A ring, whether it is made of cheap silver or pricey platinum, looks plain and bland. It is the design and gemstone embellishments which add a touch of elegance and beauty. The ring setting is a metal mount or fixture on which the gemstone sets and is attached to the main band. There is a variety of setting styles to choose from.
If you plan to propose to your girlfriend soon, you must be in search of an attractive engagement ring. But, before you hop from store to store, it will help to educate yourself on the varied styles and determine a design that looks good on your fiancés hand. So, let's get started.
1. The Prong Setting:
This is one of the most popular methods of mounting a gemstone on a metal band. The style is used for earrings and pendants as well. Also called a claw setting, in this design the gemstone usually a solitaire sits in a metal head or basket and is secured with prongs or claws. The prongs vary in number (3, 4, 6 or more) and thickness.
Prongs are a desirable option when the gemstone is large in size as it secures it in place but not very suitable for smaller gemstones as they get lost and overshadowed by those tiny security claws. This mount is also fairly easy to clean. The only drawback is it gets worn in hair and clothing and could also hurt and scratch someone.
2. The Bezel Setting:
A bezel setting involves a metal rim encircling (like a frame) and fastening the jewel in place. It can be partial or complete. This design is one of the best in terms of security. It secures the stone and prevails the edges from getting chipped and cracked. It hides flaws and can also create an illusion of a larger stone. Its smooth surface is another advantage.
3. The Cathedral Setting:
A cathedral setting is a metal mount design known for its intricate and graceful pattern. It mirrors the high arches and vault ceilings characteristic to an actual cathedral. The precious stone sets in a high arch mount secured with prongs. In addition to this, there is a pair of arches attaching the mount to the band. It pairs well with round or princess-cut gemstones.
4. The Tension Setting:
In this style, there is no additional mount attached to the ring. The band of the ring itself secures the gemstone. The metal band is spring-loaded. It exerts compression and secures the stone in place. Small grooves at the edges of the ring secure the edges of the gemstone. Only hard stones such as sapphires, rubies and diamonds can be used to make this type of ring. A tension setting creates an artistic illusion of a stone hanging midair.
5. The Bar Setting:
A simplistic yet beautiful design, the bar setting is a modified version of the prong style. Prong-style bars are fused into elongated bars framing two sides of the gemstones and exposing the other two sides.
6. Channel Setting:
The name itself gives us a flaw picture of this engagement ring design. It is a common style not only for engagement rings but also wedding bands. It involves a row of stones sitting between two horizontal metal channels. The stones are inset and hence very secure. It looks best when made with small-size stones.
7. The Pave Setting:
This ring setting has the entire surface of the ring embedded with gems. It could be in rows or arranged to match the design. It can be raised and secured with prongs or can be placed in a depression.
So, choose a ring with care and make it a proposal she will remember for a lifetime.