Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring Settings
For over one hundred years the solitaire engagement ring has been the standard for generations of couples, and an iconic symbol of elegant simplicity. The traditional diamond solitaire is still the most popular choice for engagements, although newer and more ornate styles are more popular than ever. There are many kinds of solitaire diamond ring settings, most of them sleek and relatively uncomplicated.
Halo Diamond Engagement Ring Settings
A bridal style that first appeared during the 1920’s, experienced a resurgence of popularity during the 1960’s, and is once again enjoying enormous popularity, is the halo engagement ring. Surrounding and tightly framing a center diamond with a row of small accent diamonds, halo rings create a dramatic statement that can give the diamond an even bigger look and impression. In this way they tend to enhance and accentuate the center stone.
Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring Settings
Rapidly gaining in popularity is a new generation of engagement ring styles embellished with smaller diamonds. These diamond settings can be modern in design or made in a vintage motif that honors traditions dating back generations. Antique and Vintage engagement rings are among the most popular styles today.
Three Stone Engagement Ring Settings
The three stone diamond ring is not only highly symbolic, but it is aesthetically pleasing and adaptable to many different variations. Representing “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” it is a sentimental choice for both engagements and upgrades to commemorate key anniversaries. There are a multitude of options for shoppers looking for three stone engagement rings.
Designer Engagement Ring Settings
Brand name designer bridal jewelry is experiencing a dramatic surge in popularity. While this is not a specific style category, many shoppers are particularly attracted to the distinctive look and feel of a particular designer. Brands such as Tacori, Verragio, Simon G, Ritani, and Danhov have gained a devoted following for their quality and artistry.
The Prong Setting
The iconic engagement ring is the tiffany, featuring a classic thin band supporting a simple six prong setting for a solitaire diamond. It was developed by Tiffany and Co. in the 19th century and is still the single most popular engagement ring style to this day.
a)- Long considered the gold standard in engagement ring settings, the prong setting remains the single most popular setting style. The prong setting uses thin metal posts or prongs extending from the base of the ring to secure the gemstone in place. This setting style anchors the center diamond while raising it above the rest of the ring, creating an elevated profile that presents the stone prominently.
b)- This dramatic and elegant cathedral setting takes the vaulted cathedral as its inspiration, with arches from the band rising up to meet the center stone, providing a fluid visual transition from the band to the diamond.
The number one advantage of the prong setting is the exposure of the diamond which can reveal both top and side perspectives. Few diamond settings expose as much of the stone to the light while still holding it securely in place. The classic variation of the prong setting, the tiffany-style setting, was developed to allow as much light as possible to enter the diamond, making the center stone the entire focal point of the ring. This is why the prong setting has remained the most popular diamond setting for solitaires, where the simplicity of the ring demands that the center stone be given full prominence.
c)- The X-prong or trellis style is a type of prong setting that crosses one support over the other, forming a simple an intertwined design that adds visual interest while maintaining simplicity. Similar to the trellis, the W-prong style features an interesting cut-out shape and an unexpected side profile.
Most prong styles are referred to by the number of prongs used, a small difference that can drastically alter the look of the ring. The classic Tiffany style has six prongs creating a very circular look. Four-prong styles are very common, and are particularly popular on smaller stones that might tend to get overwhelmed with more prongs. Three-prong styles are not commonly seen on engagement rings, but are very popular for stud earrings. Styles with even more prongs are sometimes seen.
d)- The split prong is an increasingly popular choice. It appears to double the number of prongs from 4 to 8 or even from 6 to 12.
With prongs there is a tendency to think more is better from a security standpoint. But a four prong mounting is capable of securing the stone even if one prong is pulled away or broken off entirely. Depending on your sense of style and aesthetics, and your concerns about security of the center stone, there will be a prong style that is right for you.
e)- For those looking to minimize the hardware and maximize the view of accent diamonds, the shared prong style is a popular choice. Basically each prong in the setting secures two diamonds set back to back.
The two reasons people might not opt for the prong setting are wear ability and durability. For those with an active lifestyle, the prong setting, especially one with a high profile, can sometimes snag on clothing or make accidental contact with other objects during activity with your hands.
And from the standpoint of protecting the diamond, a prong setting is not as damage resistant as the bezel setting. Someone with a extremely active lifestyle might be better off with a bezel or partial bezel setting. However, as long as the ring is worn under normal conditions and the prongs are inspected regularly, prong-set diamonds can be worn for years without any problems. If you choose a prong setting, make sure to check frequently to make sure all the prongs are undamaged and are making secure contact with the stone.
Individual Prong Style Settings
There are also different styles of the prongs themselves. Typically they are rounded, but they can be squared off or even claw-like with a very pointed look. Often you will have the option to have prongs on the center diamond tailored to your preference.
The Bezel Setting
Long appreciated in Europe, the bezel setting has played an important role throughout jewelry history. Although not as popular as the prong setting, the bezel setting is gaining fans and is being used in new and more creative ways today. The bezel setting encircles the center stone in a metal rim, or bezel, with a lip that extends slightly above the girdle. It can be full, in which the metal completely encircles the stone, or partial, in which the bezel cuts away and reveals part of the stone’s side profile. It is one of the most secure settings for a diamond, and offers the most protection, which make it perfect for someone very active with their hands. The partial bezel setting combines the security of the bezel setting and the side profile view of a more open style.
…. and the List Go On…. But the Above are the Most Common styles.