It’s not all about the diamond: Settings 101

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The proposal. It’s all a matter of perspective when it comes to that life-changing moment in a couple’s relationship. For her, it’s an event she’s been anticipating for most of her post-adolescent life. For you, well, it mostly elicits the sweats. Feeling confident about this exciting occasion isn’t simply a matter of finding a suitable mate as your bride; it’s also about choosing a ring that offers her the ultimate in wish fulfillment.

Now, you may be painfully unaware of the numerous settings available for modern engagement rings, but you can guarantee she’s poured over the options and has a firm opinion on each one. Surprising your significant other with a band that speaks to her individual tastes and personality shows your dedication, attentiveness and innate connection. It’s also notoriously difficult to pull off. Stealthily mining her and her friends for information is an absolute necessity, and it should begin the instant you know she’s the one. Keep in mind, discovering she covets a three-stone bezel setting in platinum is only useful once you know what a bezel setting is. Save time and confusion by familiarizing yourself with the most common and popular mountings, below.


Traditional and classic, the prong setting is the most commonly purchased for engagement rings. It comes with a choice of either four or six metal points that carefully, and unobtrusively secure the diamond. Light reflections are especially pronounced, and a six-prong style offers excellent stability for larger stones.


Originally this designation—meaning “paved”—referred to three rows of small in-line diamonds surrounding the ring, but these days there are as many variations as there are settings to begin with. Part of the confusion is due to the mingling of the term pave for diamonds and for settings. The first references the small jewels themselves, while the second is the specific design using those jewels. Covertly grill your sweetheart on what exactly she means before committing to a ring in this style.


More contemporary than the previous two selections, the bezel and half-bezel settings are a smooth choice for active brides who fear the snags and scrapes likely with traditional mountings, but still admires a ring that offers plenty of sparkle. Couched in wraparound metal, the bezel is one of the most secure choices.


A fascinating work of physics, the tension setting relies on pressure to hold the diamond in place, which thus appears to hover. The end result is elegant and impressive, but this mount does have a few drawbacks, as detailed at The Knot. If your future missus desperately wants a semi-precious gems included in the setting, you should opt for a different style because they’re often not hard enough to withstand the tension needed to keep stones in place.


Popular with wedding bands, the channel mounting snugly packs multiple stones within a furrowed row for an orderly but luxurious appearance that is also smooth to the touch. If your bride-to-be mentions this setting, she’s likely conveying her interest in the wedding band. Usually, the wedding band is enlisted as an accent to the main stone of an engagement ring and can be purchased at the time you purchase your engagement ring.

These five settings are the most commonly requested, but there’s an embarrassment of options once you start researching. Flex your enterprising skills by shopping online and avoid the hand holding of an in-store experience. Not only will you reasonably save time and money but your unaided industriousness is apt to impress your intended almost as much as that flawless ring you’re slipping on her finger.

About the Guest Blogger

Thomas highly recommends browsing all of the different types of engagement ring settings and styles with your future fiancé before you make the investment. This will ensure you know she loves the ring she will wear forever.

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