Are you a fan of pavé?
How do you feel about prongs?
And what, exactly, is a bezel?
To the regular person, this jewelry jargon might seem a little confusing.
There’s more than one way for a designer to incorporate gems into your jewelry for a lifetime of wear. The terms above refer to a different techniques a jeweler can use when creating your design.
Each setting technique gives the jewelry a slightly different look — from the sleek and minimal to decorative, romantic, or modern — and appearance is one factor you can use to determine the style for you. But the durability of your gemstone and your personal wearing habits should also come into play.
Let's explore a few of these popular setting techniques below.
In a bezel setting, the gemstone is surrounded by a lip of metal that secures the stone in place. Bezels can be crafted with thick or thin walls.
This type of setting adds visual size to the stone while also keeping the edge of the gem protected. This makes bezel settings a great option for folks with an active lifestyle.
Prong settings come in a variety of shapes and styles, but they essentially function the same: small metal wires are evenly placed around the gem and grip it into place. These prongs can be round, flat, pointed, or even V-shaped. In many cases a special notch called a "seat" is carved into the prong to hold the edge of the stone.
Prong settings allow you to see more of the diamond than the surrounding metal and also let more light into the sides of the gemstone.
Prong settings do sometimes snag clothing and can bend or break with heavy wear. It is important to have prong set gems inspected regularly by your jeweler.
The translation of the French word pavé is "to pave". In this setting style the gemstones are set very close together and held in place by small beads of metal. The resulting look is that the surface is paved with gems.
By using variety of diamond sizes, jewelers can create layouts that cover nearly any shape.
In this linear style of setting, diamonds are set into a groove between two ridges of metal. This method leaves a clean, modern edge and looks as if the gems are floating in between.
Flush set gems are embedded into the surface of the metal. In this type of setting, the top of the diamond, or table, is level with the metal around it. The point at the bottom of the diamond does not protrude from the back side.
A halo setting incorporates two methods of gemstone setting into one finished look. A center stone held in place by a bezel or prongs is surrounded by a border of smaller stones. These gems can be held in place using any of the former gem setting techniques: prong, channel, flush, or most commonly, pavé.