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Setting Types

So much goes into finding the perfect ring, including the stone cut, metal, and design. The setting type plays a big role in the overall appearance of the ring, with some that really let the stone sparkle and others that contribute to the overall aesthetic. Here's a guide to the different setting types you can choose to ensure you pick the perfect ring.

Prong

Prong Ring Setting Type

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There's a good reason why the prong setting style endures as one of the most popular setting types out there. The prong setting, sometimes called a claw setting, typically has four or six prongs bent at the edges to form a basket shape beneath a diamond. This fits the stone snugly in place without using much metal, allowing more light to hit it. It also sets the diamond high, which allows the stone to reflect the most possible light from top to bottom. 

The setting type is very versatile as well. Jewelers can use it for simple or elaborate designs depending on what you envision for your ring. Prongs generally hold faceted stones, which have a flat top and pointed bottom, and prong heads can hold one stone for a simple look or many for a captivating ring. 

Shared Prong

In this setting, each stone shares a set of prongs in a band. Jewelers often use this setting for larger diamonds that need more metal than smaller stones to hold them in place. This is a useful setting to enhance light reflection for larger stones grouped together. If each stone had its own prong setting, the extra metal would block the light. Shared prong settings have less metal, allowing more light to reflect off of the stones while keeping them firmly in place. This setting is a popular choice for diamond wedding bands and eternity rings. 

Bezel

The bezel setting was the earliest method used to attach stones to jewelry. You'll still find plenty of designs that utilize this technique, which is a testament to the continuing popularity of the style. To create this setting, a jeweler wraps the metal around a stone, leaving only the face visible. The traditional, classic design makes it a go-to setting for an engagement ring. The timeless style focuses attention on the gemstone and can certainly make a statement.

Beyond its timelessness, a bezel setting is ideal for its strength. It's typically more secure than a prong setting, though it won't let as much light hit the stone, which could reduce its sparkle. This makes bezel setting ideal for cabochons, which are polished stones that are not faceted. Bezel settings are also great for softer stones, like opal and turquoise, that are more likely to chip in prong settings.

Half Bezel

A half-bezel setting takes the classic charm of the standard bezel setting and adds a contemporary touch to the design. The difference between the two setting types is as straightforward as the name implies. Instead of wrapping around the whole stone, this setting only encompasses about half of the edges, leaving the other edges exposed.

By leaving approximately half of a stone's edge uncovered, this setting highlights that stone's angles. It's a great way to show off a unique stone in a modern way. Half-bezel settings expose more of the stone than a standard bezel setting, making it a good choice for diamond rings. 

Channel Ring Setting

Image via Unsplash by Michelle McEwen

Channel

Common in wedding ring designs, channel settings use two bars to secure a ring's gemstones. In order to align several stones in a row, a goldsmith cuts channels lengthwise into the ring. Then, they place stones into the channels. The edges of the channel overlap the diamonds, and parallel bars that are narrower than the stones hold them in place. The two straight lines allow for a group of smaller stones to create a flush finish with the band.

A channel setting is a great way to highlight the stones themselves as there is no metal between them, which creates a unique look. You can choose a design that has bars that are narrower on one end or one with bars running totally parallel throughout the design with stones all around the ring. You can often find engagement rings with channel settings that accentuate the diamond in the middle. Channel settings can be more difficult to resize, so make sure the ring you want fits before you buy it, or you can create a custom ring. 

Pavé

Pave Ring Setting at Hustedt Jewelers

Imave via Unsplash by Sabrinna Ringquist

This specialty setting is one of the most difficult to create due to the precise tasks a jeweler must follow. The beautiful technique involves many imprints on the surface of the metal used to hold the stones. 

To create a pavé setting, a jeweler drills tiny holes into the metal. Then, they set the stones in the holes with small beads of the same metal. As a result, you won't be able to see much metal, which enhances the reflective properties each stone has. This type of setting allows for multiple smaller stones to cover a bigger surface, creating the illusion of a solid piece due to the lack of gaps between stones. Many wedding and eternity rings use pavé setting

Bar

Typically made of white gold or platinum, bar settings work well for stones that are very hard. The setting uses angled, shiny surfaces to enhance the stone, making it seem larger. You'll commonly see bar settings in engagement rings or wedding bands that have diamonds. A bar setting is a common setting in men's jewelry as well.

To create a bar setting, a jeweler wedges bars with grooves between stones, which holds the stones in their places. Though bar settings usually incorporate diamonds, you'll also find this type of setting used for emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. 

Once you've settled on the ring style you want, it's time to choose a setting that will show off the stones. We offer a variety of unique rings with just the right settings to bring out the best in the stones. If you're interested in creating a one-of-a-kind ring, we can custom create your vision with your own stones or something from our extensive collection. 

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