Whether you’re planning on getting an engagement ring or simply a beautiful piece of jewelry, it’s always a good idea to get acquainted with the proper terminology so your shopping process goes a bit more smoothly. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friends, but they’re not the only thing that matters when it comes to a stunning piece of jewelry. Settings and styles can make the difference between a gorgeous ring and one that’s not that good looking, despite using precious gems.

When it comes to diamonds you need to analyze them based on the 4 Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. The most common cuts are Round, Princess, Pear, Oval, and Heart, but other equally beautiful cuts include the Marquise, Asscher, Cushion, Radiant, and Emerald. Beyond that, the style and setting of the diamond ring is just as important.

Engagement Ring Styles

The basic common types of engagement ring styles are the solitaire and ring with side stones. No matter which one you choose, you also have the option of going for a matching bridal set, in which the ring can be paired with a special wedding band to appear as a single piece of jewelry.

The solitaire style puts all focus on a single gemstone, while side stones can complement the main one for a more ornate ring. Three-stone rings often symbolize the past, present and future and continue to be a popular style.

Engagement Ring Settings

There are many types of ring settings, that are commonly used for solitaire styles or rings with side or accent stones. Knowing which one you’re looking for can make choosing the right ring a lot easier.

Diamond Ring Setting Styles

Prong Setting

If you want a solitaire style ring, you can’t go wrong with a prong setting. It’s the best way to highlight a smaller stone by raising it from the metal band. The most commonly used prong settings feature 4 to 6 prongs, but for a pear shaped or marquise stone, the 3 prong V-style is the best choice.

Illusion Setting

Another great option for smaller stones, the illusion setting adds a metal plate around the girdle of the stone (the thin edge) to help it catch light better. It’s basically a prong setting that makes stones appear larger and it’s a good way to make the most out of a lesser quality diamond that’s still expensive.

Bezel Setting

One of the most versatile types of engagement ring settings, the bezel is similar to the illusion setting because it adds a metal plate, which can be placed at the girdle or around the main circumference. It can also have the effect of making the gem seem larger, but it doesn’t have to go around it completely.

Channel Setting

The best way to protect a diamond (and your clothing from accidental snagging), the channel setting means the stone is protected by two strips of metal. It works just as well for single stones or for multiple accent stones.

Pavé Setting

Based on the channel setting, the pavé features the same strips of metal that keep the stone in place, but it’s covered with many smaller gemstones that reflect light beautifully. The overall look is impressive and this is one of the best types of engagement ring settings for showing off the diamonds, not the metal.

Bar Setting

Another type of channel setting, the bar consist of a strip of metal that’s usually V or U-shaped. It’s a good technique for rings with multiple stones, but some consider it outdated compared to other types of engagement ring settings.

Invisible Setting

Similar to the pavé setting, the invisible one takes it one step further, making sure that no metal is visible around the diamonds. Instead, the gemstones are kept in place with settings only on the underside, creating a beautiful effect, especially for the princess cut.

Tension Setting

One of the newer types of engagement ring settings, the tension one helps create the effect of a floating diamond with the help of two prongs that are much less noticeable than in the classic settings.

Cluster Setting

If you’re willing to splurge for a ring with a lot of gemstones, the cluster setting is the best way to showcase them. The stones can be arranged on more than one level, creating a raised look for the ring, but it’s also easier to snag in your clothing or even in your hair.

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