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Whilst rings are made of different precious metals and contain one or more stones, there are only a few basic ways in which the stones are set or secured in the ring. This is known as the setting.


Whatever setting you choose, it's important that the design of the ring suits your hand. As a general rule, petite hands are best flattered by smaller, more intricate pieces while larger hands can carry off chunkier, more dramatic styles. Slender bands and V-shaped designs can give the appearance of longer fingers while a bold, wide band can draw attention away from large fingers.


When choosing your design, you will notice a significant difference in price between mass-produced and handcrafted rings. Today, most Jewellery is mass-produced to some extent. This means that the piece is cast in one or more sections, which are then assembled, soldered and finished. The gems are set last of all and the whole process involves the minimum amount of labour and skill.


Handcrafted designs, by contrast, involve many hours of work by a highly skilled jeweller. The gold is rolled and drawn, shaped and hammered, cut and joined to form a beautiful masterpiece. You can expect a handcrafted ring to be heavier and stronger than a mass-produced ring, as the working of the metal makes it denser.


When all is said and done, however, it's all going to come down to personal taste - and you can be as traditional or as contemporary, as simple or as daring as you like.



The traditional method of setting a stone is by using claws. The 'claws' or prongs reach from under the ring to clasp the stone over its sides, and the more claws employed the safer the stone. Most jewellers use four or six claws and the design of this play an important part in the overall look of the ring. The claws may be slender tendrils of gold or platinum or thicker prongs with a chunkier look. Emerald and Princess cut diamonds tend to be set with four sets of two claws that form corner pockets to secure the stone.


In the last decade claw set rings were definitely 'out', but recently the traditional timeless setting has seen a vast resurgence in popularity.


Claws are very practical and considered one of the safer ways to secure your stone. However, if you keep an active lifestyle it is worth looking for a ring that you can wear without worrying about the stone getting lost or damaged. Jewellers have responded to the demands of modern brides by designing practical contemporary settings.

Bezel (Rub Over)

In a bezel setting the stone is completely surrounded by metal, making it very secure. An alternative to this is the half-bezel setting where two sides of the bezel are removed. The advantage of this setting is that the stone may be viewed from the side and its brilliance can be prominent from above.


If you're a sporty type or work with your hands, you may like to consider a double bezel whereby the stone is surrounded by two ridges for maximum security. Not only is this setting the most secure but it also lends to your ring a fantastic, chunky look. You could even have each bezel in a different colour of gold for a truly eye catching design.


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Another contemporary setting is the channel. Several stones are set in a row inside a channel between two horizontal sides of gold. The top surface of the ring is smooth and flat as the gold setting come up to the top of the stones. No metal separates each individual stone and so the effect is one of maximum sparkle.



In flush-set designs, the diamonds are actually embedded into the band itself, often with a prominent centre stone capturing attention. In recent years, wedding bands flush-set with diamonds have become extremely popular.



If you're investing in a really gorgeous, exquisitely cut diamond, this setting will show it off to perfection. With tension setting, or floating, the stone is suspended between two ends of the band, allowing you to view as much of it as possible. Just be aware that this is one of the least secure settings and you should have it checked regularly. This stunning setting is well worth the effort.



Are you the type who always doodles in symmetrical, geometric shapes? If so, a bar setting is for you. Stones are held firm by slender vertical bars of metal placed between them. The effect is one of clean lines and order.



This type of setting was made popular by Princess Diana's engagement ring - a large sapphire encircled with diamonds and set in platinum. With a cluster, several smaller stones are grouped together, often surrounding a large central stone, to look like one large stone.



This is a time consuming setting to produce. Pave is where the stones, most commonly diamonds, are placed close together so as not to show any metal. The stones are in fact held in place by tiny claws/beads.



Like the pave setting, this one is very time consuming to produce. An 'invisible' set ring is where stones interlock, usually in a geometric pattern, with no metal showing. The jeweler achieves this by making small line cuts inside princess cut diamonds so that the diamonds actually slide into each other.


Semi Mounting

Semi mounting is a good choice for brides who already have a stone that they would like placed in a ring. With semi-mounting, you are able to purchase a ready-made band with accent stones that has a space in which your stone may be placed.


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