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Ring Guide: Finding the Perfect Setting and Metal

You have selected the perfect diamond; the next step is to find the perfect setting and metal! Diamondwave.com offers an array of classic and contemporary solitaire settings, three stone rings, engagement and wedding rings with side stones and more. Our settings come from the top manufactures in the world. Below is a guide that explains the differences in metal and settings. Also view Precious Metals for more information.

Engagement Ring Metal Types


The purity of gold is measured in karats, which should not be confused with the term carat, used to measure diamond weight. The higher the karat, the greater its gold content and price. The K number specifies how many parts, by weight, of pure gold is contained in 24 parts of the alloy. Gold jewelry should always be stamped with the karat mark, either 18k, 750 (European marking for 18k), 14k, 585 (European marking for 14k), or 10k. In addition, to assure its quality, the piece should be stamped with the manufacturer's trademark or country of origin.

The decision between 14k and 18k is a matter of personal preference. 14k has the advantages of added strength, but lacks higher gold content and beauty of the rich yellow color found in 18k, which is a softer gold.

White Gold

White gold is alloyed with nickel, copper, and zinc--and while it looks similar to platinum, it has a vastly different content. To give white gold its white luster, in the final process of manufacturing white gold is rhodium plated. Rhodium* is a shiny, white metal, which is quite hard and durable; however, over time the rhodium plating may wear away, revealing the slightly yellowish tint of the underlying metal. To keep white gold looking its best, it may require rhodium re-plating every 12 to 18 months, depending on wear.

*A hard, durable, silvery-white metallic element that is used to form high-temperature alloys with platinum and is plated on other metals to produce a durable corrosion-resistant coating.


Platinum is considered the "new metal" - it is rare and pure. Platinum is generally 95% pure; it is sometimes mixed with a small amount of iridium and ruthenium to add strength. Platinum is stamped PT = 950 (95%) or PLAT=900 (90%) in the United States to indicate that it is platinum. Platinum's purity makes it hypoallergenic and ideal for those with sensitive skin. Platinum jewelry doesn't fade or tarnish and keeps its look for a lifetime. Precious metals can scratch and platinum is no exception. However, the scratch on platinum is merely a displacement of the metal and none of its volume is lost. When this happens, take your piece to a qualified jeweler to have it re-polished to a high gloss look. Platinum is the most popular and expensive metal available today.


Palladium offers many of the same desirable characteristics of platinum but at a much lower price. It is as white as platinum and whiter than white gold. Palladium is lightweight, hypoallergenic, easy to finish and polish, it does not require rhodium plating, (like white gold), and is one of the whitest of all metals. Palladium is one of the "sister" metals of platinum and shares many of the same unique characteristics and physical properties of platinum.

Ring Setting Types

Prong Setting

Prong setting is the position of the center diamond to catch the most light and it is dazzling. In a prong-setting, the diamond is inserted into metal prongs that form a basket-like base. Then the ends of the prongs are bent over and shaped so that they rest against the crown, just past the stone's girdle holding the stone snugly in place. The four-prong setting shows more diamond while the six-prong setting offers a bit more security in anchoring the diamond. Some advantages with the prong settings are the prongs are tiny, so more of the diamond shows unlike with other shape stones the prongs are visible. However prong settings sit higher up so they do have a tendency to snag on clothing or other items they touch.

Bezel Setting

Bezel setting is a modern look, securing the diamond deep inside or extends slightly above the mounting. The surrounding metal is pushed over the edges of the stone to secure it in place and can be used on any stone shape. This type of setting is perfect for the active lifestyles, the diamond or gemstones are protected due to the low profile of the diamond which prevents it from getting banged or snagged since it does not have any prongs exposed as a mounting with prongs that are above the band will have. A bezel setting can also be used to cover chips in a gem. .

Channel Setting

Channel setting is a method whereby stones are suspended between two bars or strips of metal, and flow side by side in a row called channels. The diamonds stream in a continuous row and no metals are used as a separation between them. The proper way to set a channel is to cut a notch for each stone and a groove is cut along each channel. Can be many variations of channel work at times the walls will be raised—sometimes a center stone will be set between two bars that rise high from the base ring—or the channel might just be cut directly into some surface, making the stones flush with the metal. It is still channel setting, though. A channel setting is a popular choice when looking for an engagement rings, eternity rings and wedding bands.p>

Pave Setting

Pave a type of setting where a number of small stones are set together. It literally means paved with diamonds. Small stones that encrust the surface of the band give the appearance of a solid diamond band instead of a metal one. This setting uses only tiny beads or prongs to hold the stone in place, which minimizes the appearance of the metal and makes the stone look much larger. A pave setting complements round or princess shaped stones the most and because the setting adds the necessary brilliance to the stone. The term of Micro Pave is also used for the terminology.

Halo Setting

Halo setting Vintage, Romantic, with an Antique feel. The purpose of the halo cut is to emphasize the central diamond. The framing of the center diamond shows off the brilliance and gives the illusion of a much larger center diamond. Even the smallest diamond will look twice the size. Halo is not just for round brilliant diamonds some of the most stunning framing of a stone comes with heart shape, princess cuts, etc… the beauty of the Halo is that is very universal. Halo setting is not just for rings, pendants and earrings give the same brilliance as a ring.

Milgrain Setting

Milgrain setting beaded accents add delicate detail for a more ornate antique look. Milgrain is tiny balls can be fabricated and individually soldered onto a piece. A knurling—or milgraining—tool can be rolled over a metal surface creating a row of bumps and depressions, after which they are rounded, smoothed, and polished. This is popular in the Halo and Vintage type settings.

Eternity Styles

Eternity rings are used as a wedding ring or anniversary ring, eternity rings are a symbol of everlasting love. The ring or pendant has diamonds or gemstones that go all the way around the mounting in a Although eternity rings are frequently given to celebrate an anniversary or other special event such as the birth of a child, there is no precise occasion for which to give this exceptional gift. Eternity rings or pendants in this day and age are given as engagements, anniversaries, any special occasion. .

Vintage-Antique Styles

Vintage or antique styles is an old term used for antique jewelry. So in this day age jewelry that is considered vintage is most likely to have pave, halo, milgrain, filigree or beaded; intricate side diamonds detailing makes each piece unique. Some jewelers also use the term "vintage engagement ring" while most use it as a catch-all term meaning "an old ring", others use it to mean a ring that was made to look like it was from another era; for example, a ring made in 1940 that has the filigree with a halo of beading and small diamonds. The rings are stunning and often full of diamonds and etching.