Diamond Setting Types and Engagement Ring Settings
An engagement ring consists of two parts. The band or shank that encircles the finger. And the main setting or head, which hold the centre gemstones in place. The main setting holding the centre main gemstone can be a claw (prong) setting, bezel setting or tension setting
The shank can be plain or contain small diamonds set into hollows, grooves or channels. Small diamonds set in the ring setting can be channel set, claw set, pave or bead set, or gypsy set.
The Claw Setting
One of the most popular style of settings for engagement rings is the claw setting. This style of setting is also known as the prong setting. Depending on the shape and style of diamond chosen, settings such as this can be two or three claws.
A four claw setting is often used in a contemporary style of design to give an up to date appearance. A princess diamond will often be set in four claws.
For a more vintage or traditional style a six claw or prong setting will be favoured.
For the larger diamond, eight claw settings give greater security. For additional design appeal, the prongs can be crafted into various shapes, but rounded ends are often more popular as they are less likely to damage or be damaged.
The Bezel Setting
This particular setting has become very popular because of it's contemporary appeal. The bezel is also known as the rub-over setting and is where the setting completely encloses the stone within. The metal, be it gold or platinum is at the same level as the top of the diamond so making a smooth view. This is one of the most secure types of setting and can be customised to change the look of the piece. For a unique look, small segments of the metal making up the bezel are removed to reveal more of the stone.
For a diamond that has been cut to a very high standard, the bezel in no way prevents a stone from sparkling as it should not reduce it's beauty. For other gemstones such as coloured stones the bezel provides greater protection and therefore increases the confidence of the wearer. It can prevent chips and scratches occurring to the pavilion and the girdle of a gemstone.
The Channel Setting
This beautiful setting is a wonderful way to show diamonds at their most exquisite. This setting is often chosen for wedding rings that incorporate diamonds, for the shoulders of a ring where ultimate sparkle is required, and for eternity rings.
The diamonds within the setting must be of the same size. They are then very neatly placed close together in a channel of platinum or gold, providing an unbroken sweep of exquisite sparkle.
For security, each individual stone is placed within a tiny bay cut into both sides of the channel. The baguette style of diamond is particularly effective within a channel setting.
Designed to enhance a diamond, it can also make a diamond look larger. One or two rows of diamonds set very close to the centre diamond following its contours.
The Pave Setting
The pave' setting is one of the most glamorous settings for a ring. It is also known as the bead setting. Tiny beads of the chosen metal such as gold or platinum are used to hold a number of small diamonds in place, giving a sweep of optimum sparkle. 'Pave' means paved with diamonds and the term is used when there is a number of rows of diamonds within the setting of the ring.
The Tension Setting
This is a very contemporary method of setting a stone into platinum, generally considered to be the best metal for this kind of setting. The setting is used so that light penetration of the stone can be optimised giving the diamond a 'suspended' quality.
The pressure of the metal on the stone secures it in place.
The Gypsy Setting
Also known as a flush mount this setting is often used for fancy diamond shapes. The stone is set within the metal so that is does not protrude above the surface of the ring and only the crown is visible.
The chosen metal will be cut so that the diamond can be placed within the recesses before polishing. Patterns are sometimes cut into the metal around the stone, such as the star pattern.