Discover Different Ring Settings
An engagement ring is the most important (and costly) ring many people will ever purchase, so most are very selective about choosing that commitment of their love for each other. But what makes any ring beautiful has a lot to do with the setting used to display the stones it holds.
Parts of a Ring
Before we get into settings, it might be helpful to know the parts of a ring.
- Bezel - also called the “head,” this is the top of the ring, where stones can be mounted or placed into collets (see below).
- Collet - can be made from metal strips that are bent into the appropriate shape, or can be shaped like a cup, in order to hold stones.
- Shank - also called “hoop” or “band,” this is the part that actually slips onto your finger.
- Shoulders - this part joins the shank to the bezel. Can be decorated with stones, filigreed, or decorated in some other way.
Types of Mountings
Many mountings are available, and certain types have been designed for certain types of stones. Some of the most common ones are:
- Pronged - most common for precious and most semi-precious gemstones. Four to eight prongs are used to wrap around and hold a stone firmly above the rest of the ring. The top surface and (usually) the sides of the gemstone are exposed, so the facets can catch the light to their best advantage.
- Bezel - most common for opals and other soft varieties. Bezel settings surround the stone completely with a band of metal. This provides added protection and durability.
- Flush - the stone is placed into a tapered hole in the metal, which is then pressed around the rim. It differs from a bezel in that the metal does not cover any part of the stone.
- Tension - used with extremely strong metals, such as titanium. The ring band itself holds the gemstone in place, and the effect can be quite amazing.
- Channel - stones of equal size are inset in the band, with a narrow strip of metal holding them in place. Generally used for simple wedding rings with a row of diamonds in the band.
- Pave - The entire surface of the ring is covered with gemstones. Can be a rather expensive ring due to the number involved.
- Cluster - multiple stones are used to create a design, such as a flower or leaves. Many cocktail rings use this type of setting.
Custom-made rings are a great way to get exactly what you want. Take a look at Jeweler.com for the best information on custom and handmade ring settings, as well as all types of rings.