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Types Of Diamond Settings: A Guide To Setting Styles

Types Of Diamond Settings: A Guide To Setting Styles

Whether you are searching for your first diamond or you’re just adding another piece to your collection, choosing the perfect one can be challenging.

Needless to say, the 4C’s (Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat) of a diamond remain the primary guide, but choosing the right setting type for your diamond piece is just as important.

So, this raises the question: What types of diamond settings exist?

There are many methods used to secure and loosen diamonds. We call them diamond settings. Different diamond settings mean different looks.

For example, a tension setting has a unique look since the diamond appears to float. On the other hand, the prong setting is a classic version that makes the diamond sparkle in the best possible way.

So if you’re asking yourself how you can choose the best setting style for your diamond jewelry piece, this article will leave you less confused and more diamond savvy.


A diamond setting is of key importance since it can affect the diamond’s overall brilliance and its susceptibility to external elements. 

In other words, it can determine for how long the diamond stone will accompany you and with what intensity it will sparkle.

There are many diamond settings to choose from, but these are the most popular ones:

  1. The prong setting
  2. The pavé setting
  3. The channel setting
  4. The bezel setting
  5. The cathedral setting 
  6. The tension setting
  7. The bar setting
  8. The halo setting
  9. The tiffany setting
  10. The flush setting

Also, keep in mind that the style of cut will also influence the type of setting. Below, you can find complete information on each of these styles and their strengths and weaknesses. 

1. The Prong Setting

The prong setting, also called the claw, is the most popular and classic of all diamond settings. The stone in this setting is held with a minimal amount of metal so that there’s more diamond to see, resulting in added brilliance.

Prong settings can be pointed, flat, rounded, or V-shaped. Mostly, the prong settings feature either 4 or 6 prongs. With the first kind, the diamond is more visible, but with the six prongs, the gem is more secure.

The Pros And Cons Of A Prong Setting

The main advantage of a prong setting is that it can visually elevate the diamond stone, making it exclusive and eye-catching. Besides, it can reflect a lot of light resulting in increased diamond brilliance.

A prong setting undoubtedly offers a simple yet timeless look, and it’s very easy to maintain and clean.

The first disadvantage of this kind of setting style is that since the diamond is not surrounded by precious metal, it is more susceptible to dirt and dust. It could also snag on clothing, hair, and other materials.

We would also recommend having the prongs checked approximately every two years to verify that the diamond remains secure because it may loosen with wear.

2. The Pavé Setting

The term “pavé” originates from the French word meaning “to pave” – as in, “paved with diamonds.” 

By placing the smaller diamonds close to one another with minimal visibility of the tiny metal beads that hold them together, we get the effect of continuous sparkle.

This diamond setting is also called a bead setting; it can also go under the name “micro-pave setting” if the used stones are particularly small.

Pros And Cons Of A Pavé Setting

The main strengths of the pavé settings are the highlighted center gemstone and the increased overall brilliance due to side stones. It looks great both as just a scattering of gems and as an addition to the central rock.

In addition, pavé settings can come in plenty of styles – for instance, vintage or contemporary. On the other hand, resizing is almost impossible if the jewelry is pavé set around the entire band.

Related Read: How To Prevent Pave Diamonds From Falling Out?

3. The Channel Setting

The channel setting, known as rail setting, too, means that the smaller diamonds are set into the precious metal in a perfect line. In this way, an elegant and restrained look is guaranteed for both men and women.

Pros And Cons Of A Channel Setting

There are many pros of a channel setting. One of them is that the diamond is well secured and protected from external factors with this style.

Also, it magnifies the brilliance with side stones, and it’s suitable for mixing with other diamond setting types. Jewelry with this setting style is unlikely going to snag on clothing, hair, and other materials.

However, dirt can be trapped in the rows, and as a result, the diamond might require more effort with cleaning. Furthermore, diamond pieces with a channeling setting can be challenging to repair and resize.

And you might notice that it may hide the diamonds a bit more than with a prong setting.

4. The Bezel Setting

The bezel setting is at the top of the list of the most secure and popular diamond settings. This technique makes sure that the diamond is enclosed in a thin metal rim.

A bezel setting can be a full-case setting and a half-case setting. A full-case setting surrounds the diamond, while a half-case setting leaves the sides open.

Pros And Cons Of A Bezel Setting

The most important pro of a bezel diamond setting is that it’s completely protected from external factors making it an excellent choice for active lifestyles. It’s elegant and timeless and also easy to clean and maintain.

On the contrary, this setting style will hide more of the diamond than a prong setting. Also, it can reduce its brilliance and light reflection.

5. The Cathedral Setting

This type of setting implies that the diamond is being held in place using metal arches – so they tower over the rest of the piece like a cathedral.

