Even the most modest diamond packs a big punch if you choose the perfect setting in which to display it. In fact, every setting has its practical implications, just as it does flair. Some were created to make smaller stones look more impressive — others to help reinforce and stabilize the stone. Still other settings, such as estate or antique have been recreated to mimic a look from the past.
Before you invest in your perfect diamond, take time to envision it in all the available settings. You might be surprised at just how much the setting impacts the appearance of the ring.
This setting gets its name from the French word for “paved”. The highest-quality pave settings usually feature only minute pieces of metal anchoring each small diamond, giving the illusion that the setting is literally “paved” in precious gems. Pave set diamonds can be in a halo or on the shank of the ring.
Channel settings feature two parallel rows of metal that form a central channel into which any number of stones may be set. A channel-set band has no need of metal prongs between each stone because the channel, itself, holds them in place. This gives the ring a fresh, modern look.
A ring that features a bar setting displays each stone separated by a metal bar that holds it securely in place. Bar settings are a more contemporary design befitting modern brides who embrace minimalism.
Antique or Estate Setting
Estate settings, sometimes referred to as vintage or antique, are typically ornate in nature. They either are, or are made to mimic, ring styles from decades ago. Art Deco is a vintage setting. So is Edwardian. Rings in this style may feature stunning filigree accents, scrollwork or even floral-themed metalwork.
A prong-set stone is big on sparkle because it’s held aloft by metal prongs — anywhere from three to six — allowing light to enter through the bottom of the stone as well as the top.
A shared prong setting consists of two diamonds being held in place by a pair of shared prongs, usually two.
Bezel settings feature stones that are surrounded and held in place by a flat piece of metal. The metal overlaps the stone slightly around the edges to keep in firmly in place inside the ring. The bezel set is one of the oldest settings used for engagement rings.
The large, central gem is surrounded by a halo of smaller stones. If all the stones are the same color — such as diamonds — the center stone appears to be larger than it actually is.
Instead of remaining flat against the finger, a cathedral shank, as it’s commonly referred, curves upward at the setting of the ring. The center stone in a cathedral setting is positioned between bands that extend from either side. They angle up in such a way that draws the eye to the gemstone.
Every one of these settings will take your breath away when the perfectly cut stone is mounted inside. It’s up to you to decide which facets of your stone you wish most to emphasize, whether it’s carat, cut, clarity or color, and then you’ll better understand which setting makes the perfect canvas on which to display it.