When buying any ring, there are certain terms and aspect of a ring that one should become familiar with so that you can make an educated decision and shop with confidence. It all starts with understanding the construction of a ring and its many components.
In general, a ring is comprised of a shank, the bridge, (upon which a head is set) a setting (sometimes a head or otherwise a built in portion), and a center diamond. Some engagement rings are plain mounting (solitaires) while others have diamonds set in the shank (semi-mountings).
Most gold jewelry sold in the United States is made out of 14K or 18K gold. Pure 24K gold is not used in jewelry because it is too soft to be worn everyday and can’t withstand the daily wear and tear. Instead gold is alloyed with other metals such as nickel, silver, and zinc to give it strength, resulting in different Karat purities of gold.
The karatage of gold indicates the percentage of pure gold with 24K being pure gold. So 18K gold is 75% pure gold mixed with various alloys to give the metal strength. 14K gold is 58.5% pure gold mixed with various alloys for strength.
Platinum is the other most popular metal of choice for jewelry. Platinum is a pure (usually 90-95% pure), naturally white metal which is especially desirable for jewelry because it doesn’t cast any of its color on to the diamonds. Platinum is an especially durable metal due to its density and won’t wear away so that diamonds will be held firmly and securely in place for a lifetime of wear.
Further, platinum is such a pure metal that it is naturally hypoallergenic and is perfect for people with sensitive skin
At Dana Rebecca Designs Bridal, we use only the finest alloys available in the jewelry industry. Our special gold alloy retains its beautiful color over time for easier maintenance and long life. Our platinum is 90% pure for beautiful white color that is ideal for jewelry and extends the durability for a lifetime of wear.
Channel setting is one of the most popular setting styles available to set diamonds in engagement and wedding rings. Channel setting involves placing diamonds into a continuous row with a wall of metal on each side to hold the stones in place. To channel set diamonds, first a grove is cut in the wall. Then, the diamond’s girdle is placed into the groove and the top of the wall is “hammered” down to secure the stones in the setting.
Prong Setting - This style of setting is most often used to set center stones or larger complimentary diamonds so as not to interfere with light getting to the stone to maximize brilliance. With prong setting, thin wires of metal are spaced around to stone (usually 4 or 6) and are used to secure the stone in place. This allows the stone be secured while allowing the most possible light to reach the diamond. In order to accomplish this goal, each prong is grooved at a certain point and the girdle of the diamond is placed in that grove and the remaining metal is folded over the stone to secure it in place. Prong setting can also be seen in different forms:
- Shared Prong – a common set of prongs is shared between two stones to secure both stones in place. This technique allows maximum light to reach the diamond while also making them appear to be set side-by-side with nothing blocking the view between them.
- V-Prongs is a setting style used to offer protection for pointed edges of diamonds or gemstones. V-Prongs are utilized on certain shape stones such as marquis, princess cuts, pear shapes and heart shapes.
Bead Setting is one of the oldest setting styles. With bead setting diamonds are placed in holes drilled out of the shank and tiny “beads” are raised from the metal to secure the individual stones in place. More often than not, each stone is secured with four beads evenly spaced around the diamond
Micro-pave is a setting style very similar to bead setting. With micro-pave diamonds are place into holes drilled out of the shank of the ring. The setter, using a high-powered micro-scope raises tiny prongs around the diamond to secure the stone in place. Today, models of rings are often made with the “beads” pre-raised so as to make the job of the setter easier, resulting in finer setting and a cleaner look.
Bezel Setting has a metal rim that encircles the sides of a gemstone and extends slightly above it. A small groove is drilled into that metal rim and the girdle of the diamond is placed into that groove and the top of the rim is then “hammered” down to secure the stone. Diamonds can be set in full bezels (rim stretches around the entire circumference of the stone) or half bezel (rim only goes around a portion of the stone). Bezel setting is generally very protective due to it’s low profile and can also be utilized to cover chips or inclusions in a gemstone.
Burnish Setting or flush setting is similar to bead setting, but after the stone is inserted into the space, instead of using a graver to lift beads, a rubbing tool is used to push the metal all around onto the stone, not very different from bezel setting. The stone will be roughly flush with the surface, with a nice rubbed edge around it.