Whether you’re in the market for a custom ethical engagement ring or an heirloom redesign, shopping for a ring can be a daunting task if you're not sure where to start. With so many different ring styles to choose from, there is truly something for everyone. But how do you know what’s best for you or your partner? Let’s start with choosing a setting. A setting gives a ring its personality, from the classic four prongs of our Avens Diamond Ring 1.0ct or Kalmia Diamond Oval Ring to the octagonal bezel of our Allium Octad Champagne Diamond Ring .75ct. If you’re having trouble picking just one style, our playful signature lash setting is a mix of prongs and half bezels that compliment gemstones of all shapes and sizes.
Before diving in head first, we recommend considering the following:
Your choice of stone is a major factor here. A diamond is a perfect candidate for any setting since it’s such a durable stone. Emeralds, on the other hand, are more delicate and may not be the best choice for an everyday ring or someone with an active lifestyle. A protective setting, like the cluster prongs of our Sol Emerald Ring, offers a low profile design while still showing off the vibrant green shimmer of this gorgeous gemstone.
Are you an active work-with-your-hands type or more likely to be found lounging with a book in your perfectly manicured hands? It’s important to take lifestyle into account when choosing both a gemstone and a setting. A harder stone, like a diamond or sapphire, is much less likely to scratch or dull from everyday wear than a soft stone is. There are protective settings that not only protect gemstones but won’t snag on clothing.
You might be dreaming of a bold solitaire, or maybe a delicate cluster is more your style - check out our Burst Cluster Champagne Diamond Ombré Ring. A halo setting, like our Quince Diamond Halo Ring .50ct, can add both size and sparkle to a smaller center stone. Your choice of ring size may be heavily influenced by your gemstone choice and lifestyle if you’re shopping for an everyday wear ring, like an engagement ring or wedding band.
With these factors in mind, let’s learn more about the pros and cons of some of the most popular ring settings:
A bezel is a protective rim of metal that encases a gemstone. This is a smart design to choose if you live an active lifestyle or want to work with a softer gemstone. Bezels won’t snag on clothes and have a chic minimalist vibe that we love - like our Allium Blue Green Sapphire Ring and this Custom Bezel Set 1.71ct Radiant Cut Diamond Solitaire Ring. This setting can also make a stone look a bit larger if that is an effect you are after. One of the only downsides to a bezel setting is the visual effect on gemstones. Because of the extra metal, bezels don’t allow as much light to pass through a gemstone, meaning slightly less sparkle.
Prong settings are a classic choice, especially if you want to highlight a unique gemstone like this Custom Hex Green Sapphire Solitaire Ring. Since this setting doesn’t require as much metal to secure a gemstone, more light is allowed to pass through (allowing for maximum sparkle). This setting is best suited for a durable gemstone like diamond or garnet - see our Avens Garnet Ring, featuring a deep blood red Arizona anthill garnet. Some cons to prongs are that they can snag on clothing and require more tightening and maintenance over time.
Can’t decide on just one setting? Our Lash setting, Bario Neal’s iconic signature design, is a hybrid that adds unique style and extra protection for a variety of gemstones. Our three stone Lash Cluster Triad Opal Ring and Lash Cluster Triad Andalusite Marquise Ring are excellent choices for alternative engagement rings. This setting works for solitaires too, like our Lash Diamond Ring .75ct and Lash Sky Blue Sapphire Pear Ring.
Burnishing is setting a gemstone directly into metal and then pushing metal around the stone to secure it. While this style of setting is most commonly found on bands, like this gorgeous Custom Burnish Set Diamond Band and Custom Diamond, Ruby, and Smokey Quartz Band, our burnish set Aira Diamond Ring can be ordered with a .50ct or 1.0ct diamond. A downside to burnish setting is that it’s not a great choice for softer stones like moonstone and opals.
We get it, it’s not an easy decision! When in doubt, consult a reputable jeweler (like us.) We firmly believe that comfort and wearability don't have to be sacrificed for style and size. You might want to try on different settings and consider whether or not you’ll be stacking your ring with a band. You may love the way a ring looks but not how it feels. With all this in mind, we recommend making an appointment with us virtually or at our Philadelphia or Brooklyn showroom so we can help you choose (or design) the ring of your dreams.