Diamond Setting Guide
Going the custom-made route for your engagement ring is a wonderful choice, often less costly than buying premade jewelry, and it will always render the results for which you were hoping, because, well, you chose everything from A-Z. However, it can also be an overwhelming, scary process. Along with selecting the perfect diamond, the best suited metal and the precise setting, you have to know how to set loose diamonds.
It doesn’t have to be so scary! With a little information and education, anyone can make the perfect custom ring, and learn a little something about setting those precious diamonds.
What is a Loose Diamond
A loose diamond is – you guessed it – diamonds that can be purchased loose, or not preset in jewelry pieces. These diamonds have already been inspected for quality, and graded and certified according to their characteristics by the GIA (the Gemological Institute of America). All the legwork has been done for the customer, so all you have to do is choose the diamond that’s perfect for the custom ring you have in mind, and your first step to creating that unique engagement ring is complete!
What Holds a Diamond in its Place in Rings
Have you ever wondered how diamonds sit so perfectly and snugly in place in the gorgeous rings you see in jewelry stores? It’s all in the collet (more commonly known as the “setting”) that secures the diamond and ensures that the diamond doesn’t come loose and rattle around at the top of your ring. That’s why it’s so important to get the proper setting for the diamond you’ve selected for your custom ring before the ring’s completion.
What are the Metal Options for my Diamond Setting
In many cases, you must choose a type of metal for your engagement ring before you make a definitive decision on the setting, although some people already have an idea for the entire ring in mind, and are shopping for the lowest-price metals, with no particular preference. Should you need help deciding on your ring metal, here are some ideas (all recommendations below refer to the standard 14-18kt in their respective metal types):
Gold Ring Metals
- Yellow gold- the most common jewelry and engagement ring metal, and among the most durable. Yellow gold does not fade, rust, or develop unsightly blemishes and corrosion spots, like some of the softer and less pure metals. It also provides one of the best and most secure ring setting fits. It is a great choice of ring metal for women with very active lifestyles or jobs that require a great deal of work with their hands.
- White gold- the second most common metals used for engagement rings. White gold is a combination of manganese, zinc, palladium (a strong, durable white metal), tin, copper, and more than 50% yellow gold. Because of its yellow gold and palladium concentrations, it is among the strongest metals on the market, and is unbreakable, if well-made and the metal ratios are pure and perfect.
- Rose gold- less common than its other gold siblings, but often selected because of its pinkish, rosy color. Unlike yellow and white golds, it can become dull and lifeless, but a quick polish will have it looking good as new in no time.
White Metals (other than white gold)
Platinum- much rarer than gold metals, and among the rarest among white metals. Its rarity makes it more expensive than other metal choices, but it’s a price well-paid if it’s the metal you seek. It has a natural, whiteish-silver shine that isn’t prone to damage or fading, and its purity means it’s great for women with sensitive skin or allergies to certain metals.
What Types of Center Settings can I use
Four-prong Four metal prongs placed strategically and molded for a tight fit around the ring’s diamond.
Six-prong Similar to the four-prong, with two extra metal prongs to embrace the diamond and keep the fit snug and secure.
Pave Covered so completely with diamonds, it appears as if the ring band is nothing but glittering gemstones.
Micropave Similar to the pave setting; the ring band is covered in smaller, accent-type diamonds.
Bezel Has a thin lip of metal around the very top edge of the diamond that lies flush with the gem. Provides a tight grip on the diamond and a nonslip, secure fit.
Channel Uses the metal of the ring band, “split” into two “channels,” to suspend multiple diamonds across the band in a straight line formation.