EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DIAMOND SETTINGS
Planning a proposal is such an exciting process – one that requires finding the perfect engagement ring that will symbolise your love and commitment for many years to come. When it comes to looking for the perfect engagement ring, it’s important to consider the different diamond setting types. A diamond ring’s setting – the way in which the diamond is secured on a gold or platinum mount, is a key part of the anatomy of a diamond ring. The setting does not only contribute greatly to the overall design and everlasting beauty of the ring but safely secures the stone in place. To help you find the perfect engagement ring, we explore the various diamond ring settings below:
WHAT IS A PRONG OR CLAW SETTING?
Prong settings are likely among the most well-known diamond ring settings. This elegant setting is considered to be a popular choice when it comes to designing classic engagement rings like the solitaire. A prong setting usually has four to six thin metal claws that are placed on the diamond’s surface to secure its position. The intent of a prong setting is to really highlight the diamond’s brilliance by giving maximum exposure to the stone. Ideally, the prongs should end on the diamond’s surface. If the claws extend too high, the diamond’s top portion will be less visible, thus reducing its brilliance.
This particular range of settings can be shaped in different ways – prongs can be rounded, squared, V-shaped, elongated or even pointed. If you’re thinking about designing your own ring, keep the following in mind:
- The prong setting allows the diamond to take centre stage.
- Prong set diamond rings are easy to clean and maintain.
- A versatile engagement ring setting type that complements all diamond shapes.
- The prong setting is relatively easy to adjust for different sizes of stones.
- The diamond’s girdle is only partially covered, making it prone to chipping.
- Claw settings are more prone to get stuck on clothing.
WHAT IS A HALO SETTING?
Halo setting engagement rings are currently among the most sought-after engagement ring styles. In a halo setting, the centre diamond is completely encircled by smaller pavé or micro pavé set accent diamonds. The halo diamonds flash with light and draw the eye to the center diamond, which enhances the centre diamonds for a glamorous look. Halo settings can easily be personalised with different diamond shapes, metals and setting styles for the accent diamonds.
- The halo setting gives the appearance of a larger diamond.
- A dazzling setting that enhances the appearance of a slightly flawed centre diamond.
- Lots of smaller diamonds are exponentially less expensive than one diamond weighing the same.
- Wedding bands only work with some halo setting engagement rings.
WHAT IS A BEZEL OR TUBE SETTING?
Bezel set engagement rings feature diamonds that are completely or partially encircled by a thin border of precious metal holding it securely in place. This setting, also sometimes referred to as a tube setting, accentuates the diamond for a contemporary look. The bezel setting is commonly used for round cut diamonds but a highly skilled jeweller at Shimansky can make you a bezel setting for any shaped diamond, including oval, pear, heart and other fancy shape. For a lady with a more active lifestyle, consider a bezel setting.
- The bezel setting is very durable.
- A secure setting that holds the gemstone tightly.
- Protects the diamond from knocks.
- A bezel set diamond ring won’t snag clothing.
- Great choice for softer gemstones such as Tanzanite.
- Ideal for women with an active lifestyle or who work with their hands.
- The bezel setting can conceal a significant part of the gemstone.
- Could be slightly more expensive since more precious metal is used.
WHAT IS A CHANNEL SETTING?
The channel setting is similar to a pavé setting but uses thicker metal to secure the diamonds. This elegant diamond setting type is known to be a fantastic option for wedding bands and diamond anniversary rings. The channel setting features square diamonds or round brilliant diamonds gracefully suspended between two parallel walls of precious metal for a smooth and elegant look.
- The channel setting securely holds the diamonds in place.
- Stones are better protected against accidental knocks.
- The many small diamonds add a dazzling sparkle to the ring.
- Designed to be more practical for everyday wear.
- The channel setting is relatively hard to repair and resize.
- It could be difficult to clean trapped dirt deep inside the channels.
- Stones are less visible than in other diamond ring settings, like the prong setting.
WHAT IS A PAVÉ SETTING?
The pavé setting, also sometimes referred to as a bead setting, comes from the French word, ‘paved’ referring to the paving of the diamonds on the ring. Typically, the diamonds used for a this type of setting must be 0.01 to 0.02 carats to be deemed ‘pavé’ – anything smaller than that is called ‘micro pavé setting’. In this glamorous setting style, a lot of small diamonds are set closely together for a dazzling diamond-encrusted look, giving the overall impression that the diamonds are ‘paved’ along the band. The metal is then formed in a way that it creates tiny beads securing the diamonds in place.
- The pavé setting enhances the appearance of a centre diamond that is somewhat lower in brilliance with a less than perfect cut or clarity grade.
