An engagement ring today is not all about the diamond anymore. Sure most ladies out there, want a diamond to show off their engagement, but more and more couples are spending the majority of their time shopping for settings. After all, a diamond is only as beautiful as the piece of jewelry you create for it. A perfect diamond in an poor quality setting just looks like a bad engagement ring, while an average diamond in a gorgeous setting can often look spectacular!
Aside from the traditional solitaire (single stone) or three stone ring, settings today often contain a number of tiny diamonds either surrounding the center stone (halo) or that extend down the shank of the engagement ring. These diamonds are set in a variety of ways to create the endless array of engagement ring settings we see today.
Prong settings are often times the sturdiest way to set small side diamonds, as each diamond has four points of contact on the ring to keep it secure. Many rings today are what is known as "common prong" where adjacent diamonds share two of the same prongs. This makes the diamonds appear to all connect and makes for a more complete looking ring.
Channel settings contain small diamonds that are arranged in a channel with metal on either side. This style of setting is also very secure, however, you often see less of the diamonds because the edges of the stones are covered by the setting. Alos their is usually a visible space between the diamonds, except for princess cuts that will appear flush.
Bar settings have the same appeal as common prong settings, since the diamonds share the "bar" that holds them on either side. However, their is a clear separation between the stones that is not seen in other common prong bands.
The newest form of setting side stones is known as "pave". This is where small holes are drilled throughout the ring where smal diamonds can be set with extremely tiny bits of metal holding them into the ring. This makes for a ring that appears encrusted in diamonds. A look that many women cherish.
However, due to the very delicate nature of the metal holding these diamonds in place, a great amount of care needs to be exercised when wearing these types of rings. Even so much as an over zealous polishing can loosen stones and cause them to fall out.
Whatever style you covet in an engagement ring, just be aware of the risks and rewards are each to determine what setting is right for you.
Click the link below for a more detailed presentation about settings...
Styles of Settings