While the center diamond is often the star attraction of the engagement ring, the right engagement mounting can highlight and showcase the diamond. The engagement ring mounting also defines the style of the engagement ring.
Diamond Ring Setting Styles
If you want a specific diamond shape, look for an engagement ring setting that accommodates that particular shape well. If the style or design of your engagement ring is more important than the shape of the stone, select the ring setting first and then choose the stone.
Engagement ring settings are available in platinum, white gold, rose gold, and yellow gold. We offer ring settings in an array of designs to fit any preference, including solitaire rings, three-stone rings, and rings with side stones and other enhancements. Many of the ring settings feature beautiful accents such as channel settings, pavé settings, beading, filigree engraving, halo settings, and more. Many of our engagement rings are available as part of a bridal set as well.
Steve Zipkin & Co. also offers quality loose diamonds in any shape or size to complete your existing engagement ring perfectly.
Diamond Settings Guide
When deciding on a diamond ring, the setting is one of the most important factors to consider. Different ring setting styles cater to a wide range of tastes. A classic, bride-to-be may prefer a simple solitaire while more fashion-forward women might like the the bezel. Whether it’s an engagement ring, your first-time diamond purchase, or simply a gift for a loved one, we present to you our guide to ring settings, complete with definitions and photos for each term. Use this ring setting guide to learn more about the available options.
Taking its name from the French for ”alone”, a solitaire ring carries one single diamond. Possibly the most popular style of engagement ring, this design boasts elegance in its simplicity. This style of setting showcases a single diamond or gemstone, with no accent stones around it. The most common technique for mounting a solitaire diamond is a prong setting. The gemstone is usually set high, which allows the diamond maximum exposure to light, enhancing its brilliance. It is perhaps best suited to a woman who prefers the “classic style”.
This most common type of engagement-ring setting involves three to six “claws” that hold a stone firmly in a metal “head” or “basket”. Prongs can be pointed, rounded, flat, or V-shaped, and act as “pockets” for a square stone’s corners. If you have a heart, marquise, or pear shaped stone, be sure its points are cradled in a V-shaped prong for protection. A lower-set prong setting may be more practical for women with very active lifestyles.
A bezel setting can be a full or partial setting: a full bezel completely surrounds the diamond whereas a partial bezel leaves the sides open. Instead of holding the diamond with prongs, the bezel setting encircles the diamond, or center stone, with a thin metal rim, custom-made to hold the stone tightly in place. This dramatic setting style can create the illusion of a larger stone. It’s a great choice for nurses, teachers, and others looking for a ring that won’t snag and will adequately protect the diamond.
This “ethereal” style ring has a central gemstone surrounded by a “halo” of smaller diamonds to emphasize its sparkle and make it appear larger. And a half- or three quarter-carat diamond can look, by some estimates, as much as a half a carat larger. The halo is usually set in a collection of round pavé or micro-pavé diamonds (or faceted color gemstones). These pavé stones flash with light and focus attention back on the center stone to create interest and draw people’s gaze to your ring. The halo setting offers the perfect balance of glamour and security. Best suited to the fashion-forward woman, this design seems set to become the ”new classic”.
Three Stone Setting
This design sports a trio of gemstones, symbolizing the couple’s past, present and future together. A popular choice for engagement or anniversary rings, the three-stone diamond ring setting carries a very special meaning. The center gemstone is usually set higher than the complementary side gemstones to highlight the (usually) larger gemstone and add depth to the ring. Three-stone rings are mounted with a variety of setting styles, prong settings being the most common. It’s a wonderful choice for the woman who is sentimental and enjoys symbolism.
Side Stone Setting
Side stones, or accent stones, help complement the brilliant center diamond or gemstone. With a side stone setting you may vary the sizes of the side and center stones as well as the type of stones that are in the ring. You could go with three diamonds or use a variation of your future spouse’s favorite gemstone or even her birthstone. There are different ring settings with side stones, but common techniques for mounting side stones include channel settings and prong settings. It’s a wonderful choice for the woman who likes the diamond but is fond of other gemstones or giving the illusion that it is a larger ring.
In a channel setting, diamonds or gemstones are set flush between two walls of metal that holds them in place side by side with no additional prongs between the stones. Small gemstones are set side-by-side in a groove. The stones are usually uniform in size. While channel set diamonds are typical in wedding bands, they can also be great accents to an engagement ring’s center stone. This type of setting protects the edge, or girdle, of the gemstone, and is a very secure setting. Channel set gemstones provide a smooth setting making them less likely to get snagged on hair or clothing.
The pavé setting, pronounced “pa-vay,” comes from the French word “to pave,” as in paved with diamonds. By closely setting small diamonds together with minimal visibility of the tiny metal beads or prongs holding the stones in place, the effect is one of continuous sparkle. The jeweler typically drills holes into the ring, carefully places the diamonds into the holes, and finally forms tiny beads, or mini-prongs, around each diamond to secure them into the holes. This setting is also known as a bead setting and in the case of especially small stones, may be called a micro-pavé setting (a setter typically uses a microscope for this technique).
In this setting, diamonds are set separately between bars of metal. This is another way to set precious stones. The diamonds are nested in grooves and overlapped by metal using a special hammering tool. Bar settings are similar to channel settings, but the difference is that channel settings enclose the diamond on all sides whereas the bar setting leaves the diamond exposed on two sides, held in place by the metal bars that secure the stones on the other two sides. This setting can compliment a center stone or stand alone for an impressive wedding band or stackable ring.
