Like diamonds, engagement and wedding rings are forever. They symbolise a couple's promise of love and can be a meaningful reminder of their unique story.
Oftentimes when we think of an engagement ring, we only think about the center gemstone, but not what it is mounted on. Settings are just as important because it is the most defining characteristic that will influence the ring’s ultimate look.
It is time to give your ring settings the same love and attention!
Anatomy Of An Engagement Ring
Before we go down to the nitty gritty, let us first breakdown the anatomy of a ring so you do not get lost while scrolling through this visual guide.
Center stone: The focal point of the entire ring and it is usually a diamond. Other unconventional choices include coloured gems like rubies or sapphires.
Setting: The star feature of the ring that holds the center stone securely in place and it is best decided after you have selected the shape of your center stone.
Band/ shank: The sides of the ring where the accent/ side stones can be found.
Types Of Ring Settings
There is a myriad of settings that can be used to secure the center stone and for the purpose of this article, we will be using a diamond as an example for easier visualisation!
This is a classic and timeless setting adored by women of all ages. It involves two or more prongs that secure the stone in place and would usually refract light better, giving you extra brilliance and fire. Prongs can also be rounded, v-shaped or flat to enable a more secure setting with minimal metal covering the diamond. V-shaped prongs can help to secure the corners of the stone should you decide that you want your diamond to be a pear or heart-shape.
This setting allows the most exposure from all angles and hence maximises the diamond’s brilliance and lightens up rich and saturated coloured gems. However, rings with this setting must be checked regularly (once every one or two years) to ensure that the prongs do not “lift” or loosen. If it does, your diamonds are at risk of falling off. This setting can also get caught in long hair and is harder to fit in gloves. If your partner uses their hands a lot, consider getting a low-rise prong setting!
Check out our unique twist on the classic solitaire diamond with our Heart of Gold Ring.
The bezel setting has a metal rim that fully or partially surrounds the diamond by the girdle and it is one of the safest settings. A full bezel offers maximum protection around the diamond while a partial bezel (also called a half bezel) leaves some of the sides exposed. This setting is great if you want the diamond to appear larger than it is.
This is a popular setting for one with an active lifestyle because of how the custom-fit metal is holding the diamond securely in place. While it does offer protection, it does not offer the same refraction as the prong setting so your diamond must be well-cut in order to maximise its brilliance.
Check out: Sirius Solitaire Ring
The pavé (pronounced “pa-vay”) setting comes from the French word “to pave” and it involves setting small diamonds together on the shank. It literally paves the way for the center stone. This setting is becoming increasingly popular in the wedding industry as it intensifies the beauty by adding additional brilliance to highlight the solitaire diamond. The smaller diamonds called the pavé stones are set into the tiny holes drilled into the shank and then secured in place with a beading or micro-prong setting. Pavé stones are usually 0.1- 0.2 carats and any stones that are smaller than this are classified as micro-pavé.
This setting gives the ring extra sparkle, and an illusion of a bigger diamond. However, the design of this setting might feel jagged and will not be as smooth as the bezel or channel setting.
Check out: Round Puzzle Half-Eternity Ring
A halo engagement ring usually includes a diamond being surrounded by a halo of pavé or micropavé stones. These pavé stones draw attention to the diamond and give the illusion of a larger carat. There are many designs to a halo setting, for example you could have a single halo, double or triple halo and even a complex halo.
A halo setting can either come in squares or circles depending on the shape of your center diamond and it is often paired with a pavé band to balance out the diva in the middle. This setting is definitely one for the vintage and lavish lover.
The channel setting is a very popular design for both engagement rings and wedding bands. Small diamonds are set in a specially cut channel that has a “lip” that extends very slightly over the sides of the diamonds that are nestled side by side with no metal in between.
Similar to the pavé setting, channel setting encases the diamonds that line the band with a vertical wall instead of the prong design. Since there are no prongs securing the diamonds, the channel setting is a design that will not get caught in your hair or clothing but it will be a slightly harder setting to clean.
A bar setting is a more secure version of the channel setting as the diamonds are held in place on both sides with a vertical metal wall and ensures a very secure and stable setting.
This setting exposes the diamond with minimal metal obstruction and allows a large amount of light to interact with the stone. The result is a highly brilliant stone. However, with the design of a bar setting, wearers might find it uncomfortable because of the uneven edges.
Check out: Rigel Eternity Ring
Also known as the flush setting, a gypsy setting sets the diamond flat on the band so that it does not protrude out and it is a more popular choice of ring among men. With this setting, you can choose to either have the diamond facing out or be hidden inside the band.
This setting is so low-maintenance as it does not need to be sent for regular checks or cleaning every once in a while. The diamond in this setting is very secured, so you do not have to worry about chipping it at the girdle. However, this setting is a lot more expensive as it is very time-consuming for the goldsmith to hammer the metal into place. It is also advisable to only select diamonds for this setting because other gemstones might risk cracking during the hammering process.
Check out: Little Secret Ring
The figure 8 of an infinite setting ring means ‘continuity’ and that something will go on forever. In this case, the commitment and love of two individuals. The curves of the infinity sign give the ring a very graceful and unique look.
This setting symbolises a promise of eternity and is a very popular design for women’s wedding rings. The curves can be sharpened to make it less “feminine” and makes a great matching ring for the groom too. However, it requires frequent cleaning as residue and dirt may get stuck in the crevices of the gaps.
Check out: Infinity Ring II with Half Diamond Pavé Ring
Regardless of whether you are getting an engagement ring or a wedding band set, every aspect of the ring should be considered with you and your partner’s lifestyle, budget and preferences in mind. The settings are not rigid or fixed and if you would like, you can even combine two settings together. As you can see with the infinity setting, we have designed our Infinity Ring to complement the pavé setting beautifully. Your rings can be canvas that are designed around your unique story.
Want to find out more about how you can create your one-of-a-kind ring?
Browse through the rest of our made-to-order engagement rings and wedding bands collection. If you have a design in mind that you want to bring to life, book an appointment with us and we would love to guide you through.