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The Cheat’s Guide to Ring Settings

August 31, 2016 Allison Bray

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When it comes to buying a ring, some people discover that the process is a little more complicated than they were expecting! Traditional jeweller’s terms such as solitaire, pavé and bezel can be confusing to the uninitiated. 

If we’ve lost you already… don’t worry. Below we’ve shared our quick cheat’s guide to seven of the most popular types of ring setting. 

The Solitaire Setting

This is one of the most classic ring settings. In solitaire set rings, the gemstone sits above the band of the ring and is held in place by either four or six metal prongs. The benefits of this is that more of the ring is visible and more light can flow through it. 

The Tension Setting

In a tension setting, the gemstone is held in between the metal band of the ring. Modern tension rings are made using lasers (pretty cool, no?!) to cut a hole into the ring that’s the exact shape for the gemstone to slot into. The stone is then held in place by the tension of the metal ring. 

The Bezel Setting

A bezel setting is a more modern alternative to the classic solitaire setting. Just like in a solitaire, a bezel set ring allows the gemstone to sit pride of place on top of the ring band. The only difference is that in a bezel settling the gemstone is held in place by a thin band of metal. This is popular as it is more secure than the metal prongs used in a solitaire setting. 

The Halo Setting

In a halo setting, one central gemstone is surrounded by a row of smaller gemstones. This is a popular setting as it can add additional interest, colour, definition and sparkle.

The Pavé Setting

In a pavé setting, the metal ring band is inset with smaller gemstones. Each gemstone is typically .01 or .02 carats and is dropped into small concentric holes that have been drilled around the band.

The Cathedral Setting

A cathedral setting uses metal arches to hold the gemstone in place. This adds height and elegant interest: much like the arches of a grand cathedral! A cathedral setting is often used in addition to a solitaire, bezel or tension setting. 

The Channel Setting

In a channel setting, a collection of gemstones are set in a channel along the metal band of a ring. They are typically set closely into the grooves and sit flush with the surface of the ring. This differs to a pavé setting as the gemstones used tend to be significantly bigger. 

Want to test yourself on your new-found knowledge? Head on over to our rings section and see how many of the above settings you can identify there.


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