Believe it or not, a setting can drastically impact the ring’s and stone’s appearance. Depending on the shape and size of your rock, the right setting can make it look more impressive to the eye while the wrong one can have the opposite effect.
The setting is also necessary to consider with respect to your lifestyle, as some may not be suitable for an active person.
How to Choose the Right Diamond Ring Setting
A ring setting refers to the way the diamond and/or stone is secured to the band. There are many types, and each has its own benefits and downsides. When choosing a diamond ring, the setting is often overlooked, especially if the ring is not custom-made.
However, it is an important aspect to consider for a number of reasons. To understand this better, let’s look at some of the most popular ring settings to find out why.
The prong setting is by far the most popular setting out there, especially for solitaires. The main stone is secured in place by either four or six “hooks” at the edges. Four prongs show off the diamond more and it’s a style best reserved for bigger stones that don’t need additional embellishment.
The minimal amount of metal maximizes a stone’s light exposure so it sparkles more. And since it uses very little additional metal compared to other settings, it might shave some money off the final bill.
Six prongs, on the other hand, can give the diamond a bit of a visual size boost. It’s also more secure than a four-prong setting and may be worth it if you’re worried about losing an expensive gem.
One iconic version of the six-prong setting is the Tiffany setting, coined by Tiffany & Co. in 1886, which has the stone set higher than normal above a plain metal band.
The main downside of any prong setting is that it may overshadow the diamond if your stone is very small (less than 1/2 a carat). And as mentioned before, the prongs provide minimal security for the stone if one of them comes loose.
Arguably the most secure setting, the bezel setting is best suited for someone that fears accidentally snagging their ring but still wants a big central stone.
This is because the diamond is completely encircled by a thin metal frame around its perimeter. Done right, it can also give the illusion that your stone is bigger than it actually is.
Possibly the second-most popular setting, the halo setting features a larger diamond in the center, encircled by smaller stones. This is a great choice if you want your centerpiece to appear bigger than it is. The combination also adds additional sparkle to the ring and creates a unique overall look.
Another reason why the halo setting is a top option is that it is more budget-friendly as it’s much cheaper to buy several small diamonds compared to one big one.
The cluster setting is quite similar to the halo setting except there is no large stone in the center. Instead, multiple small diamonds are arranged in such a way that they appear to be one big rock.
This is also a very popular option as the combination of small stones in lieu of one big stone makes the ring much cheaper. And since each of the stones is individually secured, they will be less likely to get damaged or snagged on clothes.
On the other hand, if you’re not worried about your ring sticking out too much, you might want to opt for a cathedral setting, which essentially just means the diamond is set higher above the band than normal.
From the side, it will even look like the stone is framed, adding a dramatic boost to the overall appearance and maximizing light exposure. This is optimal for those who plan on stacking multiple bands together and offers more opportunity for a unique design around the centerpiece.
Another relative of the halo, the pavé setting has one large solitaire diamond front and center, and smaller stones around it. The main difference is that the smaller stones are placed side-by-side on the wedding band instead of around the diamond itself.
This adds more sparkle to the ring without coming off as being “too much” and doesn’t distract from the main stone. The pavé is often combined with the halo setting for a more striking visual effect.
Instead of having one centerpiece stone, the bar setting has multiple stones separated by metal plates along the band.
It’s one of the best options for active people as there are no gems sticking out and the risk of snagging the ring on anything is minimal. It’s a popular contemporary option without being too minimal.
Considerably the most unique option, the tension setting features a diamond compressed between two ends of the band, giving the illusion that the stone is almost floating.
This setting is only suitable for the hardest gems, such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, because the pressure may crack softer stones. The main downside to this setting is that it makes the ring difficult to resize in the future.
Similar to the bar setting, the channel setting has a line of diamonds along the wedding band, but no metal separating the individual stones.
Instead, the diamonds appear to be “sandwiched” between two very thin bands of metal. It is also very durable and non-obtrusive but provides less light exposure (hence, less sparkle) to the stones.
Which Option Is Best for Me?
As you can tell, a lot should be considered when choosing a setting. Think about your day-to-day lifestyle, fashion preference, and the shape and size of your diamond to start.
It may be best to go to a shop and try on various options to see what fits you best. If you’re unsure, always feel free to consult with the salesperson, sharing both desires and concerns, as that’s what they’re there for.