Diamonds (and other gemstones!) may be set in a multitude of different styles. Here are 10 examples of the most commonly seen ring setting designs:
Prongs are a bit like claws, except they are often thicker and straighter - they don't curve around to hug the diamond quite as much as a claw. They are robust, less likely to snag than a claw, and are particularly useful for setting emerald and radiant cut stones.
In a channel setting, the stones are set between two tracks of metal, and are touching each other rather than being separated by metal. It's a great setting for an eternity ring, to keep the stones secure as it won't snag on any jumpers and will set alongside another ring very comfortably.
A gypsy set stone sits flush within the metal, and is not raised like most other settings. This is a style often found in vintage rings, great for layering or for the little finger, but are enjoying a revival in contemporary jewellery today.
Bar set stones are set with a thin band of metal either side, leaving a lot of the diamond exposed. This results in more light entering the stone, maximising the optical effects, but may render the stones more vulnerable to knocks and chips.
A halo setting is a thin band (or double band, as the photo above!) of smaller pavé set diamonds around a larger central stone. If you love sparkle, you'll love this!
North, South, East, West prong set
Very similar to 4 prong set image from before, the only difference is that these prongs are set along the compass points north, east, south, west instead of a squarer outline.
A rubover, or bezel, setting is set with metal surrounding the circumference of the stone. It creates a halo effect of metal, and protects the stone well. As a slight downside, it may make the stone look slightly smaller as it is enclosed by metal, rather than allowing the edge of the stone to blend into the air.
6 claw set
A claw setting is a very classic setting, and often seen in period pieces of jewellery. Claws will curl over and hug the diamond, to form a little basket containing the stone. They are not straight, and thinner than a prong setting. This 6 claw style is particularly characteristic of a Tiffany & Co design, but you may also see 4 claw examples. Beware of snagging on jumpers or clothing; generally, if you rub your finger over the stone you will feel if any claws feel out of place and therefore liable to snag. It should feel smooth, with the claws fairly indiscernible.
A box setting creates the illusion of a square outline around a round/old cut diamond. The metal usually surrounds the corners, but may create a full square shape. It's a design often so in art-deco era rings, when geometric outlines were particularly sought after.
A pavé setting usually refers to smaller diamonds, set decoratively on the head or shank (band) of a ring. The diamonds are held in place with little metal beads, which create the appearance of a continuous line of diamonds.
Hopefully, this is a useful introduction to help you recognise the different settings that you will find on your ring search. For any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.