- A pavé setting ring is ideal for brides-to-be who want extra sparkle for a dazzling look.
- Many smaller diamonds are less expensive than one diamond weighing the same.
- Pavé settings are susceptible to stone loss.
- This diamond setting type has more tiny spaces for dirt to collect.
- Requires more inspection and maintenance than most other diamond ring settings.
WHAT IS A TENSION SETTING?
The tension setting is designed in a way that the diamond is tightly secured in one position by the pressure of the metal bands on either side. Usually there are two tiny grooves carved into the metal where the diamond’s girdle comes into contact with it to keep the stone in place. With the tension setting the diamond appears to be floating between the two sides of the shank, which creates a mesmerising appearance.
- The tension setting displays the entire profile of the diamond, making it more visible.
- Enhances light reflection due to minimal metal surrounding the diamond.
- A great choice for brides-to-be who want a modern, minimalistic and unusual engagement ring that stands out from the rest.
- Requires less maintenance than other diamond setting types, like the prong setting
- The classical tension setting is only suitable for hard stones such as diamonds, rubies and sapphires.
- The stone needs to be of very high quality as imperfections are more visible in a tension setting.
- Not ideal for someone with a very active lifestyle as the diamond is exposed.
- The tension setting is difficult to resize.
WHAT IS A MICRO SETTING?
The micro setting, also known as the micro pavé setting or micro prong setting, is a delicate setting that requires the skills of a reputable, expert jeweller. It involves multiple small diamonds set closely together in two or more rows and secured in place by small (micro) prongs. A micro pavé setting, a relatively modern technique, uses smaller stones than a traditional pavé setting. Similar to the pavé setting, micro set diamonds give an encrusted look and add to the overall design of the ring. This style of setting is featured in halo diamond rings and micro set diamond rings.
- The micro pavé setting is ideal for the bride-to-be who loves a dazzling look.
- Lots of smaller diamonds are less expensive than one big diamond with the same carat weight.
- The micro prong setting creates a smooth surface ideal for active lifestyles.
- Micro pavé settings are susceptible to stone loss.
WHAT IS A GYPSY SETTING?
The gypsy setting, also known as the swiss setting or hammer style setting, is often used in the design of men’s wedding bands. This specific type of setting insures that the diamond is placed flush with the surface of the metal. The metal is then pressed and hammered around the perimeter of the stone to secure it, protecting the diamond’s girdle from being exposed. The gypsy setting, in addition, is also very practical for everyday use.
- The gypsy setting is one of the most secure diamond ring settings.
- Ideal for someone who works with their hands or with an active lifestyle.
- Protects diamonds from accidental knocks.
- Stones are less visible than in other diamond setting types.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHICH TYPE OF SETTING PROVIDES MAXIMUM PROTECTION FOR A DIAMOND?
The bezel setting and gypsy setting are among the most secure diamond ring settings. With these types of settings the diamond is completely surrounded by precious metal and the diamond’s table is flush with the surface, keeping it protected from accidental knocks.
WHAT SETTING MAKES A DIAMOND LOOK BIGGER?
The halo setting is considered a great diamond setting type to give a smaller diamond a larger appearance. The smaller accent diamonds accentuate the centre stone’s shine and add sparkle to the ring.
HOW MUCH IS A SETTING FOR A DIAMOND RING?
If you have an heirloom diamond that you would like to put into a modern setting, Shimansky can assist you in designing your own engagement ring. The cost of the setting will depend on the precious metal used, the type of setting and the intricacy of the design. To find out more you are welcome to book a personal consultation with one of our specialists.
HOW ARE DIAMONDS SET IN A RING?
Setting the diamond in a gold or platinum mount requires the skills and craftsmanship of a master jeweller, since this delicate process is done by hand. When deciding on a diamond ring setting, the shape and size of the stone is considered. The structure of the design should complement the diamond to display its brilliance at its best. Different diamond setting types require different techniques. To observe Shimansky jewellers at work in the Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Workshop, book a Diamond Tour at Shimansky’s flagship showroom at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
CAN YOU SET DIAMONDS IN SILVER?
Yes, diamonds can be set in silver. However, due to the exquisite nature of Shimansky diamonds, our jewellers prefer to use 18-carat gold or platinum, ensuring a timeless treasure that will become a family heirloom.
When it comes to making a decision on buying a diamond engagement ring, the setting is an important design consideration. If you are unsure of what style ring your significant other will prefer, Shimansky will gladly assist. We have a wide range of engagement ring designs with various diamond setting types. Our diamond specialists will guide you in finding or designing a one-of-a-kind ring that will capture your soul mate’s unique personality and style. For more information visit your nearest Shimansky store.