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Tension Settings: Everything You Need to Know

Tension Settings: Everything You Need to Know

Today, we’ll talk about tension sets for engagement and other rings and all you need to know about them. This setting style is quite familiar and popular among diamond and jewelry enthusiasts and lovers. So, today, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Tension settings!

To begin with, if you want a simple piece of jewelry while also increasing your aesthetic, we advise you to choose a tension-set design. 

To further explain the features of tension settings, we must go over many chapters such as: What is a Tension Set Engagement Ring, Tension Setting History, Pros and Cons, and much more.

Let’s look at Tension Settings and learn everything we can about them! 

What Exactly Are Tension Setting Rings?

A tension design is a simple ring setting in which the diamond or other gemstone hovers midair inside the ring’s band.

This setting, first devised in the late 1960s, employs specially treated metals with natural “springiness” to hold the ring in place. We will later refer to the history of tension settings in the text under the History chapter.

Instead of prongs, the whole band of the ring functions as two significant prongs to keep the stone in place, generally with little carved recesses that fit around the stone’s girdle.

The stone is kept securely in place with a tensile strength of 65-95 pounds and has a distinctive floating aspect.

Many couples are initially apprehensive about the security of tension settings since the stone is only kept in place by two points.

It is maintained by contact rather than the more common four or six points of contact with prong settings or even complete contact settings such as flush or bezel setting designs.

The stone is held more firmly in a tension arrangement than in a classic prong form. It is because the metal used for tension is typically more robust than that used for prongs, and more of the metal is in touch with the stone than through narrow prongs, resulting in a tighter, stronger fit.

Because the tension setting ring is custom-made for each diamond, it is produced only after the diamond has been purchased.

The setting is calibrated to suit the selected diamond and can’t be modified or resized once purchased. Well, it maybe can be resized, but it’s a very difficult process. We will talk about the resizing process later in this article.

Lasers are used to calibrate the setting to impart precisely proportionate pressure to the diamond, ensuring that it is firmly secured without fracturing.

Although a tension setting is entirely secure, it can be destroyed if a hard object strikes the diamond ring. Even though the tension setting is a relatively new diamond setting, it is gaining popularity due to its unique design.

Simultaneously, new tension-style settings are gaining popularity for imitating the exciting look of a tension setting without the price and laborious construction procedure.

The tension-style setting is a unique and daring diamond setting option that employs a concealed bridge. It is to provide the dramatic effect of a natural tension setting at a fraction of the cost.

The tension-style setting is an excellent starting point for many unusual engagement rings. It combines the security benefits of both types of diamond settings – the secure grip of prongs with the smooth profile of a tension setting.

Designs for Tension Setting Rings

The traditional tension design is just a round diamond held within the ring band, but as more couples seek distinctive designs, tension arrangement types have become increasingly diversified.

Design components to consider include:

  1. Angled setups are preferred over perpendicular ones.
  2. Prongs with increased tension where the band is fashioned like an omega rather than a circle.
  3. Channel or flush put accent stones into the band.
  4. Various stone forms.
  5. Twisted or “bypass” designs keep the ring in place along the band’s sides rather than where the two cut edges would meet.
  6. Filigree patterns and various decorations on the band
  7. Combination settings in which one side of the ring is secured by tension and the other by a single prong. 

Because of their simplicity, tension-setting engagement rings were once best suited for men’s engagement rings. Still, with so many design possibilities available today, more and more brides-to-be are opting for the subtle beauty of a tension ring.

Whether you pick a more classic diamond setting or the startling beauty of tension or tension-style setting, make sure to properly investigate your options and select the diamond setting that best matches your taste and lifestyle.

A tension setting may accommodate almost any diamond shape. However, it is most commonly used with Round Cut and Princess Cut diamonds.

Tension settings are a fashionable choice for any precious metal because of their robust support and sophisticated appearance.

These settings are available in the same metals as conventional engagement rings, including white, yellow, rose gold, and platinum.

