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Diamond Setting Types

by Elise Jewelry 04 Aug 2023
Diamond Setting Types

Welcome to the enchanting realm of "diamond settings," where the craftsmanship of jewelry artistry converges with the scintillating brilliance of precious gemstones. Your quest to find the perfect diamond setting is of paramount importance, as it defines the overall magnificence and security of your cherished ring. Whether you seek the timeless elegance of a classic prong setting, the nostalgic charm of a vintage-inspired bezel setting, or the contemporary allure of a modern tension setting, understanding the diverse types of diamond settings available will empower you to make an informed decision that harmonizes exquisitely with your unique style and preferences. Join us on an exploration of the intricate world of diamond settings, where we uncover the irresistible charm of cathedral settings, halo settings, pave settings, and other captivating options, ensuring that your precious gem takes center stage, embraced with utmost elegance and held securely for a lifetime of unparalleled radiance.

What are Diamond Settings?

A diamond setting holds the gemstone on the ring. Diamonds may be held in place by several different methods, hence why there are many different types of diamond settings to choose from.

Favorite Diamond Setting Types

1) Prong Setting & Solitaire Setting

The prong setting is the most common and classic ring setting. It utilizes small metal claws called prongs to tightly grip the diamond, securing it in place. These prongs can have different shapes, such as rounded, pointed, flat, or V-shaped, with the V-shaped being the most common for princess-cut diamonds.

Prong Setting & Solitaire Setting

Prong settings generally come in two variants: four prongs or six prongs. The former allows more of the diamond to be visible, while the latter provides a higher level of security. One advantage of this setting is that it minimizes the presence of metal, allowing more mild to pass via the diamond and improving its brilliance.

Pros of a Prong Setting:

  1. Elevates the diamond, making it more prominent and eye-catching.
  2. Allows significant light to pass through the diamond, increasing its brilliance and fire.
  3. Complements and supports various diamond shapes and sizes.
  4. Easy to clean and maintain.
  5. Offers a classic and timeless appearance.

Cons of a Prong Setting:

  1. Prongs can snag on clothing, furniture, and other materials, particularly if they are set high. A lower-set prong might be more suitable for individuals with an active lifestyle.
  2. Over time, prongs may loosen with wear, so it is recommended to have them inspected at least every two years to ensure the stone remains secure.

Among prong settings, the solitaire setting is the most popular. It features a single diamond or precious stone, drawing all attention to the center stone without distractions from other stones or intricate metalwork.

2) Bezel Setting

The bezel setting, renowned for its contemporary aesthetics and compatibility with active lifestyles, stands as the second most popular ring setting. Distinguished from prong settings, the bezel setting embraces the diamond or center stone with a custom-made thin metal rim, ensuring a snug and secure hold.

Bezel Setting

The bezel's encircling design renders the diamond exceptionally secure, granting the bezel setting remarkable durability among all engagement ring styles. Offering versatility, a bezel setting can be either full or partial, with the former completely enveloping the diamond, while the latter leaves the sides exposed. This makes it an ideal choice for professionals like nurses and teachers, seeking a ring that won't snag and provides ample protection to the precious gem.

Pros of a Bezel Setting:

  1. Ensures superior diamond security, perfect for active lifestyles and demanding careers.
  2. Exudes a sleek and modern appearance, in tune with contemporary tastes.
  3. Prevents snagging on clothing and other materials, promoting day-to-day comfort.
  4. Provides excellent diamond protection, minimizing the risk of damage.
  5. Easy to clean and maintain, eliminating the need for routine prong inspections.

Cons of a Bezel Setting:

  1. Partially conceals more of the stone compared to a prong setting, limiting some visibility.
  2. Yields slightly reduced light reflection and brilliance compared to prong settings.

3) Channel Setting

The channel setting offers a secure and elegant way to showcase smaller diamonds, seamlessly embedding them into the band of the ring, forming a dazzling metal channel of sparkling stones that sit flush with the shank.

Channel Setting

In this setting, the diamonds or other gemstones are placed closely together within the grooves of the channel, either adorning the sides of the band or encircling the entire band. It has gained popularity not only for engagement rings but also for wedding bands and stackable rings that exclusively feature smaller stones without a center stone.

The absence of prongs in the channel setting ensures a snag-free and sturdy design. As illustrated in the photo below, the diamonds on the shank are channel-set, delivering a sophisticated appeal.

Pros of a Channel Setting:

  1. Securely holds diamonds, protecting them from external forces.
  2. Enhances the ring's brilliance with side stones along the band.
  3. Achieves a sleek design while maintaining stability.
  4. Unlikely to snag on clothing or other materials, ensuring comfort in daily wear.

