Setting Styles for Diamond Rings

By I. Maher

The manner in which a diamond is affixed to a ring is referred to as its setting, and several different setting styles are used for diamond rings. Below we examine some of the major setting styles for diamonds and other precious gemstones in rings:

Channel Setting: In a ring with a channel setting, one or more diamonds are inset into a channel and held in place by a small lip on either edge. Multiple stones in a channel setting are not surrounded by individual prongs, but are situated snugly next to one another within the same recessed channel. Excellent examples of channel settings are those in eternity rings. Eternity rings usually contain a row of diamonds inset in a channel, which stretches either halfway or all the way around the ring. Channel settings may secure all of the stones in a ring such as an eternity ring, or can be situated on either side of one larger center stone with a different setting style, a popular option for engagement rings.

Prong Setting: Also called a “claw setting,” a prong setting consists of a set of usually four or six metal prongs which protrude from the base of a ring and wrap slightly around the top edge of the diamond to hold it in place. Prong settings are popular for rings with one main diamond as the dominant feature, as is the case with most engagement rings. Prong settings are cost effective, and many people prefer them because of the belief that light can pass through a diamond in a prong setting from the bottom as well as the top, contributing to its brilliance.

Bezel setting: In a bezel setting, also referred to as a “rub-over” setting, the diamond is completely encircled by a band of metal which affixes it securely to the ring. A rub-over setting incorporates an elevated collar of metal around the edges of the diamond, which protects and secures the stone better than other elevated setting styles such as the prong setting. A variation of the rub-over setting is a flush setting, in which a diamond is set into an opening and secured at the bottom, with the top of the diamond extending beyond the base.

Tension Setting: A tension setting is a unique diamond setting style in which the metal of the ring itself holds a diamond securely in place within an opening in the metal. The diamond appears to float, since no metal from the ring extends beneath it. You may imagine the metal of the ring acting as a very strong spring which holds the diamond in place. Rings utilizing tension settings must undergo specialized strengthening treatments since the diamond relies on pressure from either side of the opening to hold it in place. A tension setting allows light to enter the diamond from all angles, giving it extra luminosity.

About the Author: Ian Maher is the CEO of Maliere, a leading provider of eternity rings, diamond rings, platinum rings and gold rings. For more information, please visit

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