Does all the jargon around stone settings make you confused? Is the sales assistant using all the lingo, but you’re too embarrassed to ask what they actually mean? Are you looking for a simple explanation in plain English? What exactly does claw, tension and pave settings mean? Whether it’s a first time purchase for yourself or a gift for a loved one, here’s your simple guide to demystify some common stone setting jargon!
The bezel is a thin band of metal that surrounds a stone and is pressed over its edge to hold it in place. It probably is the oldest and most widely used setting in the world. A bezel setting can be a full or partial setting, a full bezel completely surrounds the stone whereas a partial bezel setting leaves the sides open. It’s a popular setting due to its contemporary look and suitability for a practical lifestyle as the sides are smooth and sit flush to the stone.
Claws (or prongs) are fingers of metal that support a stone with a simple elegance that allows the stone to dominate a design. It is possible to make prongs that almost disappear, creating the effect of a stone simply laid into position.
Most claw settings usually have four or six claws, with the former you can see more of the stone, but the latter is more secure for the stone. For example, if one claw from a six claw setting comes loose, there’s still 5 claws gripping onto the stone. Whereas, in a four claw setting, if one claw comes loose, there’s only 3 claws left – which means it might be susceptible for the stone to fall out. A benefit of this style of setting is that generally more light can pass through the stone, therefore adding to the stone’s brilliance.
A drawback of this setting is that, if the setting is high-set, it may snag on clothing or other materials, so generally a lower-set claw setting tends to be more practical for women with active lifestyles. Although most customers can generally wear this setting without too many issues, it’s recommended that the prongs be inspected
This type is setting is named for the tension of the metal band that holds the stone in place. The result is that the stone looks like its “floating” or “suspended” in between the two sides of the ring shank. A tiny groove is cut into both sides of the ring shank, so that the stone can sit into this groove and is held in place by the tension of the band pushing onto the sides of the stone.
Pronounced “par-vay”, it comes from the French word “to pave”. In this traditional setting the stones are set so close together that little metal can be seen. The object is said to be “paved” with stones. This gives the effect of continuous sparkle. Pave settings generally make the centre stone, ‘pop’ and are a great option to give extra sparkle to a lower-set or a less sparkly centre stone.
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