Cons of a Channel Setting:

  1. May require more effort and time for cleaning, as dirt can accumulate within the channels.
  2. Repair and resizing could pose challenges due to multiple channels, potentially leading to bending or misalignment, or loosening of side stones during the process.
  3. Slightly conceals diamonds compared to prong settings.

4) Halo Setting

The halo setting is a captivating arrangement where diamonds or other gemstones encircle a center stone in a circular or square pattern. This setting cleverly magnifies the appearance of the center stone, making it an excellent choice for enhancing the allure of a smaller diamond, while also adding a dazzling sparkle to the entire ring. The halo settings come in various fascinating shapes, some even resembling delicate flowers.

Halo Setting

By opting for a halo setting, you can achieve an impressive visual impact without splurging on a larger carat diamond. Additionally, introducing colored gemstones in the halo or using a different metal for the halo diamonds can create a striking contrast of colors, adding a unique touch to the design.

Halo settings are often paired with pavé bands, but they can also stand beautifully on their own with a simple, unadorned band. Furthermore, the double halo setting, as the name suggests, features two concentric circles of gemstones encircling the center stone, creating an even more mesmerizing effect.

Pros of a Halo Setting:

  1. Elevates the visual appeal of a smaller carat weight center diamond.
  2. Enhances overall brilliance due to the surrounding stones.
  3. Provides a secure hold and protection for the center stone.
  4. Complements a variety of diamond shapes with equal grace.
  5. Allows for creative contrast through colored metal or gemstones in the halo.

Cons of a Halo Setting:

  1. Tiny side stones may occasionally loosen over time, necessitating periodic checks.
  2. Resizing can be challenging depending on the number of side stones lining the band, requiring expert attention to maintain the integrity of the setting.

5) Pavé Setting

The pavé setting, originating from the French word "to pave," evokes the image of a surface paved with diamonds. This setting achieves a seamless and continuous sparkle by closely arranging small diamonds together with barely visible metal beads or prongs that securely hold the stones in place.

Pavé Setting

Jewelers meticulously drill holes into the ring, placing the diamonds within these openings, and then create tiny beads or mini-prongs around each diamond to ensure a secure setting. The result is a breathtaking display of brilliance, exemplified by the exquisite pavé setting with an oval diamond.

Sometimes referred to as a bead setting, for especially small stones, it is known as the micro-pavé setting. Diamonds are considered pavé-set when they are as small as .01-.02 carats, while anything smaller than that falls into the category of micro-pavé.

Pros of a Pavé Setting:

  1. Enhances the prominence of the center stone, drawing attention to its beauty.
  2. Amplifies the overall brilliance of the ring with the added sparkle from the side stones.
  3. Provides an extra touch of radiance, complementing a lower-set or less sparkly center stone.
  4. Can be designed in both modern and vintage styles, accommodating diverse preferences.

Cons of a Pavé Setting:

  1. Sizing and resizing can prove challenging if the pavé setting encompasses the entire band.
  2. While highly improbable, there exists a minimal risk of losing side stones over time, which necessitates occasional checks.

6)Tension Setting

The tension setting derives its name from the tautness of the metal band that firmly secures the diamond, resulting in an exquisite display where the diamond seems to float between the two sides of the shank.

Tension Setting

The process involves using lasers to precisely calibrate the diamond's dimensions, followed by expertly cutting tiny grooves into the sides of the band or shank. This enables the custom-designed metal band to exert pressure on the stone, effectively holding it in place.

While tension-style settings deliver a similar appearance of diamond suspension, they are less complex and more cost-effective to produce. For added security, some tension-style settings incorporate a prong or bezel setting on the side or underneath the diamond to anchor it firmly.

However, due to the absence of prongs that could conceal them, it's crucial to select a diamond without visible inclusions, as this setting exposes the stone from every angle.

Pros of a Tension Setting:

  1. Provides a secure and firm hold for the diamond.
  2. Offers a unique and eye-catching appearance.
  3. Enhances light reflection, thanks to minimal metal surrounding the diamond.
  4. Presents a modern and stylish look.
  5. Requires less maintenance compared to a prong setting.

Cons of a Tension Setting:

  1. Difficult and often expensive to resize due to its intricate design.
  2. Thick metal usage in the setting may cause a small carat weight to appear even smaller.
  3. Although extremely rare, there is a slight risk of a stone falling out of a tension setting if subjected to a significant external force.

7) Cathedral Setting

The cathedral setting stands as one of the most elegant and timeless choices for an engagement ring. Taking inspiration from the graceful arches of a cathedral, this setting employs delicately crafted metal arches to hold the diamond or other gemstone.

