Updated: Apr 24
A large part of my work as a jewellery designer involves customizing bespoke rings, earrings and other types of jewellery for my clients. Where the piece of jewellery contains gemstones - whether precious gems (like diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies or spinels) or semi-precious ones (like amethysts or citrines), large or small, coloured or colourless, clustered or a solitaire - part of this process involves discussing with my client how to set the gemstones into their piece of jewellery.
Whatever the design of the piece of jewellery, I will discuss with my client about what gemstone setting styles are available for their gemstones, how each style will make their piece of jewellery look, the complexity, sustainability and suitability of a particular setting style and the pros and cons of each. So all that said – what are some of these gemstone setting options available?
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF GEMSTONE SETTINGS?
Commonly used in a wedding ring design, channel setting is an ideal way to add something extra to your ring or other piece of jewellery. The gemstones in a channel setting are set in a row inside a channel or groove made from two strips of metal. The gemstones are placed side by side with no metal in between. One of the great advantages of using a channel setting, especially in a ring, is that the gemstones are usually set quite securely as they are secured by 2 strips of metal.
The issue with the channel setting is that they tend to trap dirt more and are slightly more difficult to clean than a prong set piece of jewellery, as the base of the gemstone is embedded in the jewellery piece and thus harder to reach. However, this problem is not insurmountable and can be resolved with a soft brush or an ultrasonic cleaner (provided the gemstone is one that can withstand cleaning in this machine – a good jeweller should be able to advise you on how your jewellery piece should be cleaned).
Because of the way they secure the gemstones, channel set jewellery (especially relevant for rings) tend to be harder to repair or resize. In the process of doing so, even the best of bench jewellers risk bending or damaging the channels, and that may cause the gemstones to come loose. Hence, if you are choosing a channel set ring, ensure that the sizing is right. A good jeweller (like us at Joanne L ! ) will offer a ring fitting prior to delivery of the ring.
This one of the most popular and recognizable types of gemstone setting styles. This setting style reduces the amount of metal used, which is particularly useful when making gold or platinum jewellery pieces as such precious metals are expensive. This gemstone setting style allows more light to pass through a gemstone, which is especially important for a diamond.
Although one gemstone is set per prong head, this gemstone setting style can be used not only in a solitaire piece of jewellery, but also as part of a cluster of gemstones.
This jewellery setting style uses small stones that are held together by tiny prongs. There is no visible gap between the stones. This setting style gives the appearance of a ring which is solid, as though it were encrusted by the gems.
The pavé setting uses multiple smaller stones to cover a larger surface of jewellery, often a ring, pendant or earrings.
The gemstones, usually diamonds, are placed together without gaps in between. The jeweller then uses a sharp instrument to scoop the gold or platinum from the surface to keep the stones in place.
Traditionally used to set cabochon stones, the bezel setting comprises a ring or cup that surrounds the diamond or other gemstone, holding it in place. Bezel settings are very secure and the entire diamond or gem is wrapped by the gold or other metal. However, this results in a smaller surface area of the gemstone being revealed and reduces the light passing through the diamond or gemstone. Nevertheless, this is a very lovely and minimalistic setting, particularly pretty when used to set opaque or translucent gemstones.
Known also as a gypsy setting, this technique is a bit like the channel setting in that the gemstones are placed below surface level and embedded in the piece of jewellery. But unlike the channel setting, the gemstones are placed individually and set apart from each other.
SO WHAT NOW FROM HERE?
For more information on setting styles and if you would like to customise your very own bespoke piece of designer jewellery, do reach out to us here