Floating Diamonds

The channel setting is one of the many different types of diamond settings.  Using this technique, diamonds are placed side by side and held in place by two tracks or channels of metal.  Some say it looks like the diamonds are floating.  The line of diamonds next to each other is stunning.

Similar to the bezel setting, the diamonds are well protected inside the two walls of precious metal, preventing snags on the edges of the stones.  The channel setting is often used in Eternity Rings, Anniversary Rings and Wedding Bands, as shown in the image on the right.  However this technique can also be used for the side stones of a diamond engagement ring.

From the side view, on the left, you can clearly see how the diamond girdle is held by the upper lips of the channels.  (To learn more about the diamond girdle, visit: anatomy of a diamond)

A disadvantage, if you could call it that, of a channel setting is that it is more expensive than the prong setting for example, due to the amount of work required.  It is also not advised for use with fragile stones.

Although stunning in yellow gold, the result is often a slight yellowing of the stones.  This would allow you to get a stone with a lower diamond color.  Some people for this reason however prefer using white gold or platinum with channel settings.

A Designer’s View

Stefano Nicoletti is Mazal Diamond Creative Director and a 3rd generation jewelry designer.  The channel setting is one of the many techniques that he has used over the years.

“In the 1980’s the channel setting was very popular,” says Stefano.  “It is ideal for mounting certain Diamond Shapes, specifically,Princess Cut, Baguette Cut and square stones in general.”

“I like the princess cut very much with a channel setting because the diamonds touch each other, giving the appearance of a continuous row of diamonds.”

“Channel setting is also used for Round Brilliant Cut diamonds but offers a completely different look than the princess because there is more space between the stones.”

“The most popular use of the channel setting today is for eternity rings, where the diamonds are set all around the bend of the ring.”

“The proper ways to set diamonds using the channel technique is to begin with two parallel pieces of metal.  Taking one of the rails, a special jeweler’s knife is used to create a groove for each diamond.  This is repeated for the parallel rail.  Then each diamond is placed inside the grooves created and the two rails are hammered so the metal holds the diamonds in place.  The metal holds the girdle of the diamond.  So, in effect you do not insert the diamonds in the rail, you create the setting around the diamonds.  Beautiful.”

IMPORTANT: There are other techniques for channel setting but they are less safe and jeopardize the setting making it weaker.  Mazal Diamond uses the technique that Stefano described.  If you have any questions please click on Ask Stefano on the left side of the page.

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