Engagement Rings can come in all different shapes, sizes, styles and colors. 14k, 18k and Platinum are the preferred Metals of choice!
Some people like the Classic Tiffany Style Engagement Ring, others prefer a low profile ring with a bezel set stone…
3 Stone Rings (Past, Present, Future) are highly popular.
Take a look at some Engagement Rings below…
Let’s take a closer look at all the different types and styles of Engagement Rings available on the market and in stores today.
Tiffany Style Ring
The Tiffany Style Engagement Ring is a Classic, Simple Band that just shows off the Diamond better than any mounting out there.
It’s the default ring and the ring I would recommend if you don’t know the exact style of ring she would like.
These types of bands may vary a bit in width, thickness, and style (2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, rounded edges, knife edges, comfort fit bands), and the head will vary slightly as well. Let’s look at those…
Engagement Ring Heads
The head is what your Diamond sits in. It can be many different things. Low Profile Heads (sitting closer to the finger), or High Profile Heads (sitting up higher to allow the maximum amount of light to enter the stone).
High Profile Heads are the normal sized head, because they work well with any type of Engagement Ring Wrap, Insert or Jacket (Wedding Bands that go up against or wrap around the Engagement Ring).
You can choose from the classic 4 Prong Head (also called the Claw), to a 6 Prong Head (more secure and durable, but it covers up more of the Diamond).
There are also Tulip Style Heads (looks like Flower Petals), and some rings even have Double Prongs – just to be different!
Other heads are the Buttercup (scooped or sloped at the base), to V-Tipped Prongs (comes to a point which are used to cap pointed Diamonds like the Princess Cut, Marquise Cut, Pear Cut… just about any Fancy Cut Diamond with a sharp corner).
You can also have your Diamond set down into a Basket (most Gemstone Rings are set this way), which lowers your Diamond down into a wire frame (think Diamond Stud Earrings). This gives the ring an entirely different look and feel.
View the different types of Heads made for Engagement Rings below…
Cathedral Style Engagement Rings
One step further from the Tiffany Style Engagement Rings are the Cathedral Style Rings. These Mountings are excellent choices for any Solitaire Diamond (no matter what shape or Carat Weight).
Cathedral Style Engagement Rings are wider mountings with raised sides that come up and help show off and protect your Diamond.
I LOVE these Types of Mountings!
For a single Diamond they are Awesome! They make any Diamond look like a million bucks (as long as the Diamond is big enough and doesn’t get lost in the metal).
Take a look at some great Cathedral Style Mountings below…
Out of all the different Solitaire Mountings available today, the one that stands out the most and the one I love the most are Cathedral Mountings with heavy curved sides like the ring shown below…
You put a Diamond of 1.00 (One Carat) or larger in that Mounting and it will be the best decision you could have ever made. Nothing beats this simplicity or this clean, elegant style. It’s just Awesome!!!
P.S. James Allen has that ring in both 18k and Platinum!
Bezel Set Mountings
Bezel Sets are where the mounting has no prongs to cover up your Diamond. Instead, a rim of metal is bent over the outer edge of the stone which securely holds it in place. This rim also protects the Girdle of the Diamond from chipping or breaking.
Many nurses wear Bezel Set Diamonds so they don’t scratch their patients.
There are two different types of Bezel Set Mountings: Full Bezel & Partial Bezel.
In Full Bezel Set, the rim of metal runs all the way around the Diamond. The entire edge of the stone is encompassed and secure in the collar (which can be of any shape the Diamond is: Round, Square, Rectangle, Pear…).
In Partial Bezel Set Mountings, only half, or part of the stone’s edge is covered up by the bezel.
Take a look at the images below to see the differences between Bezel Set stones and Partial Bezel Set Stones…
Flush Set or Gypsy Set Mountings
Gypsy Set or Flush Settings are a beautiful look. They set small Carat Weight Diamonds around the band, flush with the mounting with no prongs or beads, just a smooth surface.
The Jeweler literally drills a hole in the metal, forms a tiny lip that the stone snaps down into. They look very cool and modern.
My favorite type of Gypsy Setting is where they take different sizes of Diamonds and randomly set them in the ring as such…
They are a great way to utilize some of your old Diamonds that you don’t wear anymore. Have them Flush Set them into your Engagement Ring or Pendant. You’ll love it!
Plus, you’ll get tons of compliments on your one-of-a-kind ring!
Tension Set Mountings
Tension Set Diamonds are where the stone is held into place by opposite sides of the mounting.
It literally clamps the stone in like vice grips.
While this is a wonderful look, the stone can be chipped or damaged since half the edge is showing and vulnerable. Plus, the part that they clamp in the mounting can get crushed or broken as well if it’s pinched too tight.
I love the look of Tension Set stones, it’s like they are suspended and floating in the mounting, but they tend to get bumped and rock loose often. Which also means, they can fall out and get lost!
I prefer prongs or bezels holding in my Diamond.
If you purchase Tension Sets, be careful with them and have the mounting checked often (every 2-3 months) to make sure your Diamond is still securely held in place.
