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The way your diamond is held in place and set will affect its overall look, brilliance and protection. Read on to discover the main types of diamond settings to help you choose the perfect ring.
The most common and classic engagement ring setting is called a prong setting. A prong is a tiny metal claw that holds one diamond tightly in place. This is also known as a solitaire ring. Prongs can be rounded, pointed, flat, or V-shaped (the latter being the most common for princess-cut diamonds).
Most prong settings feature either four or six prongs; with the former you can see more of the diamond, but the latter is more secure. People choose this setting for the minimal presence of metal, so that there’s more diamond to be seen and more light that can pass through the diamond, thus adding to its brilliance.
The bezel setting is the second most popular ring setting due to its stylish look and stone security/protection, making it suitability for an active lifestyle. Instead of holding the diamond with prongs, the bezel setting encircles the centre stone with a thin metal border to hold the stone tightly in place. This makes the bezel setting one of the most durable styles of engagement ring.
A bezel setting can be a full or partial setting: a full bezel completely surrounds the stone whereas a partial bezel leaves the sides open. It’s a great choice for people that work with their hands and others looking for a ring that won’t snag and will adequately protect the diamond.
The tension setting is named for the tension of the metal band that secures the diamond in place; the result is that the diamond appears suspended between the two sides of the band.
With extremely high precision, the jeweller expertly cuts tiny grooves into the band, so that the precious stone is literally held by the pressure of its neighbouring metal band, which pushes into points of the stone.
Similar to this, a tension-style setting features a comparable look to a straight tension setting but are less expensive and difficult to make. The tension-style settings add extra security since they employ a prong or bezel setting on the side or underneath the diamond to hold the diamond firmly in place.
The cathedral setting is one of the most elegant and timeless engagement ring settings. Named after the gothic style arches of a cathedral, this ring setting consists of a center diamond or other precious gemstone flanked by arches of metal that come up from the shank to hold it in place.
The cathedral setting creates added height to the ring, which can make the stone look larger, but also comes with the added risk of getting caught or snagged, although the precious stone is very secure with this type of setting.
Three Stone Settings
The three-stone setting consist of three stones set closely together and represent the couple’s past, present, and future.
These stones can either be all the same size or, more commonly, the centre stone is larger than the two side stones, which adds a more tapered look and creates a smoother shape. Some people choose to add colour to this ring by using coloured side stones, such as sapphires, rubies or emeralds. The most popular diamond shapes for this setting are the round brilliant cut and the princess cut.
A miracle setting ring consists of a bold centrepiece diamond with a faceted, shiny miracle plate head surrounding it. This results in a slight skewing of its appearance, making it look larger or of a slightly different shape.
Miracle heads, or illusion heads as they are also known as, will likely have a fluted or scalloped design that mimics the facets of the centre stone, which creates a "stretching of the stone" illusion. A miracle setting is commonly regarded in the jewellery industry as a great way to get more for your money.
A beauifully stylish way to highlight a miracle plate setting is with a ring, or halo, of small luminous diamonds. This is known as a halo setting. Halo settings are a very popular engagement ring choice because, just like the miracle plate itself, diamond halos make a high impact on the centre diamond, making it appear larger. It also has the added benefit of more sparkle and a beautiful border of diamonds.
Halo settings can be designed with a smaller pavé (or pavement) of diamonds that are identical in shape and colour as the larger center stone they encircle, or contrasting shapes or colours such as white and pink that enhance the visual appeal of the ring. They can also consist of two halos for further accentuation of the centre stone and more brilliance.
Rings with illusion settings feature smaller diamonds, often princess cuts, set next to each other. As the name suggests, the illusion settings makes for a ring with an appearance of a larger diamond and is known to produce intricate, visually arresting designs.
Illusion settings do not require a large centrepiece diamond. They can consist of, say, four diamonds in a square pattern, or many small diamonds in a range of designs.
Symbolising infinite love, an infinity setting features a band with an infinity symbol-shaped pattern made up of two interwoven bands. The bands can be either unadorned or with pavé-set diamonds that frame and draw attention to the center diamond.
A cluster setting is aptly names as multiple stones are clustered tightly together in order to look like a large diamond. It can either contain a larger center stone or cluster together stones of equal size.
Not only does a cluster setting create the illusion of a larger stone, it also adds dimension and texture, and it can be designed to showcase a variety of shapes. It is often more affordable than a large, single stone.
To find out more about what style setting might be best for you, click here.