Which Engagement Ring Setting is Best?
Prong-set, bezel set, flush? Which is best and what do they all mean? When choosing your own unique engagement ring, the number of options available to you can be overwhelming. A decade ago, all you had to decide on was gold or platinum, a basic style, and your diamond quality. Now there are so many unique options, including more metal options, more gemstone choices, and a myriad of incredible designs. Today we’re going to talk about setting options. Which setting is best? The answer to this is, of course, subjective. Are you looking for a setting that allows the diamond to look its absolute best, or are you more concerned with protecting the diamond (or other featured gemstone) from damage and loss?
I want an engagement ring setting that will maximize the diamond’s sparkle and shine.
If you want the perfect setting for boosting the diamond’s brilliance, a traditional prong setting is your best bet. The glittery nature of diamonds results from light entering the diamond and bouncing back out into your eye, producing “flashes” of light. A prong setting pushes the diamond up and out from the band of the ring, maximizing the amount of light that can enter it. The open-view sides of the diamond allow extra light in, keeping the stone bright even in low-light conditions. Even from the side, the diamond will sparkle, so as you move your hand around your ring will catch the eyes of bystanders.
I want an engagement
ring setting that will maximize the safety of the diamond.
If you are concerned about diamond safety, you may want to consider a bezel setting, or at least a flush setting. A bezel setting is essentially a “cup” of metal that the diamond is set into. A bezel setting is the safest because there are no prongs to bend or break. Imagine holding a ball with your entire hand versus four of your fingertips – this is a good way to visualize the protective quality of a bezel setting.
Of course, being completely encircled in metal, the diamond will receive less light from its surroundings, so it will not seem quite as sparkly as a prong-set diamond. Despite this, the bezel-set engagement ring continues to grow in popularity due to its unique look. The smooth roundness of the bezel creates an organic nature-inspired aesthetic that is popular with today’s brides.
I want my engagement ring to feel practical and seamless with my body.
Flush settings are great for those who want a more natural-feeling ring. The diamond will not stick out and catch on your pocket, the knit of your sweater, the edge of a table, your cheek, etc. Flush ring settings may still protrude out from the ring, but are less likely to catch on objects than a traditional prong-setting. Other flush engagement rings are more low-profile and barely stick out at all, providing the most seamless experience. If you work with your hands a lot, and refuse to remove your ring for such activities, perhaps a flush setting is the best choice. You can choose a flush prong-setting or a flush bezel-setting depending on the look and benefits you like best. See the middle two rings in our graphic for examples of available flush settings.
THE SETTING CLEANLINESS FACTOR
One additional factor to consider is what we call the “cleanliness factor.” This describes how quickly the ring will dull due to everyday encounters with grime and soap scum. Exposed prong-set diamonds, while the most brilliant, are also the most susceptible to dirt. If you want to reap the full benefits of a prong-set diamond, you really need to be sure to clean your ring frequently to maximize its sparkle.
Bezel set engagement rings do not allow grime to contact the underside of the diamond as easily, though dirt and oils will eventually make its way to the diamond, so professional cleaning is still recommended.
*Please note that we do encourage all of our customers to remove their inlay engagement rings prior to coming in contact with chemicals or water. Doing so will not only protect your ring, but also keep the diamond clean and looking its best. Feel free to read our Jewelry Care Guide for more information.
Which setting do you think is best? We welcome your comments below.