When I am creating a custom ring, I start by focusing on the main diamond. I want the design to compliment the main diamond while bringing your attention to the center of the ring. Diamond shapes can change the look of a ring, but the way you set the diamonds can dramatically influence the overall feel of the jewelry.
There are many different techniques to setting diamonds and gemstones. I am sure you have seen some of them, but are not able to name the style or be able to explain it easily. Some setting techniques can make a ring feel more modern or completely change the look of a ring and give a vintage flair.
After you learn more about the styles, names and benefits of each setting you can start to sound more like a professional jeweler!
The most common type of setting is called prong setting. Imagine prongs are like miniature Hercules arms stretching out and grasping onto each side of your diamond. Prong setting is suitable for any shape and size of diamonds and provides a durable setting.
A stone is usually set into an even number of prongs from two up to eight prongs. Traditionally I set diamonds into four prongs to allow light to enter a diamond while still providing a strong setting. For diamonds less than .50-carat I recommend only four prongs as more prongs can cover too much of the diamond’s surface and make it appear smaller in size.
This style of setting is specifically for diamonds with sharp corners. Prongs traditionally are created in a round shape, while v-prongs create a v shape to cover the points of a diamond. These prongs provide a durable and protective setting for larger princess and marquise shaped diamonds. The angular shape helps emphasize the corners of these beautiful diamonds. If you like the look of round prongs, don’t worry as they are just as durable for angular shaped diamonds.
Pavé, (pronounced pa-vey) setting comes from the word pave. Imagine paving a road with diamonds. That is exactly what a pavé setting looks like; only we are paving your jewelry with a bunch of little diamonds! This glittery style of setting uses many little round diamonds and set them very close together with tiny prongs to hold them in place. It gives the illusion of very little gold and lots of diamonds. If you love sparkle, this is the style for you! Make sure to be diligent with your six month check ups and to not be too hard on your jewelry as these are very small prongs holding your diamonds in place.
Round and princess cut diamonds can easily be channel set into many styles of rings. When creating this style of setting, a channel groove is cut into the ring and the diamonds are set flush to the surface of the gold. This provides a very smooth and durable setting.
Channel setting gives jewelry a clean and modern feel to the design. I recommend this style to clients who work a lot with their hands and are rough on jewelry. Since the diamonds are set into the ring and have thicker gold on each side, channel set stones can withstand a little more wear and tear.
This clean style of setting cups around the diamond to give a smooth and durable setting. A full bezel can give a ring a very contemporary look as a half bezel can give a softer appearance. I love setting many diamonds into a half bezel as the design wraps around the diamond. This also allows more light to enter a diamond for brilliance and sparkle. We can custom make a bezel to fit any shape and size of gemstone or diamond.
GYPSY OR FLUSH SET
This unique style of setting gives any jewelry a fun and contemporary appearance. A diamond or gemstone is set into a perfectly shaped hole and allows the stone to be flush to the surface of the gold ring. We set the stones with similar techniques and tools as bezel settings. The diamonds can be set randomly onto a ring, into a unique pattern or add a couple of colored gemstones as accent pieces. Traditionally we set round diamonds or gemstones when looking at a flush setting.
If a channel setting and a prong setting had a baby, they would call it bead set. The diamonds are held in with little prongs, but the diamond and the prongs are set down into a channel. This gives a smooth and strong setting for little accent diamonds. I enjoy using this style to give jewelry a little vintage flair. We can make the channel edges smooth for a clean look or add a beaded filigree edge for a more vintage feel.
The bar setting is the little sister to the channel set and wish they could grow up to be just like her. One diamond is set into a little channel made just to its size. The main diamond can be placed into a bar setting or bar spacers can be created in between each small accent diamond. Princess cut diamonds are a great shape to use with bar settings as it creates a smooth and streamlined look.
Just the name of this style of setting makes any ring sound fancy! A french set is taking the prong set up a notch. Round accent diamonds are set side by side with little prongs and have a scalloped edge along the gallery. It gives the ring a romantic and delicate look, while revealing more of the diamond. Your diamonds are sure to sparkle and look beautiful in a french set.
If you are drawn towards modern and contemporary jewelry, then this may be the setting style for you. A diamond is suspended in between a gap of a ring or pendant. It is open underneath the stone to give the illusion of it just floating in air. This style of setting is recommended only for hard gemstones and diamonds as they need to be durable for this open design. I love the look of the tension set, but I will hide a small bracket or brace underneath the stone. This adds a little more strength as it keeps the ring from spreading open or moving while being worn.
As you can see, taking any shape of a diamond and using different setting techniques can completely change the look and feel of a ring’s design. While working with Ambrosia, we can mix and match the setting styles to create something unique that you will love for many years to come.
All jewelry shown are Ambrosia's custom designs. Contact Ambrosia to schedule a design consultation and free estimate to customize your next masterpiece.