Gemstone setting is the art of securely setting or attaching gemstones into jewelry. There are many variations of setting styles, here are the most popular fundamental types of gemstone settings for custom jewelry.
Prong Setting: This is a classic. It shows a large surface area of the stone & for the most part is quite secure. It is important that the diameter of the prongs is proportional to the size of the stone. If the prongs are too thick, then the design will look bulky but if the prongs are too thin, then the stone may not be secure.
Bezel Setting: This is by far the most secure way of setting most gemstones since it protects the stone on all sides. The disadvantage to this kind of setting is that it requires metal to be bent around the top of the stone thus reducing the apparent surface of the top of the gem. In general, this is a great option for larger faceted gemstones, stones that are fragile by nature & cabochon cut stones.
Half-Bezel Setting: This is similar to a bezel setting but exposes a greater part of the stone surface. Choosing this type of setting is often more of a design consideration.
Channel Setting: This is a classic way to set multiple gemstones of the same size in a limited space. Gemstones remain secure & their tops are nearly completely visible. Channel setting requires a high degree of skill to execute well. When done incorrectly, the stones don’t sit at the same level or may even crack.
Fishtail Setting: This is a great setting option for multiple side stones particularly on engagement rings. The stones remain very secure & ring edges stay very straight & geometric. The disadvantage to this type of setting lies mainly in design as quite a bit of metal remains visible in a fishtail setting.
Scallop Setting: This is another great option for multiple side stones on engagement rings, providing security & exposing a good deal of stone surface. Like other accent stone settings, choosing a scallop setting is a question of design.
Pavé Setting: This is the most classic way to set many stones in a small area. The reflections off the stones & the metal beads holding them in place create an illusion of a greater multiplicity of stones. This technique, when properly executed, has dazzling results.
Tension Setting: This is a very special setting which shows nearly the entire surface of a stone. For it to work, the metal needs to be particularly tense & the stone particularly hard. For example, white gold or platinum & diamond work for this. Silver & moonstone would not work. When executed well, the results are spectacular, the illusion of a floating diamond. More often than not, when not well executed, the result can be an unstable setting that loosens up with wear.
No matter what type of gemstone setting you require for your custom jewelry piece, you can find what you need at Condesa Jewelry Expertise. If you cannot make a decision, our GIA gemologist David Ciralsky can walk you through your options.