What the Heck Is a “Pave Set Engagement Ring”?

Perfect engagement rings

When it comes to the designs of diamond engagement rings, there’s a massive amount of variety, and trying to find your way through it all can be a daunting prospect. Even the terminology can be confusing. Here is a brief overview of four types of settings — prong set, bezel set, channel set, and pave set engagement rings — and the defining characteristics of each.

  • Prong Set Engagement Rings
    This type of setting is perhaps the most common and recognizable. It’s just what it sounds like: the main diamond is held in place by prongs (anywhere from three to eight) that come up from the ring itself and grip the rim, or “girdle”, of the stone. Prong settings can often be minimalistic, providing a clear view of much of the diamond.
  • Bezel Setting Engagement Rings
    A bezel setting works under the same principle as a prong setting, but the girdle is completely encompassed, and only the top part of the diamond is visible. This setting is useful for wider bands with inset diamonds (like many men’s rings), but can also be used to great effect in a “halo” setting, where the surrounding bezel is covered with two or three rows of small diamonds, increasing the apparent size of the main stone by up to 30%.
  • Channel Setting Engagement Ring
    This setting is less about the main stone and more about the ring itself. A single row of diamonds (usually of a rectangular cut, such as a baguette-cut, emerald-cut, or princess-cut) is placed in a “channel” within the metal of the ring, with the girdle of each stone fitting into parallel grooves within that channel.
  • Pave Set Engagement Ring
    Pave set engagement rings are easy to decipher based on the name — the metal of the ring is literally “paved” with diamonds (though the pronunciation is actually “pah-vay”, from the French). A well-crafted pave setting can provide a ring that looks like it’s made of diamonds, and when set into a white metal, such as platinum, palladium, or white gold, the metal can almost disappear in the overall sparkle of diamonds.

Each of these settings is beautiful in its own right, but other factors can influence your decision as well. A prong setting, for example, is much easier to clean at home than a pave setting or a channel setting. And diamonds in a channel setting, much like the bezel setting, sit either flush with or below the level of the metal, so are much less likely to snag on clothing or accidentally scratch the skin.

Whatever you decide, and for whatever reasons, be sure to see a lot of rings. The more you see and handle, the more you can zero in on the style and taste that touches your heart, and the easier it will be to find that ring of your dreams. Continue reading here.

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