Diamond Setting Types - Understanding the Types of Settings for Rings

When choosing a diamond setting type, your jeweller will consider the stone's cut and how best to keep it secure while showing it to its full potential. The jewellery design highlights the beauty of your chosen precious diamond or gemstone. However, while shopping for a diamond engagement ring, considering the setting is essential, as it can change the ring's overall appearance and affect its security.  

What is a diamond setting?

A diamond setting is the way a diamond is mounted or secured onto a ring's metal band. Diamonds are mounted in various ways, and often multiple settings are used for the centre diamond and the surrounding gemstones. Mixing different diamond settings on a ring is not unusual, especially on vintage rings.
The London Victorian Ring Co specialises in traditional diamond setting types, which we have expertly crafted since the end of the 19th century. Our setting styles offer the security of a modern ring with a unique, vintage-inspired look. 

Diamond Cut vs Setting

The cut of a diamond can influence which setting type is selected. Some diamond cuts are suited to some setting types more than others. 

For example, round brilliant-cut diamonds are typically set using claws. The claws keep the metal around the diamond minimal, allowing it to show off its fire and brilliance. 

Types of Engagement Ring Settings

We have outlined some popular choices below to help you understand the different diamond setting types and select the one that is right for you. 

The Claw Setting

The claw setting is the most popular diamond setting type. Faceted diamonds sparkle when light enters the stone and bounces around the facets. The claw setting design allows more light to enter the stone and show its dispersion, the remarkable optical effect that causes the diamond to sparkle. 

Also known as the prong setting, the diamond is mounted onto the ring's band using three to 10 prongs. On average, the choice is between six to eight prongs. Next, the diamond sits in an individual basket called a collet. The claws are then carefully folded over the gemstone.

The jeweller can select a claw setting for almost every diamond cut. The number of prongs is up to you. For example, on a round diamond, four claws tend to make the stone look squarer, while six or eight claws give a more rounded appearance while offering more security. 

Art Deco Diamond Stepped Shoulder Ring in Platinum Art Deco Style Platinum Engagement Ring with 0.60 Carat Diamond

Diamond prong shapes

The shape of the diamond prongs can be round, pointed or v-shaped. 
V-shaped prongs are primarily used on square, rectangular, marquise or pear-shaped diamonds with sharp corners that can be vulnerable to breakage without extra protection. 
Rounded and pointed prongs can have two claws directly next to each other. The double claws are a slightly more ornate design popular in vintage jewellery. 

The Halo Setting

A halo setting is created when smaller diamonds form a border around a larger central diamond. The halo creates the illusion of a bigger diamond which is excellent for those looking to get more size and sparkle for their budget. This setting also looks beautiful when contrasting coloured gemstones such as sapphire, ruby or emerald. 
The halo shape is dependent on the larger central gemstone. For example, a round central diamond often has a round halo, while an emerald-cut diamond or Asscher-cut diamond might have an octagonal halo to match its shape. 

Art Deco Style Diamond Cluster Ring in PlatinumEmerald Cut Diamond Halo Cluster Engagement Ring

The Rubover Setting

If you are looking for one of the most secure diamond settings - this is it! The rub-over or bezel setting encloses diamonds within a thin metal border pushed over the edges of the stone. It is a perfect choice for those with an active lifestyle who plan to wear their jewellery daily. In addition, the setting offers more protection for the diamond, and the smooth border of metal will not catch or break easily.  

The jeweller can use the rub-over setting with any diamond shape. However, we especially like to use a rub-over setting on baguette-cut diamonds with sharp corners that benefit from more protection. 

Three Stone Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement RingRubover Set Emerald Cut Diamond Three Stone Ring 

The Cathedral Setting

A cathedral setting is very similar to a claw setting. However, it differs in that it has extra metal arches which hold the centre diamond higher so that it towers over the rest of the ring. The high setting elevates the diamond, allowing it to take centre stage. In addition, the height can give the illusion of a larger stone. 

Cathedral Set diamond engagement ring in platinum engravedHand Engraved Engagement Ring with GIA Diamond

The Tension Setting

Tension setting is a modern way to set a diamond. The setter secures the diamond by cutting grooves into the metal band, which grips the widest point of the diamond, the girdle, and holds it in place. There are many styles of tension settings, but often there is a gap in the metal around the middle of the diamond, which gives the illusion that the diamond is floating. This type of setting relies on the ring's band to hold the diamond secure by pressure. The tension setting gives you a unique and modern look but can offer less protection than other setting types.  

The Millegrain Edge

Millegrain is a traditional edging consisting of tiny metal beads that the jeweller can apply to particular settings to give a ring a vintage look. A millegrain edge is mainly used around a rub-over setting. You will often see a millegrain edge around the smaller side diamonds in our engagement rings. This hand-applied technique gives the ring a traditional vintage feel and is a lovely way to finish a diamond engagement ring. 

Diamond halo asscher engagement ring art deco styleAsscher Cut Diamond Cluster Ring in the Art Deco Style 

Eternity Ring Setting Types

The eternity ring settings include pave, channel, shared claw and bar settings. These setting types are also used for diamond wedding rings and the smaller side or surrounding diamonds in an engagement ring.

The Pavé Setting

Pavé evolved during the 1920s. Multiple small diamonds are mounted next to each other and held by small prongs. The effect appears similar to small cobblestones - which relates to its name. A pavé setting can also be known as a grain setting.

The Channel Setting

The channel setting is usually used to secure identically sized and shaped diamonds sitting flush against one another. The stones are set into channels constructed from metal rails. This setting style is popular for eternity bands. The jeweller can edge the channels with millegrain to give the ring a vintage feel.  

Channel Set Sapphire and Diamond Princess Cut Half Eternity RingPrincess-cut Sapphire and Diamond Eternity Ring with a 4mm Platinum Band

The Shared Claw Setting

The shared claw setting is where two diamonds are secured using the same prong. This setting style is often used for smaller diamonds where the shared claws minimise metal and allow more light to enter the gemstones.   

Half Eternity Baguette and Round Diamond Ring

The Bar Setting

A variation of the channel setting, the bar setting holds each gemstone between two parallel walls so that the sides of the diamond are visible. This style features in some of our modern Art Deco-inspired engagement ring designs. 

Bar set diamond engagement ring

How to Choose a Setting Type for Your Ring

When choosing a setting style for your own ring, we advise you to consider both the look and how much security the setting offers. If you would like advice on choosing a setting style for your engagement ring, wedding ring or eternity ring please contact us to book an appointment with one of our expert consultants.