The cathedral setting is one of the most elegant and classic engagement ring settings. Similar to the graceful arches of a cathedral, this ring setting uses arches of metal to hold the diamond or other gemstone. The cathedral may be set with prongs, bezel, or tension setting since the defining characteristic of this ring is not how the diamond is held but rather how it is mounted with arches above the rest of the shank. The arches can add extra height and make the center stone appear larger; they can also add cost-saving style for less money than adding more diamonds.
Knife Edge Setting
A Knife Edge shank has a two slanted sides that meet at a point on top. Depending on the design, “sharper” or “softer” Knife Edge shanks can be found. The “knife” portion on the edge of the band can be very sharp and clear – or the band may be slightly tapered outwards in the middle. So, you can decide how sharp the edge will be on your ring’s design. Knife Edge wedding bands, with a comfort fit on the inside of the bands and a sharp edge on the outside, offer a truly contemporary and engaging style available in a wide selection of captivating and unique designs.
A split-shank engagement ring is a style featuring a band that parts as it reaches the center setting. A split-shank also refers to a ring in which the shank splits into two separate shanks. The shank refers to the band of the ring or the part that actually encircles your finger. Most shanks are round, but there are also square shaped-shanks and other more creative shapes. Typically, these designs will have a visible gap between the band and the center diamond or halo. This can have the effect of making the ring appear larger and more ornate. Many vintage-inspired engagement rings will feature split shanks. Often, the band will be pavé-set, or set with micro-pavé diamonds.
A cluster setting “clusters” stones tightly together in order to look like a large diamond. When diamonds or gemstones are set close together in a group, the result is known as a cluster setting. Sometimes the stones can be arranged in the form of a stylized flower, or just in an abstract arrangement. Cluster rings are usually multi-level, with considerable height above the hand. The arrangement of the stones can be open and airy looking, or they may be more tightly arranged. It can either contain a larger center stone or cluster together stones of equal size.
Many of the antique/vintage styles are designed to fit specific time periods of jewelry fashion, such as Art Deco, Edwardian, and Victorian era styles. Often these rings feature intricate detail work such as filigree and milgrain. Filigree is a kind of delicate metalwork that feature tiny metal beads or twisted threads of metal near the surface of the jewel. And milgrain engraving is a type of embellishment added to antique style rings to give them that “antique” look of tiny balls of metal decorating the edges of the band and the crown of the ring.
Metal or Material of Band
In terms of durability, the metals with the highest resistance to wear include platinum, palladium and 18k gold.
Gold. Gold is one of the most common and desired metals used in rings of all varieties. The metal’s popularity for men’s or women’s engagement and wedding rings is unsurpassed. 10kt, 14kt and 18kt are the most common karat values found. The larger the karat, the higher the percentage of pure gold in the ring and the more expensive it will be. The hardness and durability of gold varies depending on karat, so it is important to take these factors into account when selecting a gold ring.
Gold rings come in a number of gold colors-the most common being yellow, white and rose. Yellow gold is the most popular and quintessential color. White gold is also increasing in popularity and is comparably priced to others. When selecting a white gold ring, choosing one that is rhodium plated would be wise. White gold rings are often electro-plated in rhodium to enhance their white color and protect the gold below from wear and tear.
Platinum. Platinum is a white metal and tends to be more expensive and prestigious option for a ring. It is long wearing and already exceptionally white, so it does not need to be rhodium plated like white gold. Platinum is also used in rings at almost 100% purity. It is a dense metal, so a platinum ring will feel heavier on the hand than other options.
Silver. Silver has a greater tendency to oxidize than other metals, causing the silver in rings to turn black sometimes. It must be noted though that if oxidization does occur, silver can be restored rather easily with simple silver jewelry cleaner (or professionally polished/buffed). Still, for these reasons, silver is best suited for men’s and women’s fashion rings and other rings that will be worn on occasion rather than daily. This limitation means silver is not a common or wise choice for men’s and women’s engagement and wedding rings.
Tungsten Carbide. Tungsten carbide is a compound of tungsten and carbon that is hard, heavy and durable. A tungsten carbide ring will stand up to any degree of wear and tear and remain looking like new. One major benefit of tungsten carbide rings is that their durability makes them much more scratch resistant than rings made of other metals. A tungsten carbide ring will also always retain its bright, shiny luster. They have a permanent polish, meaning they don’t have to be polished or need as much maintenance as rings made of other metals.
The drawback of tungsten carbide’s durability is that it cannot be cut and re-soldered which prevents rings made of the metal from being resized. This makes having your finger sized accurately extremely important when buying a tungsten carbide ring.
Titanium. Titanium is another durable option for rings that, like tungsten carbide, is increasingly being utilized in men’s wedding rings. It is seeing increased use in women’s engagement and wedding rings as well. Titanium is the strongest naturally occurring metal on earth and that strength is what makes it a particularly popular option for men’s rings. Despite its strength, titanium is very light.
It is also a good choice because it’s 100% hypo-allergenic, making titanium rings safe to wear for people who may have reactions to other metals. Its strength also makes it more scratch, dent and bend resistant and the wide variety of colors it can be found in sets it apart from other metals. Like tungsten, its strength does have its downsides. Titanium cannot be resized or soldered, making the number of ring styles made from the metal more limited than other options.
Palladium. Palladium is one of the most luxurious options for rings. It is naturally white, durable, lightweight, and resilient to discoloration. As a member of the platinum metal group, palladium is one of the rarest kinds of precious metals, making it one of the most esteemed. And since it doesn’t require alloys or plating, it is usually at least 95% pure. Palladium is most commonly used in men’s and women’s wedding bands, rather than decorative jewelry, due to its high price and longevity.
Note: We only create rings in Platinum and Gold.
If you are interested in a diamond, a setting for your diamond, or a new diamond product, simply use our concierge request form or contact Steve at email@example.com or 215.792.4036.