Because of its natural strength and durability, titanium is the most widely used metal for tension rings. However, many jewelers also offer platinum, and other already mentioned metals, along with stainless steel designs.

Multi-tone rings are also available, with a contrasting metal or ceramic inlay aligned with the stone.

Durability, Lighting  And Safety Of Tension Setting

The tension setting may appear weak, yet it is secure and long-lasting. The center stone is securely secured, with little chance of falling out.

While it is not often obvious, the sides of the diamond that come into touch with the metal in a tension setting are frequently inserted in metal grooves or fastened with small prongs, adding an extra degree of security.

What about tension control and lighting performance of tension settings, you may wonder? Tension setting is one of the most beautiful aspects of witnessing the magnificence of diamonds.

The tension setting allows light to touch the diamond from all angles, resulting in a stone with great fire, brightness, and scintillation because minimal metal interferes with the stone’s light performance.

Try to examine any spiral tension set engagement ring from various perspectives as it rotates around. You can see how the light interacts with the stone from all sides, creating a brilliant diamond.

You can also see the stone’s form and its cut quality. You can see it from any aspect, even the bottom, obscured in typical settings once mounted.

Different Types Of Tension Setting

While the idea underlying tension ring settings stay the same, the diverse styles and combinations employed are luxury on their own, each with its fascination. 

Let’s see different types and styles of tension settings!

1. Engagement Rings with Classic Tension Sets

The minimalist aesthetic is excellent. Tensile force is met by the two parts of the ring in the traditional tension ring, which is excellent for a modern touch of solitaire rings.

2. Engagement Rings with Bypass Tension Set

Unlike the standard tension set ring, which has the two sides of the ring meet in the middle, bypass settings, which were initially developed during the Victorian era, overlap at a 90-degree right angle. It meets perpendicularly, as opposed to the classic parallel technique.

3. Rings for Tension Bar Sets

Bar sets, like the original tension system, differ when they join with the central diamond.

Instead of merely joining the band’s sides, two metal bars give support and elevation while pointing forwards rather than inwards. It is Making a beautiful frame of sorts.

4. Rings with Split Shank Tension Sets

Split shank rings, which are popular in their own right owing to their great distinctive appearance, can also be paired with the tension idea.

The ring’s shank is divided into two halves, resulting in two independent yet eventually joined pieces of metal.

Instead of being joined and traditionally imposing tensile tension, the split shank does this by supporting either side of the central diamond, and the effect is artistically spectacular.

5. Pavé Setting Tension Rings

Combining the fundamental tension set with pave diamonds is another variant. A cluster of more minor, even melee-sized diamonds deliberately set on the ring’s edges to provide more bling.

How Do Jewelers Create Tension Sets?

The metal must be flexible while also being as tough as nails. Many conventional metals, including traditional gold and silver alloys, are too soft to bear the pressure.

The majority of tension rings are composed of specific metals. While yellow gold is an option, platinum and white gold are more common.

These unique metallurgical combinations are cold-worked, hardened, and heat-treated to optimize strength.

After refined metal, the jeweler will calibrate the ring’s shank to the particular gemstone. This is the most crucial step and phase in the calibration method, as the wrong calibration will fail.

After the measurements are taken, and the metal is precisely cut, the band is spring-loaded, the gemstone is fitted in position, and the metal is released to grasp the stone.

In a tension ring, the force pressing against the stone is typically 12,000 pounds per square inch. This excellent power level is unsuitable for gemstones with a Mohs hardness of less than 9.0.

Even stones with hardnesses of 9.0 or higher must be free of inclusions since even the slightest flaw in the stone will cause it to fracture under pressure.

The Brief History Of Tension Settings

Whereas other types of rings have been around for centuries, jewelers produced the first tension ring in 1979. But, we must mention right away that Friedrich Becker devised the original concept in the late 1960s.

A Niessing Spanning was the first tension ring. It was crafted from 18k gold. The tension was made feasible by the other components mixed with the gold.

With a strong metal required for tension, Steven Kretchmer developed Plat/SK, a platinum alloy used in tension rings, in 1987. 