Cathedral Setting

The defining characteristic of the cathedral setting lies not in how the diamond is held but rather in how it is mounted with arches rising above the rest of the shank. It offers the flexibility to be set with prongs, bezel, or tension setting, further enhancing its versatility.

The arches of the cathedral setting contribute to its allure in multiple ways. They accentuate and draw attention to the center stone, creating a captivating and eye-catching design. Additionally, the arches can add more peak to the ring, giving the middle stone a larger and more prominent appearance, all with out the want for additional diamonds, making it a cost-effective choice.

Pros of Cathedral Setting:

  1. Highlights and accentuates the beauty of the center stone.
  2. Offers a distinctive and captivating design inspired by cathedral arches.
  3. Provides a secure hold for the center stone.
  4. Adds height and character to the ring without significant expense.
  5. Creates the illusion of a larger center stone, making it appear more prominent.

Cons of Cathedral Setting:

  1. High-set arches may occasionally snag on clothes, furniture, and other materials.
  2. The design may be less streamlined compared to settings like a bezel setting.
  3. Cleaning may require more time and effort due to the presence of crevices.
  4. Poorly designed curved features may distract from the beauty of the center stone, according to some opinions.

8) Three-Stone Setting

The three-stone setting is an incredibly versatile choice suitable for various occasions, including engagements and anniversaries. Its significance lies in the three stones, arranged closely together, symbolizing the couple's past, present, and future.

Three-Stone Setting

In this setting, the three stones can either be uniform in size or, more commonly, with the center stone larger than the two side stones. The round brilliant cut and the princess cut are the most favored diamond shapes for this arrangement.

One of the attractive aspects of the three-stone setting is its potential for personalization. Colored side stones, such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds (as seen in the photo below), or other birthstones, can be incorporated to add a unique touch.

Pros of a Three-Stone Setting:

  1. Maximizes sparkle and brilliance with multiple stones.
  2. Allows for the use of larger stones, including those of different colors, creating a captivating contrast.
  3. Enhances the appearance of the center stone when thoughtfully paired with the side stones.
  4. Provides an opportunity for personalization and color play.
  5. Achieves a larger surface area of gemstones than a single stone setting.

Cons of a Three-Stone Setting:

  1. Requires more frequent cleaning and maintenance compared to a single stone design.
  2. When not well-matched, the two side stones can overpower or detract from the beauty of the center stone.

9) Bar Setting

Bar settings share similarities with channel settings, but they differ in one key aspect: while channel settings enclose the diamond on all sides, bar settings leave the diamond exposed on two sides. The metal bars secure the stones on the other two sides, holding the diamonds firmly in place.

Bar Setting

This versatile setting can either complement a center stone or stand alone as an impressive wedding band or stackable ring. Take a look at the photo below to see an example of a bar-set eternity band.

Pros of a Bar Setting:

  1. Offers better visibility to diamonds compared to a channel setting, as there is less metal covering the stones.
  2. Functions as a stackable ring, a simple band, or a ring with a striking center stone, allowing for various design options.
  3. Securely holds stones in place with sturdy metal bars, ensuring durability.
  4. Amplifies the sparkle of the diamonds, as they are more exposed to light.
  5. Provides an elegant and contemporary look to the ring.

Cons of a Bar Setting:

  1. Slightly less secure than a channel setting, as the diamonds are exposed on two sides.
  2. Resizing can be more challenging or costly due to the intricacies of the setting.
  3. Because the stones are less protected by metal, there is a slightly higher chance of chipping if subjected to strong impacts.

10) Antique/Vintage Setting

Antique and vintage engagement ring styles hold a distinct allure, each one carefully crafted to capture the essence of specific time periods in jewelry fashion, such as Art Deco, Edwardian, and Victorian era styles. These rings often boast intricate detailing, including filigree and milgrain work.

Antique-Vintage Setting

Filigree involves delicate metalwork that skillfully solders tiny metal beads or twisted threads to the surface of the jewel, creating exquisite patterns. On the other hand, milgrain engraving adds a touch of antique elegance with tiny metal balls adorning the sides of the band and the crown of the ring.

Pros of a Vintage Setting:

  1. Exudes an abundance of character and charm, evoking a sense of nostalgia and history.
  2. Unique and intricately designed, each vintage setting possesses a captivating story.
  3. Enhances the beauty and prominence of the center stone when thoughtfully crafted.
  4. Can be tailored to match a specific time period or reflect personal style preferences.

