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Engagement Ring Styles and Settings Guide


What is an engagement ring setting?

An engagement ring setting is used to describe the part of the ring that holds the centre diamond or gemstone in place. It’s the foundation of the ring–it’s where the stone is mounted and determined the overall style, look and feel of the ring.

Engagement ring styles come in a variety of styles, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Some of the most popular engagement ring settings include solitaire, halo, pavé, bezel, channel, and three-stone settings, among others.

Choosing the right engagement ring setting is an important decision, as it directly impacts the overall finish of the ring. The setting should not only complement and secure the centre stone, but it should also reflect your personal style and preferences.

Different settings can accentuate different aspects of the diamond or gemstone, highlighting its brilliance, colour, or shape. Ultimately, the engagement ring style plays a crucial role in creating a piece of jewellery that isn’t just beautiful and comfortable, but also has some level of symbolism or significance to the wearer and/or their partner.

deconstructed custom engagement ring

Solitaire ring setting

The solitaire ring setting allows the centre diamond or gemstone to take centre stage without any distractions.

The most iconic engagement ring setting, the solitaire is usually the first style that comes to mind when you envisage an engagement ring. The epitome of understated elegance, it features a single stone held securely in place by metal prongs or a bezel setting, ensuring that the diamond remains the focal point of the ring. The simplicity of the solitaire style is what makes it so charming and versatile. It pairs effortlessly with any outfit, making it a go-to for everyday wear jewellery pieces like an engagement ring.

Pavé setting

The pavé ring setting features tiny diamonds set closely together along the band of a ring. In French “pavé” means “paved” – the small diamonds are set so closely together that they appear to be paved across the surface of the band of the ring. One of the most attractive aspects of the pavé style is how it adds a sense of depth and dimensionality and can be used to accentuate other design elements in a ring. This setting style is a favorite among those who appreciate intricate detailing.

Halo Setting

The halo setting where the centre diamond or gemstone is surrounded by a circle or halo of smaller stones. This halo effect creates a dazzling display of sparkle and can often make the centre diamond appear larger. The halo engagement ring style style has become a popular choice for many brides-to-be, and it comes in various design iterations, including a double halo, hidden halo, or cluster halo.

Prong Setting

The prong ring setting features metal prongs, or claws, that hold a centre stone in place. Given that these prongs are typiacally quite small and dainty, a prong setting allows maximum light exposure which results in excellent light return throughout the stone, resulting in its signature brilliance. The claws are usually thin, small dots of metal that are bent and shaped to fit snugly around the stone and securely hold it in place, almost like a cradle. If you appreciate classic, elegant jewellery design, the prong engagement ring style is the choice for you, ready to be admired for a lifetime.

Grace yellow gold emerald cut diamond engagement ring

Bezel Setting

A bezel setting holds the diamond in place by a metal rim encasing, which slightly overlaps the edges of the stone. It offers a sleek and modern aesthetic that is well-suited to contemporary jewellery styles, but is also incredibly secure. The bezel’s sturdy construction helps prevent chips, cracks, and other damage that can occur with more delicate settings. This makes it a particularly good choice for those who lead an active lifestyle or who may have a tendency to be a little clumsy…

The Purity ring bezel set

Channel Setting

The channel setting features smaller diamonds that are set flush along the band within two metal walls. This results in a seamless line of diamonds or gemstones as there is no metal setting required between each individual stone. There are different types of channel settings, including a full channel setting, a half channel setting, and a quarter channel settings. These reference how far around the circumference of the band the stones go.

A full channel setting features diamonds or gemstones that totally encircle the full 360 degrees of the band, while a half indicates the channel covers 50% of the band and a quarter indicates 25% of the band features channel set diamonds. The channel engagement ring setting is a popular choice for couples who are looking for a modern and elegant look.

Cathedral Setting

The cathedral engagement ring setting is a classic and elegant design that features arches or peaked shoulders that rise up from the band to support the centre stone as opposed to finishing lower down beneath the stone.

The arches create a cathedral-like effect, hence the name. This style is perfect for showcasing larger diamonds or gemstones, and it adds a touch of height and presence to the ring. The elevated placement of the centre stone in the cathedral setting allows for maximum light to enter the diamond, and the peaked shoulders can be adorned with diamonds or other gemstones, adding extra life to the ring with additional sparkle and brilliance.

Bar Setting

The bar engagement ring setting features diamonds set between two metal bars, which run parallel to the finger creating a minimalist and contemporary aesthetic. It’s often used as an accent setting, where the bars are placed on either side of the center diamond or gemstone, creating a unique and eye-catching look. Alternatively, the bar engagement ring style can be used on side stones instead of the centre stone and it can be customised to allow for a wide range of design options, diamond shapes, and accent stones.

Basket Setting

The basket setting is a style where the centre stone is held securely in place by a series of metal claws, also known as prongs or claws, that adjoin beneath the centre stone to resemble the strands of a woven basket – hence the name.

These prongs typically extend from the top of the band and curve up around the sides of the gem, securing the centre stone in place. The basket setting offers excellent security for the stone as it almost nestles within the basket and makes the entire design look more ornate and considered, while still allowing enough light to enter the stone for optimal light performance.

Milgrain Setting

Milgrain engagement ring settings, also known as millegrain, feature very small beads of metal that are used to frame the edges of the design, be it around the centre stone or the metal band, resulting in an antique look. Milgrain designs are typically characterised by a delicate, raised edge or border.

The term “millegrain” comes from the French word for “thousand grains,” referring to the tiny bead-like texture that is created along the edges of the metal. This style is often used in vintage or antique-inspired jewellery, and has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past decade, as has the desire for intricate design elements in engagement rings.

