July 20 2014 Sunday at 10:06 PM

Engagement Rings: You’ve got the rock now comes the metal

You picked a stone, most likely a diamond. You did your homework when you started out to pick the perfect stone. It was a big expense and more importantly it was meant to become a symbol of a bond and promise made. Surely you read about the 4 c’s of diamond shopping: cut, color, clarity, and carats. Now it is time to think about the other half of the of the ring, the setting. The setting is what will frame and secure the stone, the biggest expense of the ring. So metal and style will be a consideration. But what is important when choosing the setting type? With the stone it was all about the look, now with the ring the look is still important, but security of the stone becomes a factor when choosing the setting.

There are several different settings that are popular for engagement rings and all have positive and negative aspects and different stone and cut requirements. At first this may seem to be a daunting task, but if you think about a few simple things: security, stone shape and stone type, you will be able to narrow your search quickly.

The Prong Setting

The most popular setting for an engagement ring is the prong setting. This setting is what is thought of as the classical engagement ring where the stone is the main focus of the ring. The prong setting consists of prongs that hold the stone. This setting is usually done with either four or six prongs. The six-prong setting offers more security than the four-prong setting but the four-prong setting can make the stone look like it is floating as opposed to a more obstructed view of the stone. The prongs themselves come in three shapes, flat, round, and v shaped, that affect the way the stone appears and how secure it is in the setting.

The Tension Setting

Another popular setting is the tension setting. The tension setting is a flat spring setting that holds the stone in place. This is a very secure setting but is only recommended for harder stones such as diamonds, sapphires, or rubies.

The Bezel Setting 

The next setting that you should know about is the bezel setting. The bezel setting is a setting where the stone is held in place by a bezel ring around the entire horizontal edge of the stone. This is a very secure setting but does obscure the edge of the stone, however this can also mask a flaw in the stone if need be. This setting can be a classy look, however if the ring is gold it can make the coloring of a stone like a diamond appear to be yellowed. 

The Channel Setting

Another setting that can be used to hide a flaw in the stone or allow you to use several smaller stones is the channel setting. The channel setting has complete coverage on the sides of the stone and allows for a lower profile ring than the other settings.

In the end

All these settings have their own strengths and weaknesses but don’t forget that the engagement ring will eventually be next to the wedding ring and you want them to be in harmony with each other and not clash. So the shape and metal of the engagement ring should be compatible with the wedding ring you have in mind.