Cons of a Vintage Setting:

  1. May require more meticulous cleaning and maintenance due to the intricate design and crevices.
  2. If poorly designed, the setting might detract from the beauty and brilliance of the stone.
  3. Opting for an antique vintage setting, distinct from a new ring with antique design, may require additional time to ensure its security and proper care.

11) Cluster Setting

The cluster setting is skillfully designed to create the illusion of a large diamond by tightly clustering stones together. This setting can either feature a larger center stone surrounded by smaller stones or consist of stones of equal size arranged closely together.

Cluster Setting

For instance, in the example below, the cluster setting gives the impression of a substantial 1.5 carat center stone, even though the actual center stone in the ring is much smaller. James Allen's "Royal Halo Collection" introduces a line of cluster settings.

Pros of a Cluster Setting:

  1. Presents the appearance of a larger stone despite using smaller stones to make up the surface area and size.
  2. Emphasizes a distinctive look with an abundance of dimension and texture, standing out from traditional settings.
  3. Provides a more budget-friendly option than purchasing a large center stone of the same appearance.
  4. Can be crafted to form a unique shape, offering a personalized touch to the design.
  5. May complement smaller hands or fingers, as the cluster setting visually enlarges the ring's presence.

Cons of a Cluster Setting:

  1. Often requires more effort to clean and maintain due to the presence of multiple stones and crevices.
  2. There is a possibility of smaller stones becoming loose and potentially falling out, requiring periodic checks and maintenance.

12) Flush Setting

The flush setting, also known as a gypsy setting, artfully places the diamond into a drilled hole in the band of the ring, creating a seamless and "flush" alignment between the stone and the ring's surface.

The jeweler then skillfully hammers the metal around the diamond to securely hold it in place. It's important to note that this setting is not suitable for softer stones that might crack during the process.

Flush Setting

Flush settings are particularly famous for wedding bands, specifically men's wedding bands, as they provide a excessive level of security and protection to the diamond. The diamond sits securely within the band, minimizing the risk of chipping or falling out. Similar to the bezel setting, the flush setting ranks among the most protective and durable engagement ring styles, making it an excellent choice for individuals with active lifestyles or hands-on professions.

Pros of a Flush Setting:

  1. Provides utmost security, especially for wearers with active lifestyles or occupations involving manual work.
  2. Offers a sleek, polished, and simple look, complementing various styles.
  3. Ensures peace of mind, knowing the stone is highly unlikely to loosen or dislodge.
  4. Provides significant protection to diamonds and other stones, enhancing their longevity.
  5. Highly functional and practical, making it a reliable choice for everyday wear.

Cons of a Flush Setting:

  1. Reduces the visibility of the stone, limiting the stone's prominence.
  2. Restricts the amount of light passing through the stone, diminishing its brilliance and fire.
  3. Less likely to immediately catch someone's attention due to its subtle design.

13) Shank/Split-Shank

The shank, additionally called the band of the ring encircling your finger, plays a vital function in the overall design. While most shanks are round, there are also creative variations, including square-shaped shanks and other unique shapes.


A split-shank refers to a ring where the shank splits into two separate bands. In the example below, you can see a pave-set split-shank band.

Pros of a Shank/Split-Shank Setting:

  1. Provides a distinctive and eye-catching appearance, standing out from traditional settings.
  2. Offers additional surface area to incorporate side stones and added sparkle, enhancing the ring's brilliance.
  3. Guides the eye toward the center stone, making it more prominent and captivating.
  4. Can be designed to achieve either a modern or classic look, catering to diverse style preferences.

Cons of a Shank/Split-Shank Setting:

  1. Requires more frequent cleaning than simpler settings due to intricate design and crevices.
  2. Less streamlined compared to some settings, making it less practical for individuals with hands-on or active lifestyles.

14) Eternity Band

Eternity bands are a fascinating fashion of ring, frequently used for women's wedding bands or to have fun special activities like anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine's Day.

Eternity Band

These bands earn their name from the everlasting presence of diamonds or other precious stones that adorn the entire band of the ring. Eternity rings come in various settings, including prong, channel, bezel, and flush settings.

Pros of an Eternity Band:

  1. Creates a continuous sparkle that encircles the entire finger, exuding elegance and beauty.
  2. Adds personality and flair to an otherwise simple or metal-only band, elevating its allure.
  3. Complements and pairs well with other rings, such as engagement rings and wedding bands, enhancing the overall look.
  4. Available in a wide range of styles, including bezel and channel settings, offering versatility in design.
  5. Securely holds smaller diamonds or gemstones, ensuring their safety and durability.