He licenses this invention to firms interested in producing tension rings.

As we already mentioned, in the late 1960s, Friedrich Becker, an employee of the German jewelry manufacturer Neissing, began experimenting with the notion of tension settings.

Herr Becker’s concept came to fruition in 1979 when he used lateral pressure to hold a diamond within a spring-hardened, 35-gram, 18k-gold (75% pure gold; 25% special alloy metals for strength) ring that gripped the finger like a giant donut.

Steven Kretchmer, an American jeweler and metallurgist, developed this prototype and patented a remedy to the bulky look of tension set rings.

His platinum alloy “Plat/SK” enabled a lighter-weight band without compromising strength in 1987. Mr. Kretchmer was working with spring-loading systems at the same time.

He received patents in 1992 for applying spring pressure to his specific alloyed metals.

Only a few jewelers have fully perfected the technique of creating a genuine tension-set ring due to the technical complexity and experience required.

The Benefits/Pros of Tension Setting Rings

Every setup style has benefits and drawbacks. 

Because the tension setting is a one-of-a-kind design, it’s vital to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of this style of an engagement ring before making a final selection.

So, we can list here some pros:

  1. Securely holds the diamond in place.
  2. Because of the minimum metal around the diamond, it improves light reflection (brilliance and fire).
  3. It has a distinct look.
  4. It requires less upkeep than prong settings.
  5. It has a contemporary, attractive appearance.
  6. Suitable for both genders (men and women), with a selection of men’s tension rings available.

The most significant advantage of a tension-set ring is that the natural diamond is practically in view and can be seen. More light enters the diamond, allowing it to shine to its maximum potential.

As a result, while using a tension setting, it is more crucial than ever to have the proper diamond shape and cut.

Princess cuts, emerald cuts, and round-cut diamonds work best.

Another advantage is that a tension-set engagement ring will draw much attention due to its distinctive and dramatic appearance.

People like attempting to figure out how the diamond stays in place, which is generally the conversation’s focus.

Metals typically used to set diamonds can also be used to make tension engagement rings.

Among them are white gold, platinum, yellow gold, palladium, sterling silver, and more.

Also, we must mention that tension settings look wonderful and unique, with pear-shaped and oval-shaped diamonds.

The Drawbacks/Cons of Tension Setting Rings

Tension-set diamond rings, like other engagement ring settings, have several drawbacks. Most are minor, but it’s vital to be aware of them if you’re contemplating this scenario.

Tension settings are frequently costly and challenging to resize. 

A modest-carat weight diamond may seem minor, particularly when thick metal is utilized.

Although it is exceedingly uncommon, the stone might go free if an outside force applies significant pressure to a tension setting.

When we gain or lose weight, our finger sizes change. As we age, the size of our fingers might vary. Tension-set wedding bands are rugged to resize compared to other settings.

The ring is made to suit the owner’s finger and highlight the central diamond’s size and form. A tension set ring, on the other hand, can be but very difficult to resize.

You can’t just take it to any jeweler and expect them to resize it. It requires an expert to resize a tension-set engagement ring. Thus it will be more expensive.

However, to explain this to you better and more precisely, we have devoted the next chapter to whether you can and how to resize your tension set!

A tension set stone is slightly less safe than other types of settings. Jewelers who produce and sell pressure set rings may be concerned about this.

Because the significant stones do not readily fall out, the rocks in these settings have a pretty high safety record.

However, no special tools are required if the stone is purposely removed.

Customers who complain about a misplaced diamond to their jeweler might be a huge issue.

The jeweler would need to issue a warranty to sell a tension-set ring, but there is no way for them to test for honesty. This indicates that many buyers who purchase tension set rings may be fraudsters.

The tension setting is not suitable for tiny diamonds.

Size of a tension-setting diamond engagement ring is exceptionally eye-catching because it emphasizes the brightness and glitter of the central diamond.

On the other hand, smaller diamonds seem even smaller in a tension ring setting.

