Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Most people attribute the beauty of a glimmering diamond ring solely to the presence of the gem. In reality, the attractiveness of a diamond ring is the combined result of skilled design and precise stone setting that enable each diamond to sparkle at its best.
The best fullback in the world is no use if the rest of the team are hopeless. In the same way, in order for the diamond to truly shine, you need everything else around it to be perfect.
No two natural diamonds are the same and each stone has its own unique characteristics. These qualities are certainly part of the reason that diamonds have been popular in engagement rings for centuries.
Jewellers and gem setters spend years in apprenticeships training and refining their skills. The responsibilities of both are quite different - a jeweller constructs the ring while a setter’s skill is to secure the stone in the ring with precision.
What is the role of a diamond setter?
A diamond setter has one of the most technically advanced jobs in jewellery making. It is this craftsman’s job to not only mount the stone securely in its setting, but also place it in such a way that the beauty of the stone is enhanced. The role of the diamond setter is key to giving the ring a high quality finish. A high level of skill is critical to setting the stones at precise levels, angles and positions so they catch the light and enrich the brilliance of the diamond.
Why is precise diamond setting so important?
Diamond rings are kept for a lifetime and sometimes, even passed down from one generation to another. This makes it extremely important for each stone to be set so securely that it will not come loose and be in danger of falling out even after years of use. In addition to securing it tightly, the stone must also be positioned at the correct level and set straight.
When rings are poorly set, there may be gaps between the stones, they maybe be crooked, or the stones may wiggle in the setting. If your ring is constantly snagging on clothes or other fabrics, that’s another sign that the stone hasn’t been set properly.
If a centre stone is not precisely set, the entire symmetry of the ring will be thrown off making it less appealing. The stones can also come loose and if not corrected in time, they could be lost.
Popular diamond setting styles
Cluster: A number of small diamonds are clustered close together in this setting style. The cluster can give the appearance of a large stone.
Halo: This is a popular style for engagement ring settings, it has a large stone in the centre with a circle of smaller stones surrounding it, forming a ‘halo.’
Channel: The channel setting has several diamonds set one after another inside a precious metal ‘channel’ that is the ring. Once each diamond is placed securely, they are kept in place by folding in the metal on either side of the stones.
Bezel: Bezel setting is appealing to many and it features the stone set deep inside a metal mount. This is a popular style for diamond engagement rings.
Pavé: A pavé set has several small diamonds placed very closely together so it looks like an unbroken string of diamond stones. They are set in a precious metal like white gold with small beads of it between the stones holding each one in place.
Claw: This setting features a stone that is secured by delicate claws. You may have seen this style in solitaire engagement rings.
The end result
The setting has a big influence on the ultimate look of the ring. It is also chosen to emphasise the unique beauty of the stone. Some factors to take into account when choosing the right setting would be to understand the diamond inclusions (or internal ‘flaws’), the blemishes on the diamond and the symmetry of the diamond facet. A professional diamond setter will know how to assess these unique characteristics and present them well.
Made to order
An engagement ring that is made to order allows you to put together elements that you love so the ring is a reflection of who you are. Your ring could have a split shank design feature or your stones could be set in rose gold, if you have an affinity to this metal. Having an engagement ring handcrafted makes the finished piece of jewellery that much more