How To Set a Loose Diamond

The hard part is over. You analyzed countless diamonds for cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. You debated which diamond is the best quality for your budget. You considered the brilliance of gem after gem, and now you finally have the perfect rock. However, there is still a vital step remaining: how to set the diamond.

The lingo of engagement ring settings can get overwhelming. But don’t let words like “pavé”, “split shank”, and “bezel” intimidate you. Below you will find a breakdown of everything you should know in order to find the perfect setting for your precious diamond.

Choosing a Metal Type for your Diamond

14K Gold

Contains 58.3% pure gold and 41.7% alloy metals. Because it contains less pure gold than 18K jewelry, the band will be stronger than an 18K gold piece, although it will lack the richness in its hue and may cause contact dermatitis.

14K Gold

18K Gold

18K gold contains about 75% pure gold. This high gold concentration means the band will be less likely to cause an allergic reaction from the metal alloys because it will contain less nickel. It is very popular for its rich yellow hue and resistance to rust.

18K Gold

White Gold

White gold has the highest percentage of metal alloys, which means it is the most likely to ignite a metal allergy, especially if the alloy has high nickel content. However, it’s soft, silvery color is gorgeous when paired with diamonds.

White Gold

Rose Gold

Rose gold has a unique, pink hue due to a high copper content in the metal alloy and will surely make any ring stand out. However, it also may be more likely to stir up an allergy.

Rose Gold

Platinum

Though platinum is the most expensive precious metal, its durability cannot be denied. Platinum’s density makes it extremely resistant to the damage of daily life and an ideal choice for active people.

Platinum

Palladium

People often choose Palladium because of its natural white color, and resistance to scratching. Palladium is hypoallergenic, but it isn’t ideal for complex designs with lots of accent diamonds.

Palladium

Types of Center Settings for Loose Diamonds

Four Prong

A prong is essentially a small metal clasp that grasps the diamond and keeps it in place. Four prong settings use four of these clasps in order to secure the center stone and can be used for just about any shape of diamond. The prongs may finish with a rounded look, a clawed look, or a V-shape for stones with sharp corners. Prongs are commonly used and highly endorsed, however they do tend to snag on clothing.

Four Prong

Six Prong

Six prong settings use six metal clasps in order to secure the center stone.  Unlike the four prong setting, six prong settings are best for round, oval, pear, and marquise shape stones.  Square and rectangular shapes do not allow even spacing with six prong settings

Six Prong

Bezel

After the prong setting, the bezel setting is the next most popular choice for consumers. A bezel setting holds the diamond by surrounding it with a metal rim, creating more security and a very modern look. They are especially great for people with a very active lifestyle because they keep the diamond so secure.

Bezel

Design Styles for Loose Diamonds

Pavé

Side stone setting designs use small diamond accents. These designs usually use pavé setting styles, which involve closely setting small diamonds together with minimal visibility of the prongs holding them in place. The term “pavé” comes from the French word “to pave” and refers to how the band looks to be paved with diamonds. This is a nice way to amp up the sparkle of the ring and accent your center stone.

 

Pavé

Halo

To make a diamond look bigger, surround it with a circle of smaller diamonds called a halo. Halo settings are an offshoot style from the broader side stone category, but they have gained independent recognition in jewelry design. This timeless, stunning look might be the best way to make a 0.9ct diamond look like it is 2cts.

Halo

Cathedral

This is a very traditional and popular setting design in which the shank raises to meet the diamond above the band creating an illusion of height while also adding protection for the center stone. Many brides love this ornate setting, however placing the diamond closer to the metal of the setting can make the center stone appear smaller.

 

Cathedral

Three-Stone

This setting design is exactly what it sounds like. It involves placing two large accent stones alongside the center stone (thus three stones) in the setting.  Three-stone rings may also feature smaller accent stones, or they may be limited to the stones that give the setting its name.

Three-Stone

Split Shank

A split shank band looks like a bridge holding the stone in place. This setting grew in popularity for its modern, architectural appearance and comes in many variations that all help to guide the eye toward the center stone for extra emphasis.

Split Shank

A Few Additional Tips on Selecting a Setting

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Think About The Cut

Different cut shapes look best with different settings. For instance, emerald cuts often look fabulous with accent stones, so a three-stone setting may be best. However, Marquise cuts typically do not look great with accent stones and would be best set as a solitaire.

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Remember Allergies!

Many people suffer from contact dermatitis (itchiness and irritation of the skin normally caused by a nickel allergy). Before purchasing a setting, make sure you know the person wearing it won’t be allergic to it.

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Loose Diamonds That Have a Lower Color Grade

Choose yellow gold! Yellow gold makes diamonds look whiter and brighter.

There are so many more elements of ring settings to know, but this article provides a great start and overview to your research.

 

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