Whether you are in the market for your first diamond piece or adding another one to your collection, choosing the perfect one could be daunting. Of course, the 4C’s – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat – of diamond quality grading remains as the definitive guide in your decision-making but choosing the right setting for your diamond piece is just as crucial.
Why is a diamond setting important?
The way your diamond (or any other precious gemstone) is held by the metal of your choice can affect its overall brilliance as well as its susceptibility to external elements. A jewellery setting could easily add or lessen the value of the piece of your choice.
So how can you choose the best setting for your diamond? This ultimate guide will leave you less intimidated and more diamond savvy.
The most classic among these is called the prong setting. It is also the most popular as the stone is held in place with the minimal amount of metal – usually four or six prongs – allowing more light to pass through the diamond resulting in added brilliance.
Choose the type of prong depending on the shape of your gemstone. A V-shaped prong would be best suited for a heart-, marquise- or pear-shaped diamond as this holds the stone more securely. Emerald cut diamonds are best set with flat prongs.
Prongs are prone to snagging so this is not recommended for women with highly active lifestyles. This setting also requires a regular 6-month inspection to ensure that the prongs have not loosened up.
The second most popular is the bezel setting. With bezel, a metal border surrounds the perimeter of the diamond. It gives your diamond a modern look and is a prudent choice for women with active lifestyles since the gemstone is securely held in place on all sides.
There are two types of a bezel setting: Full and partial or semi-bezel. A full bezel encompasses the whole stone while a partial bezel or semi-bezel leaves the sides of the gemstone exposed.
This setting is so-named as the diamond appears to be held in place by the tension of the two sides of the metal shanks or bands. Tension style settings are complicated to make as lasers are used to calibrate the exact dimensions of the stone. It is also a more secure type of setting as a prong, or a bezel setting is used on either the sides or underneath the diamond, holding it firmly in place.
Pronounced as “pa-vay”, the pavé setting originates from the French word meaning “to pave.” It is also known as a bead setting where smaller diamonds are closely set together to form two or three rows around the central stone, causing an effect of continuous sparkle. The setting could be dome-shaped or plain flat.
A pavé setting would give a less sparkly gemstone added brilliance and the illusion of a bigger shape. The only drawback to this setting is it may cause difficulty in ring sizing especially if the entire band is set in pavé.
In a swiss or gypsy setting, the diamond is set inside a hole in the metal band. It is most popular among men’s wedding rings and is a very secure type of setting as the gemstone is held within the metal, protecting it from chipping or from falling out.
A miracle plate setting is a type of prong setting that adds a faceted, shiny metal plate around the girdle of the diamond creating an illusion of a larger center stone. Excellent way to get more bling for your buck!
Whatever setting you choose, make sure that you are purchasing your diamond jewellery only from reputable jewellers. Because buying a diamond is not a simple purchase; it is an investment.