Cons of an Eternity Band:

  1. Resizing can be challenging or costly, and in some cases, it might not be possible due to the continuous presence of stones.
  2. Often requires routine cleaning of crevices and stones to maintain the maximum sparkle and brilliance.

15) Infinity Engagement Ring Setting

Crafted to symbolize eternal love, an infinity setting boasts a mesmerizing and distinctive design featuring an "8"-shaped pattern formed by two interlinking bands. The sleek infinity image created by way of those bands imparts an fashionable and romantic appeal to the ring, beautifully accentuating the middle diamond.

Infinity Engagement Ring Setting

Infinity engagement ring settings offer a diverse range of styles. Some feature a solitaire setting, pairing a stunning center diamond with an unadorned band, while others incorporate pavé-set diamonds, framing and enhancing the center diamond. Additionally, there are infinity settings that ingeniously combine both designs, like the "twist" engagement ring from Blue Nile, with one plain, unadorned band and another adorned with pavé-set diamonds.

Pros of an Infinity Setting:

  1. Similar to a split-shank setting, an infinity setting increases the ring's surface area, giving it a distinct and eye-catching presence.
  2. The design artfully directs attention towards the center stone, placing it in a prominent and visible position.
  3. Possesses a unique, delicate, and captivating appearance that poignantly symbolizes everlasting love.

Cons of an Infinity Setting:

  1. As with other intricate settings, an infinity setting may require more frequent cleaning and maintenance compared to simpler designs.
  2. The less streamlined nature of these settings makes them less practical for individuals with hands-on professions or highly active lifestyles.

16)The Tiffany Setting

Back in 1886, Tiffany & Co. made a significant breakthrough by scientifically developing a solitaire six-prong setting with the goal of maximizing the diamond's light return. This setting, featuring a plain-band, was aptly named "the Tiffany setting," distinguished by its "knife edge" shaft and unique prong design.

The Tiffany Setting

Although similar settings are available in various jewelry shops and websites today, none can be an exact replica of the Tiffany setting due to the trademarked prong design held exclusively by Tiffany & Co.

Pros of a Tiffany Setting:

  1. Enhances light reflection and brilliance by elevating the diamond above the band.
  2. Accommodates a variety of carat sizes and diamond shapes, offering versatility in design.
  3. Simple to maintain and keep clean, ensuring the ring's enduring beauty.
  4. Carries a timeless and classic look that remains ever-fashionable.

Cons of a Tiffany Setting:

  1. Prongs can occasionally snag on clothing or other materials, particularly if the setting is high-set. Lower-set prongs are advisable for those with active lifestyles.
  2. With regular wear, the diamond may become slightly loose. It is recommended to have the prongs inspected at least every two years to ensure the stone remains securely held in place.


What is the purpose of a diamond setting?

A diamond setting holds the gemstone in place on the ring, ensuring it remains secure and protected while also enhancing its brilliance and beauty.

What are the most popular diamond setting types?

Some popular diamond setting types include the prong setting, bezel setting, channel setting, halo setting, and pavé setting.

What is the difference between a four-prong and six-prong setting?

A four-prong setting allows more of the diamond to be visible, while a six-prong setting provides higher security and stability for the stone.

What are the advantages of a bezel setting?

The bezel setting offers superior security and protection to the center stone, making it an ideal choice for those with active lifestyles. It also prevents snagging on clothing and adds a modern, sleek look to the ring.

How does the channel setting secure the diamonds in place?

The channel setting embeds the diamonds within the band of the ring, creating a continuous row of stones held securely by the metal channel.

What is the significance of the halo setting?

The halo setting surrounds the center stone with smaller diamonds, creating the illusion of a larger diamond and adding extra sparkle to the ring.

What is the difference between a pavé setting and a micro-pavé setting?

The pavé setting uses small diamonds set close together with barely visible metal beads, while the micro-pavé setting uses even smaller stones, typically below .02 carats.

What makes the tension setting unique?

The tension setting uses the pressure of the metal band to securely hold the diamond in place, creating a striking appearance of the stone floating between the shank.

What sets apart the cathedral setting from other styles?

The cathedral setting features delicately crafted metal arches that rise above the shank, providing additional elegance and character to the ring's design.


the diverse world of diamond settings offers a wide range of options to suit individual styles and preferences. Whether it's the classic elegance of prong settings, the modern appeal of bezel settings, or the timeless charm of vintage designs, each setting brings its unique allure. The choice of a diamond setting not only enhances the ring's aesthetics but also ensures the security and brilliance of the precious gem. May this exploration of settings guide you to find the perfect ring that symbolizes everlasting love and beauty.

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