This is especially true if a softer metal is chosen for the band since a more delicate metal band would need to be very thick to provide the appropriate strain.

It may diminish the impact if titanium is used in this ring setting since the band may be made thinner.

Can You Change The Size Of A Tension Setting?

The main disadvantage of tension engagement rings is that you can’t resize them. Because of how the rings are created, resizing them without harming the setting is challenging.

As a result, if these rings need to be resized, they must be rebuilt. That is why several online businesses provide free re-creation services.

This is a significant disadvantage of tension settings since finger sizes fluctuate over time, and most individuals need ring resizing for their engagement and wedding bands.

So bear this in mind while purchasing a tension setting.

Another consideration is that because tension settings are frequently custom-built, they might be more expensive.

When you consider the remaking charge that you may incur down the road, you may discover that tension settings are more expensive than others.

The ring is made to suit the owner’s finger and highlight the central diamond’s size and form. On the other hand, a tension-set ring can be resized, but as we already mentioned, it is a difficult and expensive process. 

Also, you can’t just take it to any jeweler and expect them to resize it. This is because every metal with a spring property has intrinsic characteristics.

The metal’s spring feature physically squeezes against opposing sides of the stone, thus the phrase tension set. 

Jewelers were changing the size of such a ring setting using traditional methods, resulting in a piece of metal incapable of exerting the force required to keep the stone in place successfully.

Tension Settings – FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How to Take Care of a Tension Setting?

Unlike many other engagement ring types, tension settings need extra attention and safety precautions to secure the stone.

Aside from washing their ring with warm water and jewelry cleanser or dish soap regularly, brides should be especially cautious before engaging in activities that may cause harm.

Is The Tension Setting Safe and Secure?

If you are thinking about whether it is safe to wear tension set rings, here is your answer. 

Tension set rings are incredibly tight and secure, with very little chance of the central diamond or gemstone becoming free.

A tension-set engagement ring may appear hazardous at first appearance.

How Can I Know Whether The Setting Is Made Of Excellent Quality?

One of the most crucial things to look for in a tension setting, according to Gozlan, is a high-quality diamond since the setting draws so much attention to the stone.

Because there isn’t much to detract from the diamond, you’ll want a stone with excellent cut and color.

The essential piece of advice for purchasing a diamond engagement ring is to understand the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

The 4Cs is the global standard for grading diamond quality, allowing you to compare one diamond to another.

What Metals Are The Best For Tension Set Engagement Rings?

Titanium is the very finest number one metal for tension set engagement rings.

This metal is robust enough to be used to make long-lasting tension rings. Another significant advantage of titanium is that styles may be slimmer and lighter since it is so robust. Not as much metal is required to keep the pressure on the diamond.

Is it Difficult to Find Tension Set Engagement Rings?

Because you must adjust tension settings for each unique customer, they are often only accessible from exclusive designers that construct one-of-a-kind rings regularly.

Several online jewelry retailers sell tension rings, but potential purchasers should thoroughly research the company and its rules before making a purchase.

Final Thoughts

To build a genuinely unique tension engagement ring, you must start with a beautiful design, superb craftsmanship, and stunning stone.

Modern tension settings are frequently one-of-a-kind creations. This is the main reason why we’ve created today’s article called: Tension Settings: Everything You Need to Know.

What we’ve stated at the start of this article, and what we believe is vital to highlight in conclusion, is that a tension-set design is a solid choice for various reasons.

Tension settings are perfect if you want a piece of jewelry that will stand out because of its one-of-a-kind look while also boosting your aesthetic and style in general. When designing a tension ring setting, you may use a variety of metals, including platinum, white gold, yellow gold, and many more.

Furthermore, we tried to compare this option with others on the market, define its benefits, and warn you about its drawbacks, among other things.

We also hope that the FAQ (frequently asked questions) addressed your concerns and dispelled any misconceptions you may have had.

We hope you enjoyed understanding more about this intriguing, one-of-a-kind, and lovely ring setting!