Tension Setting

With the tension setting, the diamond or gemstone is set in such a way that it seems as if the centre stone is levitating, creating a floating effect that is truly mesmerising. It’s a revolutionary design style that uses the strength of the metal band to wedge the stone firmly in place without the use of prongs or bezels.

It’s worth mentioning that as part of our stringent quality standards, we’ll always include a hidden bezel in the design of a tension set ring. This is a subtle metal setting that is hidden beneath the diamond and is included to add strength to the design and to ensure the setting is supported.

Its distinct and modern aesthetic makes it perfect for those with a contemporary taste in jewellery, providing a refreshing departure from traditional engagement ring styles.

Split Shank setting

The split shank setting features a band that splits into two or more strands as it approaches the centre stone, creating an open, airy look that often accentuates the appearance of the centre diamond or gemstone.

The additional strands of band can be adorned with diamonds, intricate designs, or engraved patterns, adding a unique and personalised touch to the ring’s design. There’s a variety of split shank designs – double split shank, twisted split shank, bypass split shank and infinity split shank.

Three Stone setting

The three-stone engagement ring setting, often referred to as a trinity or trilogy setting, features three gemstones or diamonds, set in a row on the band, perpendicular to the finger. In most designs, the centre stone of the three is typically larger than the two side stones, but as always, the choice is yours.

One of the main advantages of the three-stone setting is its symbolic meaning. The three stones are said to represent the past, present, and future of a couple’s relationship. Perhaps one of the most versatile designs available, a trilogy setting allows for greater flexibility in terms of personalisation, with the option to choose different gemstones or shapes for each stone.

Platinum marquise trilogy diamond engagement ring utopia

Five Stone setting

The five stone setting features a row of five diamonds or gemstones set in a straight line on the band, perpendicular to the finger. The diamonds or gemstones can be of equal size, or the centre stone can be larger than the side stones, creating a tapered, graduated effect on the stone sizes.

The stones can be set in prongs, bezels, or a combination of both, depending on the desired look. The multiple stones catching and reflecting light results in a brilliance and scintillation that’s particularly impressive and a great choice for those who want a statement piece.

Cluster setting

The cluster engagement ring setting features a group of small diamonds or gemstones set closely together to create the appearance of a larger stone. This design is known for its unique and eye-catching look, as well as its affordability compared to a single large diamond. The cluster setting can vary in size and shape, ranging from simple designs with just a few stones to intricate arrangements with multiple tiers and layers. This setting is an excellent choice for those seeking an unconventional and eye-catching ring design.

Toi et moi setting

The toi et moi setting is French for ‘you and me’, a fitting title given this ring design’s sentiment and inspiration. Two lovers are represented by twin centre gemstones that sit side by side on the ring’s band.

This setting was made popular back in the late 18th century during the French Empire period, and has remained a favourite among couples and celebrities alike who desire a distinctive and meaningful ring. The stones can be of equal or different sizes, shapes, colours and even stone types, providing endless possibilities for customisation. Some couples opt for matching stones, while others prefer contrasting gemstones that symbolise their individuality and complement each other.

East West setting

The East West setting style adopts a classic silhouette which is offset with a horizontally placed stone across the band. The ninety degree rotation of the centre stone creates a unique personality and often gives the stone the illusion of appearing larger.

This setting typically features elongated diamond or gemstone shapes, like oval, marquise, emerald or radiant cuts and one of the most desirable elements of the East West style is the modern twist it offers without straying too far from the traditional.

Vintage setting

Vintage settings are a popular choice for those seeking the aesthetic of an antique engagement ring without the history that comes with it…because you’re about to make your own history.

Vintage-inspired settings are typically inspired by design eras of times gone by, ranging from the intricate and ornate Victorian styles to the geometric shapes of the Art Deco movement in the 1920s. Vintage settings often feature intricate details and delicate filigree work, creating a sense of artistry and craftsmanship that’s rarely seen in modern designs. With their meticulous design elements and unparalleled charm, vintage setting styles are sure to be treasured for generations to come.

How to Choose the Right Engagement Ring Setting

We’re here to make the process of choosing an engagement ring easier. Here are some things to consider:

  • Personal style: Consider your partner’s personal style and taste in jewellery. Do they prefer classic, modern, or vintage styles? What types of metal and gemstones do they typically wear?
  • Lifestyle: Consider their lifestyle and occupation. If you work with your hands or are active, a more durable and secure setting may be more practical.
  • Price point: Determine a price point and stick to it. The price of an engagement ring can range depending on a variety of factors, so having a clear price range in mind can help narrow down the options.
  • Ring setting: Consider the different types of ring settings and their pros and cons. Each setting has unique characteristics that can impact the overall look, durability, and maintenance of the ring.
  • Maintenance and care: Consider the level of maintenance and care required for different types of metals and gemstones. Some materials may require more frequent cleaning or repairs, which can impact the long-term cost and upkeep of the ring.
  • Certification: Ensure that the diamond featured in the engagement ring is certified by a reputable grading authority. This certification provides important information about the quality and value of the stone.
  • Customisation: Your love isn’t ordinary. Why should your engagement ring be? 

From the smallest tweak like choosing a symbolic signature gemstone or a personal engraved inscription to sit inside the band of the ring, to an entirely bespoke design inspired by your favourite colours, architecture or a moment in your relationship. However big or small–incorporating a personal touch can make the design incredibly special and symbolic.

Ultimately, the most important factor to consider when choosing an engagement ring is the wearer’s preferences and taste. By taking the time to consider these factors, you’ll choose an engagement ring that is not only beautiful but also meaningful.

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