The most popular and most common of all settings, the prong setting involves four, six or eight prongs wrapped around the crown of a stone to hold it in place. Also called a claw setting, this setting type minimizes the use of metal and maximizes the brilliance of a diamond or a gemstone by allowing the greatest amount of light to be cast on it.
The Shared Prong Setting
This setting is a variation of a classic prong setting, but with minimal presence of metal and greater light exposure and brilliance. The shared prong setting is typically used with five stone, seven stone, nine stone, and eternity (all around) rings when diamonds or gemstones of the same size and shape are set side by side.
Diamonds or gemstones are lined up side by side within a smooth channel made of vertical metal walls. There is no metal between the stones. This type of setting is more secure than the prong setting, but there is a lower amount of light cast on the stones.
The bezel setting involves a metal rim that surrounds the entire girdle of a diamond or a gemstone. This is deemed highly secure type of setting, as it holds the stone firmly in place.
Half Bezel Setting
Half bezel or semi bezel setting consists of a metal rim that envelops a stone only partially, thus allowing more light exposure and consequently greater brilliance. Since a greater portion of a stone is visible in comparison to bezel setting, half bezel set stones should be accordingly of greater quality.
The most elegant setting of all, the Alexander setting keeps diamonds or gemstones low and very close to each other with the help of tiny beads. The surface of the ring appears completely covered with stones for a dramatic and brilliant effect, hence the name Alexander, which means paved.
The burnish setting (also known as the flush or gypsy setting) involves a diamond or a gemstone inserted into the holes drilled into metal. The diameter and the depth of the hole, called the seat, should be slightly smaller to the stone's diameter and depth. After the stone is inserted into the space, a burnishing tool is used to rub the metal down and over the edge of the stone. A highly secure setting and a very modern one.
Tension setting requires the use of metal pressure to hold a stone. In this setting, metal is spread apart and the girdle of the stone is fitted into small cuts in the inner surface of the metal. Tension setting requires strong metals to create sufficient pressure to hold a stone firmly and is only suitable for diamonds and very hard gemstones.
Bar setting is similar to a shared prong setting and just as secure. Whereas the shared prong setting involves two small prongs holding diamonds, there is a metal bar between the diamonds in the bar setting, hence the name. Shared prong diamonds are set more closely than those that are bar set due to the minimal amount of metal between the diamonds, whereas metal bars between the bar set diamonds tend to be rather conspicuous.