Jewelry Design Glossary

Center Gemstone Setting Options

The center gemstone setting is an important consideration for the overall look of your engagement ring. The type of setting will showcase your dazzling center gemstone, as well as hold it securely in place. It is also important to consider your lifestyle when choosing a center gemstone setting. Bezel and other low profile settings are great choices for active lifestyles, while peg head settings hold the diamond a bit higher and are more exposed.

Basket  A basket setting features prongs that secure the gemstone in a basket shape. A popular choice, it optimizes the amount of light to pass through the gem, while keeping it set low.
Trellis A trellis setting features interwoven prongs that create an elegant design and secure the gemstone low in a basket.
Bezel A bezel setting features a stone that is fully surrounded by a thin border of precious metal, which holds the gem securely in place. This setting accentuates the gemstone for a contemporary look.
Semi Bezel A semi bezel features two thin borders of precious metal that arc around the East and West sides of the gem. Since the border of precious metal does not fully encircle the gem, more light is able to pass through and show off the gem’s brilliant facets.
Halo In a halo setting, the center gemstone is completely encircled by smaller accent diamonds, which enhance the center gem for a glamorous look. Halo settings are one of the most sought after engagement ring styles today.
Three Stone The classic three stone ring typically features a larger center gemstone framed on either side by slightly smaller or equal size gems. A three stone setting is often thought to represent a couple’s past, present, and future.
Compass Point A compass point setting features a center gemstone that is held securely in place by four precious metal prongs on the North, South, East and West sides of the gem.
Integrated Head A ring can either have an integrated head or a peg head. A ring with an integrated head is cast as one continuous piece of precious metal, and center gemstones will typically sit lower and more flush with the band.
Peg Head A peg head is soldered separately onto the ring shank, holding the diamond a bit higher. The majority of peg head settings feature either four or six prongs securing the center gemstone.


Accent Gemstone Setting Options

Accent gemstones are small diamonds or other gemstones incorporated into the ring to add a touch of sparkle and glamour. If you choose a style with accent gemstones, there are a variety of setting options to consider. Accent gemstones can either span just a portion of the ring or fully encircle the entire band in an “eternity” style.

Channel  A channel setting features gemstones gracefully suspended between two parallel walls of precious metal for a smooth, elegant look.


In this glamorous setting type, gemstones are set closely together for a dazzling, diamond-encrusted look. The gemstones are held securely in place by small beads of precious metal.


With a shared prong setting, adjacent gemstones share precious metal prongs which allows more light to pass through and increases their brilliance and fire.


A bezel setting features a gemstone that is fully encircled by a thin border of precious metal, which holds the gem securely in place.


A bar setting is a variation on the channel setting in which gems are held securely in place between parallel vertical channels.


Flush set gemstones are set into the band so that only the top of the gem is visible and the ring’s surface is smooth and even. Since no precious metal prongs are required to set the gem, gemstones can be placed anywhere in the piece where the depth of the ring can accommodate the gem.


In French pavé settings the metal beads securing the diamonds feature a small V shaped cutout underneath each diamond, and are seen as split prongs from the top.


This technique features metal beads with small U shaped cutouts, creating a scalloped effect, and are seen as split prongs from the top.


Types of Bands

The ring shank, or what is commonly referred to as the band, is the portion of the ring that encircles the finger. The shank is an important design element affecting both the appearance of the ring and how it feels to the wearer.


 Flat bands feature angular edges and sleek, flat outer surfaces.


Comfort fit bands feature a rounded inside edge for increased comfort and wearability.


A rounded or half-round band features a subtly domed or softened outer surface.


A knife edge features two gently slanted sides that meet at a point at the top of the band creating a sleek and elegant look.


With a split shank design, the band on either side of the ring divides into two before joining with the center gemstone.


With a cathedral setting, the center gemstone is framed between elegant archways that gently taper upward towards the center gem.


With a bypass ring shank the two sides of the band overlap or traverse rather than forming a straight line.


Finishing Details

Precious metal details are a great way to add interest or embellishment to your ring. Finishing details can affect the overall appearance of the ring, giving it either a more contemporary or vintage look.



 A delicate beaded effect along the edge of the piece. Milgrain detailing is popular in vintage and antique style jewelry. Also called “millegrain.


This contemporary finish is a popular alternative to traditional high polish, which is shiny and reflective. A satin finish has a soft, non-reflective quality, while a matte or brushed finish appears more textured. One benefit to this finish is scratches on the surface do not show up easily.


An exquisite vintage design element where small threads of precious metal create artistic, lacy designs.


Hand engraving is done by a jeweler who hand carves designs into the precious metal. Each hand engraving is unique as no two are exactly the same.


Soft indentations are formed into the precious metal surface adding visual texture. This finishing detail is great for active lifestyles as it easily disguises wear and tear over time.
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