces the stone brilliance to an extent, and it’s difficult to resize and repair.
This ring setting is achieved by including miniature diamonds or gemstones about 0.01 to 0.02 carats on the shaft of the ring using minuscule metal prongs.
It derives its name from the French word pave, which means paved or to cover a piece of flat ground with stones. The pave setting has the semblance of a surface covered in glittering stones.
The pave setting is perfect for the extra bride that loves sparkle and shine. It works well with most ring designs and doesn’t detract attention from the center stone.
However, it’s a delicate setting with the likelihood of stones falling out. Also, it’s more expensive than many other settings because of the time, skill, and effort required to create it.
Similar to the pave ring setting, the micro pave setting is made by including diamonds or gemstones that are less than 0.01 carat per stone into the holes and securing them using tinier metal prongs created at the shaft of the ring.
There can be more than 100 small diamonds in a micro pave set band. If you love the pave setting, but with more sparkle, this is a great choice. Also, jewelers can customize this setting to your desired design.
It’s difficult to resize and repair because of the line up of tiny stones. Also, the stones will most likely fall out.
This ingenious ring setting features a band that splits at the shank as it approaches the center stone.
The split shanks may have openings or could be intertwined. This setting is eye-catching and simply gorgeous. It makes the ring look larger and more elaborate. It’s perfect for the sophisticated bride.
The split shank draws attention to the center stone and pairs well with various diamond cuts. However, you’ll find it challenging to stack it with a wedding band. It’s also difficult to clean.
Like its name indicates, a set of small diamonds or gemstones are assembled closely on the head of a ring to resemble a larger diamond or gemstone. The cluster can resemble a flower, a square, or a sunburst.
This setting can also feature several stones at the head of the ring that do not correspond to each other in shape, size, or color. It can also be a cluster of stones surrounding a center stone.
The unconventional bride may find the cluster setting astonishing. It allows for your customized design and gem color combination preference. It’s also more affordable than a large center stone.
Its unique design makes it difficult to clean, and the smaller gemstones may fall out.
This is another unique setting in which the center stone appears to be suspended in the air. It uses compression to keep the gemstone in place.
Jewelers use lasers to determine the precise measurement of the gemstone so that it can fit perfectly into the cuts.
Although it appears fragile and unsafe, the tension setting is secure. Sometimes jewelers will add a tiny prong or bezel setting to keep it firmly in place.
The exposed center stone displays brilliance and fire to the superlative degree. The unique design will puzzle onlookers at first sight. This setting is easy to clean.
On the downside, it’s difficult to resize, and the stone could fall out on hard impact. The stone is prone to theft as the stone can be removed with household tools.
As the name implies, this setting uses prongs that are not visible at first glance. The gemstones are placed next to each other, then holes are carved under each stone and are set into a framework made of metal under the stones.
Since the framework is underneath the collection of stones, only the gemstones are seen, creating this masterpiece. The invisible setting creates the illusion of one large diamond with a flat surface.
It’s far more affordable than one big gemstone. This setting protects the gemstones from wear and tear. Its bold design makes it an excellent choice for daring wearers.
Note that it’s difficult to resize, and its brilliance is only visible at the top. Also, the holes in the stones affect its resale value.
The bar ring setting is similar to the channel setting, except the gemstones are separated by vertical bars. This allows light to pass through the gemstones resulting in brilliance and fire.
It’s a secure yet stunning setting for the unconventional, dramatic bride. It can also be a perfect wedding band. It’s less likely to snag on objects. Unfortunately, it’s prone to chipping and difficult to resize.
How to Choose the Best Engagement Ring Setting For You
How do you determine which ring setting is for you? Consider these 4 factors.
If you like minimalist styles, you may be drawn to the solitaire, flush, and bar settings. However, if you’re big on sparkle, you may be attracted to the halo, pave, micro-pave, channel, and cluster settings.
If your style is unconventional, the tension, split-shank, and cluster settings may catch your eye. If you love a prominent engagement ring, the cathedral setting may appeal to you.
To find a setting that reflects your personality, visiting several ring retailer websites or physical stores may be helpful. You’ll weigh your options and determine your preference before making a purchase.
Your decision will depend largely on your budget. If your budget is big and you care more about the security of your gemstone, you may consider the bezel setting.
On the other hand, if you have a smaller budget but have a penchant for sparkle and glitz, the cluster and invisible settings are worth considering. They are considerably more economical compared to one large, expensive stone.
The shape, cut, and size of the center stone will determine the type of ring setting you choose.
For example, the invisible ring setting can only work for square gemstones, not round, pear, or oval-shaped gemstones.
If you lead an active lifestyle, we recommend the bezel and bar settings in which a metal protects the gemstone.
These settings are more secure and protect the stone from wear and tear, unlike the invisible ring setting.
However, if your lifestyle involves minimal manual labor, consider prong settings like the pave, micro pave, tension and cathedral.
💡 Take Note: Consult a professional, experienced jeweler to find the best ring setting for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand you may still have questions about engagement ring settings. We’ve answered them here.
Which is the most popular engagement ring setting?
According to The Knot’s 2021 Jewelry and Engagement Study, a survey of over 5000 couples who got engaged in 2021 showed that 35% of engagement rings have a prong setting making solitaire the most popular design.
Which is the most affordable engagement ring setting?
Due to its relatively simple design and economic use of metal, the solitaire seems to be the most affordable ring setting.
Which is the most secure engagement ring setting?
The bezel setting is the most secure. It completely encloses the center stone in metal.
Can my engagement ring be set in other gemstones aside from diamonds?
Absolutely! Your choice of engagement ring is a personal and sentimental decision. There are several engagement ring stones available apart from diamonds. You can choose any gemstone you love and find a setting that accentuates it.
Which setting will you choose?
The engagement ring setting has a major effect on the aesthetics and overall appearance of your engagement ring.
Be sure to view several ring settings in physical jewelry stores, consult with the staff or an experienced jeweler, and by all means, try on the wedding rings to see how they actually look on your finger.
As you go through the exciting process of choosing an engagement ring, we truly hope you find an engagement ring setting that contributes to symbolizing your beautiful love. And remember, there’s a ring setting for everyone.
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