When shopping for an engagement ring, there are many choices. While some men will just walk in and choose a ring that looks good, there are many facets to an engagement ring that make it unique, beautiful, and functional. It’s essential to pick the right stone, the size and shape of the stone, and the band. Often overlooked, but arguably the most important is the setting of the ring.
What is a Ring Setting?
Simply put, the setting of the ring is the way the stone is connected to the band. The different types of settings not only enhance the look of the ring but the functionality as well. Different settings will allow a different amount of light to hit the diamond, will hold the diamond more or less securely, and will change the appearance of the diamond. Because so much of the ring is impacted by the setting, it is helpful to understand the different styles and options, in order to select the one that’s best for your ring.
Much of selecting a setting depends on personal preference since the setting can drastically change the way a ring looks on your finger. It changes how large the diamond appears and how securely the diamond is held in place. With that being said, depending on the shape of your diamond, the style of ring you want, and the activity level of the wearer, there are some settings that will make more sense. Luckily, experienced jewelers will be able to answer any of your questions and show you different setting options.
What Types of Settings Are There?
Every engagement ring will look unique on your soon-to-be fiance’s finger. She will have a precious gift that symbolizes your individual love story and your promise of forever. It can seem overwhelming to find that special ring, but we are here to help. There are seven engagement ring settings that are the most popular. This guide will help you choose the perfect setting for your perfect ring, to give to your perfect woman.
The Prong Ring Setting
The prong engagement ring setting is probably the most popular and traditional setting. It is a timeless setting that will stay in style no matter what the current trends are. The prong setting usually has between four and six hooks that reach from the band to the edge of the diamond to keep it attached. If you want a solitaire diamond ring that looks large, prongs are the way to go. Generally, the prongs are used with round diamonds. Prongs can be used with any other diamond shapes as well, the number of prongs and prong placement will just vary.
Diamond rings with four prongs will allow more light to hit the diamond, allowing it to sparkle more. However, rings with six prongs will hold the diamond more securely. For most diamond sizes and shapes, four prongs will be sufficient. If you are buying a ring with a large or uniquely shaped diamond, you may need to have six prongs.
Prong settings are very secure, but they can come loose over time. Every couple of years, it is important to have a jeweler check your prongs to ensure they are secure. We can think of no worse nightmare than the prongs coming loose, and your diamond falling out. While this is a highly unlikely scenario, it’s worth having the prongs checked. Also, prongs are known to get snagged on clothing and fabric. If your wife is highly active, you might want to consider a different ring setting that is more flush.
The Halo Ring Setting
The halo ring setting is a gorgeous setting that creates a dazzling effect. If you are on a tighter budget and are not going to buy a large center diamond, the halo setting is a great option. The halo engagement ring setting consists of multiple smaller diamonds forming a circle around the center stone. This creates a very sparkly ring that looks much larger than it is. The halo setting is an elegant and gorgeous choice. Behind prongs, halo settings are the second most popular setting.
Halo settings are a great option for any size, color, and shape of the stone. There are infinite options for how to create your halo setting. More traditional halo settings have a single ring of small diamonds around the center diamond. A more modern twist has the halo of smaller diamonds going around half of the center stone–either above or below it. There could also be multiple layers of smaller diamonds around the stone, creating a double halo. Some rings even have different sizes of smaller diamonds going around the center stone, which gives the ring a textured or layered look. The most common halo setting is a single halo around a circular-cut or princess-cut diamond.
The Bezel Ring Setting
Engagement rings with bezel settings are great for women with highly active lifestyles. The bezel ring setting has a thin strip or rim of metal that goes all the way around the top edge of the diamond. This rim is highly secure and also protects the diamond from chipping around the edges. The bezel ring setting makes the ring sit more flush and gives it a sleek look. Unlike prongs, a bezel setting will not snag or catch on hair, clothing, or other fabric.
Although the most secure, the bezel ring setting does have some drawbacks. The metal rim will block the bottom part of the diamond, making it appear smaller than it actually is. It will also block much of the light that would normally hit the diamond, reducing its sparkle and shine. To counter this, there are some partial bezel settings, that have the rim going only around half of the diamond. While not as secure as the full bezel, it still offers great protection, while also showing off that center stone. The bezel ring setting creates a very modern and trendy aesthetic.
The Channel Ring Setting
The channel ring setting is arguably the best option for multiple smaller diamonds. Channel settings are used in both engagement rings and wedding bands. As its name implies, with a channel setting, a row of smaller diamonds is held on both sides by a strip of metal. This creates a “channel” of diamonds. There is no metal that goes between the stones, which allows light to shine through and more of the diamonds to be visible. Like a bevel setting, the channel setting sits flush and prevents snagging.
While the channel setting is a fantastic option, like anything there are some drawbacks. First, channel settings need to be cleaned more often than other styles. Because there is no metal between the diamonds, lotion, soap, dirt, and other debris can become caked between the diamonds. If channel settings are not cleaned periodically, they can begin to appear dim or dingy. With regular cleaning, your ring will remain sparkly and brilliant. Secondly, channel settings can be difficult to resize. With the metal bands around the outside and the diamonds in the middle resizing becomes tricky without removing some of the diamonds.
The Pavé Ring Setting
The pavé ring setting is similar to the channel setting in that it incorporates many smaller diamonds. The difference, though, is that they are not squished between two metal bars. Rather, there are tiny holes in the metal band in which the diamonds are placed. The diamonds sit flush with the metal. This allows for the band to have many rows of tiny diamonds going around the whole finger. The word “pavé” is a French word meaning “paved,” which is an accurate name because the band appears to be paved in diamonds. Another distinction between the pavé setting and the channel setting is that with the pavé setting, there is no space between the diamonds. This creates an immensely elegant-looking ring with lots of shine.
The Bar Ring Setting
The bar engagement ring setting is also similar to the channel setting, in that the diamonds are held in place by metal bars. However, instead of two bars going along the outside of the diamonds in the channel setting, the bar setting has the metal going between the diamonds. In between each small diamond is a thin metal bar that secures the diamonds. The advantage over the channel setting is that less of the diamond’s area is covered, allowing more of the diamond to show and catch the light. The top, bottom, and sides of the diamonds are visible, giving a very unique and modern spin to the traditional ring. The bar setting can be used either for the entire band or just part of the band. While the diamonds and bars sit fairly flush, this setting is not recommended for someone who is overly active.
The Tension Ring Setting
Tension ring settings are a newer and very unique option. There are two pieces of metal on either side of the main stone, making the stone appear as though it is floating. The metal holds the stone like tweezers, squeezing the ring on two sides. The tension of the metal holds the stone in place. Tension rings are only recommended for the strongest stones, like diamonds and rubies. The hardness of these stones can withstand the pressure needed to hold them in place. If you have a fiance who loves to wear clothing and accessories that are totally unique and individualized, the tension setting is a fantastic choice. The only downside to these rings is that they are difficult to resize since it is held together by the tension of the band. With this in mind, you will need to know your fiance’s exact ring size when you order it.
Contact Grogan Jewelers Today
Whether you know exactly what style ring you want or you are just beginning your search, Grogan Jewelers is ready and excited to help you. Grogan has thousands of rings with different settings, and we can help you narrow down your options. If you are looking to create a custom ring, we would love to work with you to perfect the design and build exactly what you are looking for. We allow you to start your design with a stone or with a setting, so if you now know what style you want, you can visit our online design tool to build the perfect ring. No matter where you are in your ring search, reach out to Grogan Jewelers today!