Advice Line - 020 7831 9551

Five questions to ask when choosing a ring setting

You might think that once you have sourced the perfect stone, the hard part of buying a diamond ring is done. Well, you’re half way there. Next comes the setting. While the stone is likely to account for most of the ring’s value – and sentiment – it is the setting which can make or break a ring, sometimes literally.

Think of the setting as having three core purposes; to look great, to champion the stone, and to be functional, securely holding the diamond in place.

When picking a setting, you will come across many styles and each one will have its own advantages and drawbacks. But don’t be daunted. Let’s focus on the essentials:

1. Is your choice practical for everyday wear?

how-to-get-her-engagement-ring-size-4Many settings are beautiful – but might not stand up well to your fiancee’s lifestyle.

Perhaps the most classic ring setting is the ‘Claw set’, which features a ‘claw’ to securely hold the diamond in place.

While claw settings allow a lot of light through and help show off the diamond, the claw can jut out and catch on clothing and hair, particularly if the claws are high-set or if your fiancée leads a very active lifestyle.

You need to make sure that the ring is expertly finished, as it is at Sterling Diamonds, to prevent problems.

Another popular choice is the Rub Over setting, which protects the whole edge of the diamonds, but doesn’t give you the full view of the diamond.

If you are considering surrounding the main diamond with smaller diamonds, consider the Pavé or Channel set. Pavé comes from the French word “to pave,” as in paved with diamonds, and involves setting small diamonds together around the band to give the effect of a continuous sparkle. The Channel set is similar, but the stones are not held individually with claws.

These settings are undeniably stunning and twinkling. But if your fiancée is at risk of accidentally bashing her ring about, consider going for a half-band, unless it is worn only occasionally. It is not unusual for the small stones to loosen, especially if the ring fits in too loosely on her finger (a problem you won’t have with Sterling Diamonds, as we offer a free resizing for all engagement rings!).

In addition, you should only go for a ring with diamonds all the way around it if the bride is coming in for a fitting herself, or if the groom has her exact finger size, as it is difficult to resize or modify afterwards.

2. What material is the setting made of?

If within budget, platinum is the best metal to go for. Lustrous and silver-looking in colour, it is more durable than gold or silver, and won’t corrode or fade. It has thus become a very fashionable choice.

3. Will a copy work?

unique-antique-engagement-ringsDuring your search, you may have seen a design that you would like to copy. While we will do our best to work with you to produce your perfect unique ring, bear in mind that reproductions sometimes do not look exactly like the original.

For example, you may have a different sized stone to the one in the ring you would like to reproduce. As a result, more lavish, complicated designs, that are perhaps vintage-inspired or art deco, may have to be scaled back.

What might look great in theory or on someone else’s finger might not suit your fiancée.

And working with a designer can be expensive. This may leave you less money to spend on the diamond, which is after all the centrepiece, or you may not be able to recreate the more complicated or extravagant elements of the original.

Working out whether a replica is realistic is crucial before you get your heart set on it!

4. How will it look with the wedding band?

Wedding_and_Engagement_Rings_2151pxThe wedding band stacks alongside the engagement ring so it’s crucial that the two fit and sit together seamlessly.

They can be sold as a package (which will probably work out more cost-effective) or, if the ring shape is irregular, be made specially to order.

You will want the wedding band to match the design of the engagement ring. So if the engagement band is diamond-embellished then you may also want diamonds adorning the wedding band.

And – gentlemen – don’t forget your wedding band either. Most people prefer men’s wedding bands that tie in with their fiancees’, and you might be able to negotiate a better deal buying a bridal ring set.

5. Does it have hallmarks?

hallmarks-imageYou want to ensure the ring is stamped, labelling the item with the type of metal it is – a legal requirement in the UK. This hallmark is usually found on the inside of the ring. Some items are exempt depending on their weight so it’s important to check.

When you come to do your research, don’t be overwhelmed by the variety. We are on hand to guide you through the process and steer you away from any potential pitfalls – towards the ring of your (or your fiancee’s) dreams!

If you would like a personal consultation, to walk you through your options when looking for a beautiful diamond engagement ring, please call us on 020 7242 4552. We’ll be delighted to help.

Fields marked with an * are required
Fields marked with an * are required