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It’s All in the Details: Understanding Diamond Settings

January 5th, 2024

a close-up image of a diamond engagement ring

How the Side Stones are Placed

When admiring the sparkling side stones in a piece of jewelry, it's fascinating to examine how each diamond is set, as the setting style greatly influences the overall look and feel. Various techniques are used to secure and showcase these gems. For instance, the classic prong setting elevates the diamond, minimizing the metal's visibility and enhancing the stone's brilliance. In contrast, a bezel setting encircles the diamond, creating an illusion of increased size and adding a bold, dramatic flair.

These settings are particularly popular in bridal jewelry, each offering a unique aesthetic and practical benefits. The choice of setting not only affects the jewelry's appearance but also impacts the gem's protection and the ease of maintenance. Therefore, understanding the differences in diamond settings is crucial in selecting the perfect piece that aligns with both style preferences and practical considerations.

Prong Settings

Characterized by their simple yet elegant design, prong diamond settings use metal claws to securely hold a diamond in place. These prongs can vary in number and shape, such as pointed, rounded, or V-shaped, each delicately lifting the diamond to enhance its radiance and visibility. A popular variation is the shared prong setting, where diamonds are aligned side by side, sharing prongs between them. This arrangement allows for minimal metal use and maximizes the exposure of each diamond, resulting in greater light reflection and sparkle. Both classic prong and shared prong settings are favored for their ability to showcase the beauty of the diamond while ensuring security and durability.

a close-up of a hand wearing a diamond engagement ring with a prong setting

Pavé Settings

Pavé diamond settings are known for their extraordinary sparkle, and involve setting small diamonds close together, secured with tiny beads of metal. This creates an effect of continuous sparkle, as if the surface is 'paved' with diamonds. French pavé, a variant, features diamonds set into V-shaped grooves, enhancing the light reflection and making the diamonds appear even more brilliant. Micro pavé takes this further, using exceptionally small diamonds, each typically less than .01 carat. This results in a band that appears almost entirely made of diamonds, with multiple rows adding to the luxurious effect. Both French pavé and micro pavé settings are celebrated for their complex craftsmanship and intense sparkle, elevating the overall aesthetic of the jewelry.

Channel Settings

Another class of diamond settings, channels are renowned for their sleek, contemporary appeal. In this design, diamonds are set in a row between parallel metal walls, creating a smooth channel. This setting secures the stones firmly, offering a streamlined and refined look, ideal for wedding bands and everyday wear due to its snag-free nature. An interesting variation is the bar channel setting, where diamonds are separated and held in place by vertical metal bars. This not only adds a distinctive visual element but also provides extra security for each stone. Both styles protect the edges of the diamonds, minimizing potential damage, and making them practical, yet sophisticated choices.

a diamond engagement ring wrapped around a white cloth

Bezel Settings

The bezel diamond setting is distinguished by its modern and secure design. In this setting, a metal rim encircles the diamond, holding it in place. This rim can either fully or partially surround the stone. A full bezel completely encases the diamond's perimeter, offering exceptional protection and minimizing the risk of snagging. The partial bezel leaves the sides open, allowing more light to enter and enhancing the diamond's brilliance. Bezel settings are known for their clean lines and contemporary look, making them a popular choice for those seeking a crisp, durable design. They are especially suited for active lifestyles, as they securely anchor the diamond while maintaining a stylish appearance.

a bride lying down with flowers in her hair wearing a diamond engagement ring

Shop for Beautiful Diamond Jewelry at Wilson & Son Jewelers

Discover the phenomenal selection at Wilson & Son Jewelers, located in the heart of Scarsdale, New York. Whether you're seeking the perfect piece of fine jewelry or looking for expert diamond education, Wilson & Son is your premier destination. Immerse yourself in our luxurious collection by visiting our Scarsdale store for unparalleled craftsmanship and service. Need assistance with jewelry cleaning or have specific inquiries? Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help. Connect with us and learn more about diamond education and care, or reach out to schedule an appointment. Experience the elegance and expertise of Wilson & Son Jewelers today.