A stone may be set in a piece of jewelry in a variety of different ways. Every setting comes with its own pros and cons. In the goldsmith’s trade a set number of settings is generally considered.
Chaton / Prong Setting
The chaton, or prong, setting is by far the most common type of setting. A diamond is set and stuck in place by 4 or 6 wires, called prongs. By using wire with an appropriate diameter the stone is secured in place effectively. The stone sits on a tiny ring of wire that is located underneath it, this part is called the bearing. This type of setting is commonly used in engagement rings and for rings that come with a large diamond. Because of its open design, the setting allows more light to pass through the stone, which ensures an optimal sparkle.
More light will pass through the stone, giving it that bewitching sparkle.
Little material is used in the setting, which makes it less expensive.
It turns the stone into the centerpiece of your jewelry.
The stone is in a somewhat raised position, this may be noticeable when you wear the ring.
The prongs wear more quickly, which means you should have the ring checked annually.
Bezel settings are more commonly used to set colored stones. The wide border around the stone will give it a larger appearance. In case of a bezel setting, the stone is usually placed in a bearing. It will be surrounded by a small protruding border to prevent it from coming loose and to make it ‘rest’ in the bearing. While setting the stone a small border is left to protrude from the setting, which is then rubbed and pressed unto the stone to fix it in place. Usually a hole is cut in the bottom of the setting to improve the lighting of the stone.
The stone is secured tightly in the setting.
Little to no chance that the setting wears out.
A beautiful / full setting.
It will be harder for light to pass through the stone.
This type of setting requires more material, which makes it more expensive.
The tension setting presses the stone into place. This setting creates the illusion of the stone floating between parts of the ring. This setting gives the ring a modern look and allows light to easily pass through the stone. This type of setting has only recently become popular. It is mostly used with harder gems such as diamond, sapphire, and ruby, because of the high pressure exerted on the stone by the setting. Usually a small band is placed between both ends of the prong-like setting to prevent the setting from opening.
Light easily reaches the stone from multiple directions, resulting in a brilliant sparkle.
The stone becomes the centerpiece of your piece of jewelry.
The sides of the stone are more or less uncovered, this may result in scratches, dents, or other damage to the stone.
If the ring gets stuck behind something, you risk pulling apart the grip of the setting.
Incrustation settings are used to place multiple smaller stones closely to one another. We will distinguish 4 types of incrustation settings:
A pave setting is most commonly used to set very small stones. They are set in the jewelry very close to one another, creating the appearance of a continuous sparkling surface. No matter how you wear the ring, it will always sparkle.
Micro Pavé Setting
A micro pavé setting is more or less the same as an ordinary pavé setting. The main difference is that a micro pavé setting requires the use of a microscope to place the stones by hand. This type of setting has been trending recently. The type of stone used in this setting will not be recognizable by its shape, but by its sparkle. This setting is often combined with a larger stone in a beautiful bezel setting. The tiny diamonds used in the micro pavé setting will serve to accentuate the border of the larger stone even more.
Collet settings are somewhat similar to bezel settings. However, rather than creating a bezel-type bearing, a hole is cut through the jewelry which corresponds to the shape of the stone. This type of setting is often used in wedding rings and rings that are made to give the stone the appearance of a drop of liquid of sorts. This is a modern type of cut that requires a lot of handicraft.
With channel settings a channel of sorts is created on the surface of the ring in which the stones are suspended. This type of setting works exceptionally well with princess cut diamonds. These diamonds fit into the channel seamlessly, creating the appearance of one elongated diamond.