THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ENGAGEMENT RING SETTINGS
Choosing the right engagement ring is a challenging journey of many hidden variables. You will need to navigate the multitude of precious stones in a rainbow of nuances, different stone shapes and design patterns before moving on to the type of ring settings. Of course, you can go with your sixth sense and simply pick out something that suits your beloved’s style and personality, but it is still strongly recommended that you learn to identify at least several design features that are important to the whole composition of the engagement ring.
THE CENTER GEMSTONE SETTING
The centre gemstone setting defines the overall look of your engagement ring. It showcases the main centre gemstone, holding it securely in place. There are many variations to choose from and each is unique and beautiful in its own way.
As indicated by its name, a basket setting secures the gemstone in a basket shape. It accentuates the brilliance of the stone while keeping it set low.
A trellis setting features interwoven prongs that make for an elegant design. They secure the gemstone low in a basket shape.
In a bezel setting the centre stone is fully surrounded by a thin border of precious metal. This is to hold the gem securely in place while enhancing the beauty and lustre of the main gem.
Unlike the bezel, the semi bezel setting has two thin borders of precious metal arcing around the East and West sides of the centre gem. This is done to allow for more light to pass through and irradiate the stone.
In a halo setting, the smaller accent diamonds completely encircle the centre gemstone, enhancing its beauty. The whole composition is glamorous and casual, making it one of the most popular settings for engagements rings.
The classic three stone ring setting features a larger centre gem framed on either side by smaller or equal sized gems. This is a beautiful architectural representation and symbol of a couple’s past, present, and future.
A compass point setting consists of a centre gemstone held securely in place by four precious metal prongs. They are each located on the North, South, East and West sides of the gem, hence its name.
A ring can have an integrated head or a peg head, where one with an integrated head is cast as a continuous piece of precious metal, and the centre gemstones will typically sit lower. A peg head is soldered separately onto the ring shank and holds the diamond a bit higher. The majority of peg head settings feature four or six prongs securing.
ACCENT GEMSTONE SETTING OPTIONS
Accent gemstones are the small diamonds or other precious or semi-precious stones incorporated into an engagement ring to add a touch of sparkle and glamour. Just like with centre gemstone rings, there is a variety of setting options to consider. Accent gemstones can embellish just a portion of the ring or fully encircle the entire band in the so-called “eternity” style.
One of the most popular settings is the Channel setting, where gemstones are delicately suspended between two parallel walls of precious metal for a graceful, elegant look.
With a shared prong setting, adjacent gemstones share precious metal prongs to allow more light to pass through and illuminate them in a dramatic fashion.
The bar setting is a variation of the popular channel setting, where gems are held in place between parallel vertical channels. With flush set gemstones – only the top of the gem is visible and the ring’s surface appears smooth and even as no precious metal prongs are required to hold the gem in place and this permits a number of pattern varieties.
The pave or bead setting is a glamorous one, where the gemstones are closely set together for a dramatic, diamond-encrusted look. They are held in place by small beads of precious metal, hence the name.
The French pavé setting is extremely sought-after for its elegance and sophistication as the metal beads that secure the diamonds feature a small V shaped cut-out underneath each diamond, making them appear as split prongs from the top.
The final setting is the scalloped pavé technique, where metal beads with small U shaped cut-outs create a scalloped effect for additional sophistication and glamour.
On top of all these settings there are a striking variety of ring shanks or bands that finish the composition. The band is an important design element as it affects both the appearance of the ring and how it feels to the wearer. The finishing precious metal details are another detail of the ring as they add interest or embellishment to the pattern. Finishing details can affect the overall appearance of the design, giving it either a more contemporary or vintage look.