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Gemspedia >> Jewellery >> Jewelry Setting

Jewelry Setting

Most jewelry is crafted from individual components. The pieces are often created on the jeweler’s bench and then skillfully joined together. The components needed in most types of jewelry are incredibly simple.


Even the most expensive “Tiffany-style” diamond ring features just three pieces—the band of the ring, the gallery that mounts the gem, and then finally the gem itself.

 

With a few peripheral components such as earring-posts, chains, and hinges (often known as findings), these basic components are used to make everything from solitaire and gem-set rings, to earrings, necklaces, pendants and more complex pieces. While the prong setting is the most frequently seen method of setting gems and diamonds, there are a variety of other methods also used to set gems in precious metals.

 

Prong setting

Also known as the claw setting, the prong setting has small metal prongs with a vise-like grip that are bent over the girdle of the gem to ensure its secure and enduring position. Typical prong settings have four prongs.

 

Prong settings with six prongs are also called the Tiffany setting because it was originally developed by the founder of Tiffany & Co. in 1886. Marquise and trilliant cut gems can respectively have just two or three prongs at the corners where the points of the jewels are nestled in specialized v-shaped prongs (usually called chevron prongs).

 

While the prongs must always be equal, the visible ends can be round shapes, oval shapes, points, chevrons, flats, and sometimes even formed into ornamental shapes (usually called enhanced prongs).

 

As all gemstones are suitable for prong setting, it is the most frequently used method of setting gems into jewelry. This is because the prongs are easier to adjust to the size of an individual gemstone. Understandably, the more prongs, the more secure and safe your gemstones will be.

 

Since the gemstone is positioned higher and is more easily seen, prong setting brilliantly shows off the gemstone. Prong setting is especially popular for solitaire engagement rings and in bridal rings. When combined with pavé setting, prong settings are considered to be the most suitable for designs with smaller shoulders or smaller gemstones.

 

Bezel setting

A bezel setting is a crafted diskette of metal that holds the gemstone by its girdle to the ring, securely encircling the entire circumference of the gem. An age-old technique that can appear very contoured and modern, it is labor intensive and must be crafted to precisely circumnavigate the outline of the gem.

 

A variation of the bezel setting is the flush setting, where the surface of the ring has a window cut into it that exactly fits the size of the gem. Secured from underneath, the crown of the gem rises from the ring, beautifully catching rays of light. When the setting half surrounds the gemstone it is called a half-bezel or semi-bezel setting.

 

A bezel setting needs to be balanced and straight, from angle-to-angle. Bezel setting gemstones cut with sides and angles is considered difficult, while oval and round cuts are easier. Bezels can have straight or scalloped edges and can be molded into a gemstone of any shape, protecting the gemstone’s edges, girdle and pavilion.

 

Adding height, dimension and a great modern look, bezel setting is well suited to people with active lifestyles. Bezel settings are ideal when the design has big shoulders or larger gemstones. The bezel setting is best for earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings.

 

Pavé setting

Pronounced pa-vay, pavé setting is a prong-like setting where the prongs are so small they are barely visible. The settings are created by the use of tiny handmade prongs that hold the gems on both sides or by scooping beads of precious metal out to hold the gems in place.

 

Pavé settings produce a carpet of brilliance across the entire surface of a piece of jewelry. The surface is encrusted or quite literally “paved” in gems, vibrantly bringing the body of the jewelry to life.

 

Pavé setting displays an illusionary bigger look using multiple gemstones and is usually combined with other gemstone settings to add more effect and beauty. Pavé setting is best for round, oval, princess, emerald, square and baguette cut gemstones. Pavé settings are frequently used for diamonds in conjunction with white gold, thereby creating the illusion of the whole piece of jewelry being crafted from diamonds.

 

Channel setting

Channel setting is a technique whereby gemstones are set side-by-side with their girdles held between two long tracks of precious metal. When used with square, princess and rectangular shaped gems the effect is breathtaking, as no metal appears between them. The gems appear to float in a tightly bejeweled chain within the jewelry.

 

The gemstones in channel settings are set so closely together that no precious metal between the gems is necessary. This allows the set gems to display their maximum amount of brilliance. Understandably, it is very important that gemstones with precisely cut pavilions are used in channel setting. If not, the gemstones will crack during setting or be later lost. Often seen in eternity band rings and tennis bracelets, channel setting is increasingly common in modern jewelry designs featuring round, oval, princess, emerald, square and baguette cut gems.

 

Bar setting

Bar settings are constructed from short bars that run like a railway track across the jewelry. Gemstones are individually set between these bars leaving the sides of the gemstones exposed to light. An increasingly popular setting style, this technique maximizes the amount of light entering the gemstones thereby optimizing brilliance and sparkle. The bar setting is a version of the channel setting and can often combine a contemporary and classic look in one design. Bar setting is best for rings featuring round, oval, princess, emerald, square and baguette cut gems.


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