A GUIDE TO DIAMOND JEWELLERY SETTINGS

PRONG SETTINGS

A prong setting, sometimes known as a ‘claw’ setting, is exactly that – a stone set in place and held together using metal prongs. Prong settings are the most popular setting for a piece of diamond jewellery as it allows the maximum amount of light to reach the stone enabling it to sparkle in all its glory.

You can get four (the most popular), six, eight, ten or even double claw solitaires.

The prongs themselves also come in different styles. You have the choice of Round, Claw, Petite Claw and Tab

Benefits of a prong setting:

  • Enables the maximum amount of light to reach the stone.
  • Prong settings are easy to clean
  • They highlight the many different unique diamond shapes such as marquise and cushion. Some settings have so much metal it detracts the eye from the stone.

Prong setting considerations:

  • Prong settings are susceptible to getting caught, especially on clothing.
  • Claw settings can actually be quite painful (for the other person) if you happen to scratch someone with one!
  • Prong settings are not the strongest. Whilst they are fine for the majority of people, individuals who have labour intensive jobs would probably benefit from a setting which offers more protection to the stone.

Some of our favourite prong set pieces include (in order below): Poppy, Marabelle, Hallie, Ali

BEZEL

A bezel setting is an arc of metal that secures a ring’s main stone. Unlike prong settings above, which allow for a greater amount of light to hit, bezel set stones typically have metal covering the sides, leaving only the table of the diamond on show. You can get partial or full bezel setting.

Benefits of a bezel setting:

  • The setting won’t get snagged as it is fully covered
  • Bezel settings are one of the most secure jewellery settings you can get making them perfect for someone with a hands on job.
  • Bezel settings are great for enhancing the shape of fancy shaped diamonds and gemstones.

Considerations for a bezel setting:

  • Certain bezel settings can look a bit bulky depending on the design.
  • Due to the amount of metal that is required, bezel settings tend to be a lot more expensive compared to other settings.
  • With bezel settings, particularly full bezel settings, as there is less lighting reaching the diamond it can mean the diamond may appear slightly less sparkly.

Some of our favourite bezel set pieces include (in order below): Viridis, Lana, Kalika, Meredith

TENSION

In a tension setting, the diamond or gemstone is placed into an opening in the metal shank. Invisible grooves are cut into the metal to help hold the diamond in place which gives the illusion of the diamond floating. Tension settings are pretty unique and offer a modern twist for an engagement ring.

Benefits of a tension setting:

  • As barely any metal is covering the stone, more light is able to reach the stone.
  • Unique design
  • Bezel settings are great for enhancing the shape of fancy shaped diamonds and gemstones.

Considerations for a tension setting:

  • Because the metal band has to be created with the specific sized stone in mind to ensure proper holding strength, although not impossible, resizing a tension setting is not usually advised.
  • As the diamond is relying on the metal to hold it in place, the majority of tension set rings are thick and bulky looking. They are deliberately designed this way as thicker shanks provide the necessary strength needed for the tension setting.
  • If purchasing a tension setting ring, it’s best to purchase it with a larger carat stone as the smaller carat sizes can look even tinier in this particular setting.

A couple of our favourite tension set pieces include (in order below): Demi, Sancia

CHANNEL

A channel set ring features diamonds or gemstones set and secured in a row between two small walls of metal. This gives a very smooth finish to the band. Most channel set rings have a small lip of metal that extends very slightly over the edge of the diamonds to keep them secure.

Some channel set engagement rings also feature grooves inside the channel, which also act to secure the small diamonds or gemstones in place.

Benefits of a channel setting:

  • One of the biggest benefits of a channel setting is that the stones are extremely safe due to the two walls of metal holding them in place.
  • The stones are well protected from accidental knocks and hits that may chip them.
  • Due to there being no prongs, it means the channel set rings don’t snag on clothes

Considerations for a tension setting:

  • Due to the depth of the channel set stones, it can be hard to clean them and remove all the dirt. The best way to clean your ring is with an ultrasonic cleaner which we can do for you with our annual jewellery maintenance.
  • Because the channel set stones are surrounded by metal at the top and bottom, they can be less visible than stones with a more traditional prong setting.
  • They can be quite hard to resize as stones may need to be removed and the ‘walls’ retightened. There is no guarantee that once the resize has taken place, the ring will look like new.

Some of our favourite channel set pieces include (in order below): Harmonie, Yasmin, Dorothea, Efii

PAVÉ

The pavé setting is a ring setting that features small diamonds (known as melee) along the band of the ring. The French word translates to ‘paved’ and this jewellery technique was named as such because it resembles a paved or cobblestone road – how interesting is that!

To create this style of rings, accent diamonds or stones are set closely together for a dazzling, diamond-encrusted look.

Benefits of Pavé set rings:

  • Pavé set rings have one continuous shine, giving the wearer the illusion that the diamonds are bigger than they actually are.
  • Pavé set halo rings can look really beautiful. The pavé stones making up the halo help to make the centre stone appear larger than it actually is.

Considerations of a Pavé set rings:

  • Pavé set rings are very delicate. Since they have a lot of melee stones, if the ring gets knocked or takes a hit, it’s possible that a stone could come loose.
  • Due to the skill needed to set many stones, pavé set rings can be more costly than other styles such as a solitaire.
  • If you have sensitive skin then a pavé setting may not be for you. This type of setting will likely rub and irritate the adjacent fingers.

Some of our favourite pavé set pieces include (in order below): Aesa, Amaya, Estella, Nouveau Emerald