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A Guide to the Types of Stone Settings

When it comes to designing and creating jewellery, there is more to consider than just the metal and gemstones you use. There are many different variations to consider which make each piece of jewellery unique, including how the gemstones are set within it. Here, I take a look at the different types of stone settings, which can really make a difference to the overall design of your piece of jewellery.

When do you need to choose a stone setting?

There are many different ways in which stones can be set into various pieces of jewellery including rings and earrings.  So if you have a particular setting in mind that you prefer, it can help you narrow down your choices. This can be useful for engagement rings, to give an example.

If you choose to have a bespoke piece of jewellery made, you will be able to decide on the stone setting that best works for you. Here is a guide to the different types of stone settings so you can find your perfect piece!

What are the different types of stone settings?

There are many variations of settings, so I have given a brief outline of some of the most popular ones below to help you decide what is right for you.

1. Claw

A claw setting is a popular choice because it really makes the gemstone sparkle! With this setting, there are a number of prongs at the edges of the gemstone to hold it in place, but the rest of the stone remains exposed. It requires less metal than other settings and is often used with diamonds to allow more light to reflect on the stone and display its brilliance. Stones can be set with as few as 4 prongs, however this may not be the best choice for stones such as emeralds which are very delicate and can fracture easily. 

2. Bezel or rub-over

A bezel or rub-over setting is where the gemstone is securely held into place by a continuous circle of metal that wraps around it. It is a precise setting that is popular in modern styles because it looks elegant and feels durable, as none of the stone edge is exposed.

To see an example of how a rub-over setting can be used, you can take a look at how I did this when converting an old ring into a new jewellery set for one of our lovely clients.

3. Channel

A channel setting - often seen in engagement rings - is where small gemstones are set alongside one another inside a channel to create a band with gemstones all around. The gemstones are held into place by a line of metal on either side. Channel settings also often feature a centre stone, with the smaller gemstones surrounding it.

4. Tension

This type of setting uses compression to secure the stone in place. It looks very minimalist and elegant because it appears as though the centre stone is floating between the pieces of the metal band holding it together.

5. Trilogy 

The trilogy setting, also known as the three-stone setting, is another popular and timeless choice for a ring. It can actually include different setting styles within the three stones and it is easy to personalise. For example, the three stones can have a claw setting or a bezel setting, and you can choose different sizes and shapes for the stones if preferred.

6. Cluster

With a cluster setting, gemstones are arranged closely together to form - as the name suggests - a cluster. With some pieces, the idea is to create the illusion of one larger stone. However, you can also have one central stone surrounded by a cluster of smaller stones, and you can even have different types of gemstones within the cluster.

7. Halo

With this type of setting, a number of smaller gemstones surround a larger stone in the middle to create a halo. There can be a deal of variation within this setting as the halo can be round, square or oval in shape, depending on your preference. 

8. Pavé

A pavé setting is where many smaller gemstones are set into a piece of jewellery and held into place by very small and subtle prongs, creating the illusion that the jewellery has been ‘paved’ with gemstones as there is little metal surrounding the stones.

9. Flush

Another great choice if you want a modern and minimalist piece is the flush setting. A gemstone is set directly into the metal by drilling a hole and the stone is then hammered down to secure it in place. It is a highly secure setting that minimises any potential damage to the gemstone.

I hope you have enjoyed this guide to the types of stone settings - there are so many fantastic options to choose from! If you are interested in having a piece made specially, why not take a look at our bespoke service?