The diamond is the star of any engagement ring, usually accounting for up to 90% of the ringâ€™s cost. The setting that you choose, however, is what shows the diamond to its best advantage and sets the overall look of the ring. It is not a decision to take lightly.
Each type of ring setting has advantages and disadvantages, and a setting that looks good with an round cut may not look quite right with a heart-shaped diamond. Before you write out the check, do your research and try on rings with a variety of different settings so that you are able to make an informed decision.
Here are a few of the more popular engagement ring settings, along with some of the pros and cons to each of them.
The most common setting for diamond engagement rings uses a series of small metal prongs to hold the stone firmly in place. This type of setting allows plenty of light to filter through the diamond to make it look its best, and it also allows for easy cleaning for all sides of the diamond. Because a prong setting leaves most of the diamond exposed, it also offers the least protection.
Choose an appropriate number of prongs for the size and type of diamond. Four prongs might not hold a large diamond securely enough, while six prongs may completely overwhelm a smaller stone. Be careful with prong settings, especially those set up very high up off the band as they have the tendency to get entangled in hair or to inadvertently scratch other people.
A bezel setting has a rim that fully or partially encases the diamond. This leaves a smooth ring surface and a well-protected diamond. Unfortunately, if you are planning on using yellow gold for the band, this type of setting might make a white diamond look less white than it really is. If you are using white gold or platinum for the band, a bezel setting can actually make a white diamond look larger.
A pave setting sets many very small diamonds into several rows that are flush with the band. If you are only able to afford a small central stone, a pave setting can make everything look just a bit bigger and more sparkly. If you are considering a pave setting with white diamonds, make sure to choose either white gold or platinum so that the metal almost disappears, leaving you with rows of diamonds. This setting allows you to design almost any type of look you want at a relatively small cost. Rings with pave settings should be checked every few months by a jeweler, as you may find that the smaller stones are not always secure after a long period of time.