Illusion Head Settings
Illusion Settings give the Illusion that the Diamonds in your ring are bigger than they really are. It can make a Half Carat (.50) look more like a One Carat (1.00).
Jewelers set the Diamond into a white metal plate with prongs or beads holding it down.
At first glance, it makes the Diamond look large. Until you see that the Diamond is the small thing in the center…
Take a look below at some examples of Illusion Set stones…
These types of settings are real popular in inexpensive rings, like Trio Sets or some older style rings. They make the ring more affordable.
Today, modern technology has transformed many of the Illusion Heads into a different style of mounting: Invisible Sets!
Invisible Set Mountings
Invisible Set Rings have specially cut Diamonds that snap into a wire frame work.
These Diamonds sit side by side without prongs or metal showing, so all it looks like is one big blur of Diamond.
Take a look at some Invisible Set Rings…
While Invisible Sets are very popular (because of the price and look), their stunning appearance should be taken with great caution.
If one stone becomes loose (which happens all the time), it could fall out and then you open up a whole can of worms. If one stone falls out, chances are, many more will tumble out of the open hole.
Sadly, Jewelers and Jewelry Stores can’t just reset a brand new Diamond in that slot… These Diamonds are not normal and will have to be sent back to the manufacturer to have a new Diamond Cut and snapped into place. That’s time and money!
Not a fun or quick process.
If you buy these, I highly suggest you get your ring insured! (but then that’s Good Advice for any Engagement Ring Purchase!)
I normally advise couples to stay away from Invisible Set Mountings. They look great, but usually result in a big headache and a big heartache later.
Invisible Set Illusion Heads
Combining both Invisible Sets and Illusion Heads you get a Diamond Ring that looks like a Solitaire Setting, but really the center stone is made up of multiple stones, usually 4 or more Diamonds, to give the appearance of a much bigger Diamond.
You get the look of a One Carat Diamond, but only pay for a Half Carat!
Not bad, but like Invisible Set stones, if one comes loose, they all could come loose and fall out. I would pass these mountings up!
Sure the prices are cheap, but the sacrifice is high. I would recommend you putting your money into a single Diamond instead. Plus, that will hold its value better anyway!
Channel Set Mountings
Channel Set Stones are probably one of my favorite types of settings. These smooth walls of metal give the ring a very clean, elegant look with no prongs to get caught or snag your clothing.
Channels add a lot of dazzle to the ring, without taking away from the beauty of your masterpiece; the Diamond. They create many wonderful designs and styles.
Take a look at some great examples of Channel Set Diamonds…
Bar Set Mountings
Similar to Channel Settings are Bar Settings. Most have never heard of Bar Settings, stores probably just refer to them as Channel Sets, but it does give you a different look.
In Bar Settings a bar (with open ends) holds in your Diamonds with just a small notch that the edges of the stones set in.
Take a look below for clarification…
Pave Set Mountings
Pave Set stones are high on my favorite list. I just love how they brought back White Gold to the market and started one of the most popular styles available.
These modern, dazzling looks are breathtaking and visual eye-candy.
In Pave Settings, stones are set very close together with small prongs or beads holding them in place. These usually cover large areas or entire surfaces of the ring or band.
Pave actually means “paved” in french and when viewing these types of rings, it’s clear to see that they do give you a cobblestone road appearance.
Take a look at some great examples of Pave Mountings used in jewelry today…
Bead Set Mountings
Bead Settings are similar to Pave Settings, but the Diamonds are usually held in place with small drops of metal, scrapings or small prongs. Scrapings are just small scoops of metal that are pushed up over the stone to hold it in the mounting.
Take a look…
Cluster Set Mountings
Clusters are Diamonds set in symmetrical patterns to look like bigger stones.
Set by prongs, or beads, these settings give your ring an entirely different look. Usually made for inexpensive rings where the Carat Weight is small, but the look is Grand!
Take a look at some Cluster Set Rings below…
The Bottom Line
These are the classic examples and styles available in Engagement Rings today.
My favorites are the Classic Tiffany Style Ring, Cathedral Styles, Channel Sets and Pave Set Mountings.
But of course, it all comes down to individual preference.
Just note that the more prongs you have in a ring or mounting, the more upkeep it will need in the future.
A ring with 4 prongs could cost you $40 or more to retip when the prongs get low (through normal wear and tear every 5-7 years). While a ring with 44 prongs could cost you a whopping $440… BIG Difference!
This is why it’s good to get a Service Plan on the mounting if the store offers it (sometimes called an Extended Service Plan). Otherwise it could cost you a lot of dough. You have to decide: Is the mounting Worth it?
This is why I always say, Simple is Better!
Tiffany style or Cathedral Styles are classic and will never go out of style. Plus the maintenance on them is very minimal.
All in all, Happy Engagement Ring Shopping! I hope this post helps you make some great decisions. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)
And if you shop at James Allen and type “RINGSUM” at checkout you’ll recieve 10% off your Mounting! :)
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About the Author
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.