A Guide To The Most Popular Setting Styles with Examples
There are always so many things to consider when designing or purchasing a ring, and one of the most crucial decisions is how you will set any stones that you choose for your commission piece. Like everything within the jewellery industry, there are far too many different types of settings to include in one blog post! So here are a list of some of the most popular settings used here at the Artisan workshop:
The most simplistic of settings, a rub over setting (otherwise known as bezel setting) is when a gemstone is placed inside a circle of metal which is then folded around the stone to secure it into place. The final look is a continuous thin strip of metal running along the exterior of the gem. Rub settings provide the perfect frame of stone for someone who needs jewellery that won’t catch or snag, whilst also keeping the stone extremely secure.
This example shows an 18ct yellow gold ring, rub set with a teal tourmaline in the centre, with a round brilliant cut diamond rub set on either side.
Also known as ‘Prong Setting’, this style of setting is essentially a cradle for the stone it’s holding. One of the biggest vantage points of this setting is the way it allows light to enter through the stone, enhancing its sparkle and really highlighting the centrepiece of the ring. A claw setting is also a good choice for more minimalistic pieces due to the small amounts of metal used. Although an ideal way to show off the stone, a claw setting is delicate and the prongs can have a tendency to snag and catch on things.
This example shows a ring, claw set with a round brilliant cut diamond in the centre with baguette diamonds on either side.
Around since victorian times, star settings were especially popular during the 1900’s, but have remained a firm favourite ever since. In a ‘star’ style setting, the stone is set in the centre of a star shape which is carved into the metal. To hold the stone in place, small beads of metal are placed at each point of the star.
This example shows an 18ct yellow gold dish shaped pendant, star set with a round brilliant cut diamond.
The channel setting sees small gemstones embedded, very close tougether, inside a metal groove that’s cut into the shank of the ring. It’s this groove that provides two metal ‘walls’ to secure the stones in place, creating a strong setting. For this reason, channel setting is often a popular choice amongst those with active lifestyles, as the grooves act as barriers helping to prevent the stones from chipping or breaking, making it the perfect setting for everyday wear. However, the downside to this secure setting is that the metal strips on either side of the stones can prevent light from getting to the gems, darkening the appearance of some stones. Due to the nature of channel settings, it can make these styles of rings very hard to resize and fix.
This example shows a matching pair of white gold rings, each channel set with 11 round brilliant cut diamonds and 10 baguette diamonds, alternating in each ring.
This intricate technique sees gemstones set into jewellery with the use of tiny little beads or prongs. The idea is that these beads hold the stones very close together with barely any visible gaps. This results in a consistent ‘grain’ like appearance that maximises sparkle!
This example shows an 18ct yellow gold dish shaped ring grain set with 7 sapphires ranging from 1.4mm to 1.8mms in different shades of blue.
For this style of setting, a hole is drilled into the metal and the very edge burnished around the stone so that it lays flat (or ‘flush) within the metal. This results in a very clean and tidy appearance, and is ideal for those who need ‘snag – free’ jewellery.
This example shows a platinum pendant, flush set with a blue diamond on its left, and rub set with a round brilliant cut diamond on its right.
Ultimately, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice when it comes to choosing a setting as each style offers its pros and cons. But not to worry, our in house jewellery experts are on hand to help you decide! If you book your design consultation today, we can help walk you through the different setting types and find the perfect design for you…