The towering can be set with bezel, prongs of tension setting, considering that it’s much more important how the diamond is mounted with arches than the way the stone is held.

Pros And Cons Of A Cathedral Setting

As a consequence of arches, the center stone appears larger and more prominent. At the same time, the cathedral setting offers a breathtaking design and a securely held center stone.

One disadvantage of this setting style is that it quickly gets caught on clothing, furniture, and hair, which suggests that this type of setting is not adequate for daily use. It also requires more time cleaning.

6. The Tension Setting

The award for most original diamond setting goes to the tension setting. 

It is so-named as the gem has the appearance of being held in place by the tension of the ring band. That gives the impression that the diamond is floating.

Tension style setting is complicated to manufacture because the jeweler calibrates the precise dimensions of the diamond using lasers.

The tension-style settings are a bit more secure because they apply a bezel or a prong setting underneath – or on the side of – the diamond to firmly hold the diamond in place.

Pros And Cons Of A Tension Setting

Now, this type of setting captures and reflects light to the maximum extent. It offers an exclusive and unique look and, most importantly, demands less time cleaning.

On the other hand, considering that it’s scarcely protected, it’s easier to lose – and expensive to resize and repair.

7. The Bar Setting

The bar setting represents a more secure variation of a channel setting. 

This setting style places the diamonds separately between two parallel metal bars exposing the diamond on two sides, whereas the channel setting encloses the stone on all sides.

You can accessorize this setting style with a center stone or stand-alone. Even more so, it can be used on all types of jewelry, including an eternity ring or a wedding band.

Pros And Cons Of A Bar Setting

The jewelry’s relatively flat outer surface makes this setting type more secure. The gemstones are more exposed, too, which amplifies sparkle. Besides, diamonds are far more visible due to less metal than in a channel setting.

One of its cons is the price tag, challenging resizing, as well as the higher chance of chipping.

8. The Halo Setting

With a halo setting, tiny diamonds are placed in a concentric shape – circle or square – around a center stone. It typically has pavé diamonds in the role of small accent stones.

This setting style makes the center gemstone look more prominent and increases the overall brilliance of the jewelry piece.

They come in different attractive shapes; some of them even have a floral appearance. It is easy to substitute your plain central diamond with a colored gemstone, such as sapphire, with a halo setting style.

Pros And Cons Of A  Helo setting

The halo setting securely holds the central diamond and improves the appearance of a smaller center diamond. It also supports a variety of diamond shapes.

The only weaknesses of this setting type are the loosening of small side stones with wear – and their tricky resizing.

9. The Tiffany Setting

Tiffany and Co. trademarked the Tiffany setting in 1886. It features a six-prong with a round diamond in the center. This shape raises the diamond off the band, allowing it to sparkle and be the center of attention.

You might find a similar setting at any jewelry shop, but it will never be quite the same as the Tiffany setting – since Tiffany & Co. has trademarked its prong design.

Pros And Cons Of A Tiffany Setting

The Tiffany setting offers a classic look that’s always fashionable. This kind of setting amplifies brilliance and light reflection. It is straightforward to clean and maintain.

One of the weaknesses of this diamond-style setting is the potential for snagging – especially if high-set. Also, diamonds can become loose with wear.

10. The Flush Setting

Flush diamond settings are also known as “gypsy settings.”

This type of setting places the gemstone into a drilled hole which makes it flush with the band’s surface. The next thing the jeweler does is hammer the metal around the gem to hold it in place. 

That hammering process makes this setting not suitable for softer stones since they would likely break in the process. A flush setting is a popular choice for wedding bands – especially for men.

Pros And Cons Of A Flush Setting

The flush diamond setting is one of the most durable and protective settings, just like a bezel setting. It is highly practical, which makes it a great option for handicrafters and active wearers.

Besides, a flush setting offers a beautiful yet straightforward and sturdy look.

One of the main disadvantages of a flush diamond setting is that it reduces the visibility of the gemstone. Furthermore, it lowers the brilliance and fire, making it less eye-catching.

Conclusion

When choosing diamond jewelry, you want to check every aspect of it, including how it’s held in place by your precious metal of choice.

On that note, what types of diamond settings suit you the most?

Some diamond setting styles are light, simple, and elegant, making them excellent choices if you are a person that likes timeless, simple beauty. For instance, a prong setting or a bezel setting would suit you perfectly.

Other setting types are more extravagant, eye-catching, and decorative, like pavé or helo settings. They are made for people that love lots of stones, lots of shine, and lots of inserts.

Finally, specific setting styles are durable – for example, the channel setting – making them adequate choices for busy, active people or even hand workers.

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