5 Popular Types of Wedding Ring Settings—Plus the Pros and Cons of Each

These are the pros and cons of different types of engagement ring settings—and how to choose the right one.

Types of engagement ring settings - engagement rings and diamond rings
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It's natural for an engagement ring's center stone to be the center of attention, but the ring setting is a key design element, too, since it affects everything from the price tag to how much light reaches the stone. Ring setting refers to where the diamond (or other center stone) sits on the ring's band, or shank, and how exactly it's secured in place.

You may know your stuff when it comes to diamonds (Hello, 4 Cs!), but it's worth brushing up on different types of settings, too—these two ring details go hand in hand, after all. With help from Brilliant Earth, a leader of ethically sourced bridal and fine jewelry, we're breaking down the pros and cons of the most popular types of engagement ring settings, from prongs to pavés and everything in between.

Types of engagement ring settings - guide and chart with pictures of popular ring settings
Emma Darvick

Popular Types of Engagement Ring Settings

01 of 05

Prong or solitaire setting

Types of engagement ring settings - Prong or solitaire setting ring picture
Emma Darvick

Prongs are the little claws or arms that reach up and around the edges of the diamond to hold it in place. This type uses anywhere from three to six prongs (depending on the diamond size and shape, and the wearer's preference) to secure the stone.

Pros: Perfect for a solitaire (or single) diamond (the most popular stone type), a prong setting allows for the most light exposure—giving the center stone maximum sparkle factor. It's a clean and timeless ring setting that works for almost all stone shapes. It also easily accommodates a wedding band and may cost less due to its simple design.

Cons: Gemstones set with prongs tend to be elevated, which showcases the stone, but might not be your first choice for an everyday ring (e.g., an engagement ring), especially if you're active and worry about hitting your ring on things.

02 of 05

Halo setting

Types of engagement ring settings - Halo setting ring picture
Emma Darvick

A halo engagement ring features a larger center stone hugged by a circle, or halo, of smaller accent diamonds. "Halo settings can come in a range of styles, including a single halo, two (or more) halos, or a distinct floral or scalloped design," according to Brilliant Earth.

Pros: A halo is one of the best ways to get more bling for your buck. This type of setting offers the illusion of a larger center stone without the price tag. The accent stones also add texture and dimension to a solitaire stone.

Cons: A low-sitting halo can make it more difficult to find a wedding band that sits flush against the engagement ring. If you're obsessed with having a halo, but want to avoid this issue, look for a ring designed with a higher-set diamond and surrounding halo.

03 of 05

Pavé setting

Types of engagement ring settings - Pavé setting
Emma Darvick

The name for this setting literally comes from the French word "paved," because a pavé ring looks like a road paved with teeny-tiny diamonds.

Pros: A pavé setting elevates a simple band to something extra special. Many people upgrade their engagement rings with a pavé after an anniversary or other marriage milestone.

Cons: With diamonds set into the band, resizing a pavé ring can prove challenging compared to a plain band. Brilliant Earth also points out that engagement rings featuring such little diamonds can require more maintenance. You might be making more trips to the jeweler for cleanings and inspections than you would with a solitaire ring.

04 of 05

Three-stone (or side-stone) setting

Types of engagement ring settings - Three-stone (or side-stone) setting
Emma Darvick

This setting consists of a center diamond flanked by two (sometimes smaller) side stones, either diamonds or other precious gemstones.

Pros: The sheer number of stones allowed by this type of setting means more room for creativity. Sapphires, rubies, or emeralds make for beautiful additions to this multi-stone setting. It's not just for looks, either: Three-stone rings are said to symbolize a couple's past, present, and future.

Cons: The accent stones may steal the limelight from the center diamond or make it appear smaller than it really is. It can also be tricky to find three diamonds of identical (or even near-identical) color and clarity. You may need to select a higher color or clarity center diamond if you're aiming to perfectly match the two accent diamonds. And remember, the higher the color and clarity, the more expensive it is.

05 of 05

Bezel setting

Types of engagement ring settings - Bezel Setting
Emma Darvick

Instead of holding a raised diamond in place with prongs, a bezel setting wraps the center diamond snugly in a metal rim that either completely or partially covers its sides.

Pros: This setting is ideal for anyone with a very active job or lifestyle (e.g., nurses, doctors, gym rats) but is also popular in general for its modern, minimalist appeal. The simple setting creates a perfectly smooth edge and keeps the gem extremely secure.

Cons: Bezels cover more of the diamond's girdle and sides, so you'd need to splurge on a larger diamond for the same visual effect as a prong setting. Skip a bezel if you've always wanted to flaunt a diamond from all sides.

RELATED: How to Measure Your Ring Size at Home

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