December is a popular engagement month. While engagement ring buying has changed over the years, the need for informed buyers has not- in fact, now more than ever, buyers need to be more aware of what they're getting and ask questions!
Here are some common settings with some pros and cons.
Solitaire (common prong set)
Pros: Your diamond is on a pedestal...but really. More light can bounce off each facet on your diamond, giving it amazing sparkle. It is simple, elegant, and classic.
Cons: Depending on what you do, you may be uncomfortable with the setting no matter how low the prongs set the diamond. If you work with your hands a lot (secretaries, nurses, stylists, artists, etc) you might be afraid those prongs might snag and you might lose your stone. It will need to be checked at least twice a year (maybe more) to ensure that the gem is tight and that the prongs are holding strong.
Pave (and Micro Pave)
Pros: It's a lot of flair and flash for a small buck. If you want something that will be an attention grabber, then this is a style for you to consider. It is also initially less expensive on the pocketbook.
Cons: Yes, above I said initially less expensive; this is where the con comes in. If you need your ring resized, or use your hands a lot, or have an accident where your ring was banged against something then you may have to replace some of the tiny diamonds; this type of setting has a higher risk of lost diamonds. While they are small and do not have a large replacement cost, those small costs can add up over time. And not all Pave settings are made equal- some are better when it comes to settings that will protect your stones and prevent stone loss. Overall, if you're rough on your jewelry, then this might not be a good option.
Pros: Invisible setting creates a big diamond center stone look. It is also less expensive compared to a single larger stone (common: 4 square stones create center - see picture right).
Cons: This type of setting is riskier because it is harder to keep the diamonds in place. Some jewelers aren't able to repair these, so you should consider having a plan in place should something go awry (insurance, reputable jeweler for repairs, etc).
Channel Setting (usually on the sides)
Pros: Each diamond is set flush side by side with the gold over the "sides" to hold them in place. This gives a lot of sparkle (multiple diamonds!) with a lot of security; this setting is wonderful for those of us who are active and use our hands a lot.
Cons: Channel setting can be more expensive. It uses more gold and has more stones. Some people don't like it because they feel the extra metal can take away from the look.
What's the Takeaway?
It is all about taste and lifestyle. Find a look you like. Take into account what fits with your lifestyle, and then consider price point. The styles shown above are just examples, there are many variations and many unique designs. If you need advice on anything from style points to insurance, find a reputable jeweler to help you.
Parker Jewelers believes in giving their customers the best! This includes information about what we can offer as well as what's new in jewelry!