There are many different options available when it comes to the gem settings in a piece of platinum jewelry. Each setting has its own advantages and drawbacks. When selecting a setting, consider your wants and needs in terms of aesthetic, gem size, and the security of the gem.
The first thing to consider when choosing your setting is whether you want a large, central stone or a selection of smaller stones. This has a big impact on what options you have for a setting.
Central Stone Settings
- Prong: Also called the “claw” setting, this is the most popular choice of all the settings. The prong setting holds your stone in a set of three or more prongs, leaving your stone visible from all sides to maximize the brilliance and sparkle of the stone. A good choice for people who really want to show off a large and high-quality gem.
- Cathedral: Sometimes called the “contour” setting, this setting places your gemstone securely within a set of arches while a set of prongs hold it in place. This setting gives added protection to a stone, making it a good choice for some of the softer gems. It can also create the illusion of size for a somewhat lower-carat stone.
- Bezel: A gem set in a bezel setting is held securely in a collar of metal which may completely or partially encircle the circumference of the gem. Though this may not showcase your gem as much as the prong or cathedral, it keeps your stone safe and prevents snags. A good option for people with an active lifestyle.
- Tension: The tension setting gets its name from the fact that the gemstone is held in place by exacting pressure from two sides. Tension settings are a good way to securely hold your stone while simultaneously giving your stone maximum exposure.
Settings for Smaller Stones
- Bar: This setting holds your gem in place with two bars, set perpendicular to the band of the ring. This exposes your gem to a maximum of light from the front and rear, while simultaneously protecting it fairly securely.
- Channel: A channel setting lines up a row of gemstones in a metal channel such that each gem is held in place along the edges but there is no metal between gems. A good choice for when you have a large number of small stones.
- Flush: In a flush setting, a small gemstone is held securely inside a tiny hole in the metal of the jewelry.
- Pavé: In a pavé piece, multiple small gemstones are mounted close together in their own individual settings. This creates the appearance of the jewelry being “paved” with gems, giving the setting its name. It’s not the most secure setting, but it represents a great way to get an exceptional display out of an assortment of tiny gems.