Get “Set” Before Choosing a Diamond

Step One: Engagement Ring Buying Guide – Budget
Step Two : The Perfect Setting
Step Three: Engagement Ring Buying Guide – Diamond
Step Four: Engagement Ring Buying Guide – Gold or Platinum?
Step Five: Engagement Ring Buying Guide – Certification

Step one is complete, you have an idea of your budget.  Great.  Now we can move on to the setting.  When we say setting we are referring to the style of setting which will “hold” your diamond in place as well as the style of the band which in turn “holds” the setting.  Not to confuse you but sometimes the band itself becomes the setting.  More on that below.

You may ask why we suggest looking at settings before choosing a diamond.  Good question.  It’s true that the diamond is the main reason you are buying the ring .. and it should be.  First of all, the diamond is by far the most expensive part of your engagement ring, enough said!  Second, the diamond is what everyone looks at first.  Third, the diamond has many factors to choose from so why not start there and get the “hard” part over first?

We would suggest choosing a setting first for several reasons.  The setting is all about your personal style.  As you probably know, there are many many different options – and they’re all beautiful in their own way.  Once you know the setting you like you can get a diamond to complement it.  For example, you may find a setting that is perfect with a pear shaped diamond that you would never have thought of buying.  Another reason for getting the setting first is that you will know how much money you have left for the diamond.  This is another reason we started with budget!  Also, you can always change the setting or “upgrade” later.  For example if you find a diamond that is a bit under your budget you can add that back into the setting and either add side diamond or change from gold to platinum.

Of course we have no objection if you prefer to look for the diamond first and then the setting.  Many of our clients have done it this way.  Ok, so let’s delve into diamond engagement ring settings.

The Main Types of Settings .. Prong & Bezel

Prong Settings are the most popular for Diamond Engagement Rings

When you think of the classical engagement ring this is it, a round brilliant cut solitaire diamond set in prongs.  There are several choices .. 2 prongs, 3 prongs, 4 prong, and 6 prongs.  Whichever you choose, one of the main goals of a prong setting is to minimize the amount of metal surrounding the stone to allow for maximum light exposure.

For a closer look at all of these options, click on: Prong Set Engagement Rings

The Bezel Setting, Elegant & Understated, is becoming more popular

The biggest difference between the bezel and prong setting is obvious.  The bezel setting creates a rim, or collar, around the diamond.  You might think it blocks more light but the setting, if crafted properly, should not cover the table of the diamond, which is where most light enters.  (For a definition of the diamond table visit the anatomy of a diamond.)  The bezel setting has become more popular and is considered by some a safer ring, safer because the setting better protects the diamond from damage and loss.

For more on this style of setting, click on: Bezel Set Engagement Rings

How Much Should the Setting Cost?

Settings can range, in our collection, from $400 to $1,200 & Up.  In the lower end of the range, $400 – $600,  you will mainly find solid bands that are simple & elegant.  The more intricate the design naturally the more metal is used and the more time it takes to craft your band.  The most expensive bands usually come with side diamonds.  The type of metal also affects the costs.  Platinum is more expensive than gold, no matter which color of gold you choose.  White Gold, Yellow Gold and Pink Gold are the same price.  Choosing platinum could add 10-30% to the price of the band.  More detail on this in Step 4: Gold or Platinum?

We previously discussed, in the section on budget, what the average cost of an engagement ring is .. somewhere between $3,000 and $6,000.  If we average it out and say $4,500 – then the majority of that will clearly be on the diamond.  So what is the average cost of a setting?  Let’s work through the logic.  The most popular ring by far is a round brilliant cut solitaire engagement ring.  We do not have any statistics on the types of bands people choose however let’s assume they are simple & elegant – so solid bands at the lower end of the range, $400-$600.  So we are going to guess-timate $500.

So for an average engagement ring that costs $4,500 .. $500 will be for the setting and $4,000 on the diamond.  Obviously the lower your budget the less you have to spend on the diamond as a percentage.  If you have a larger budget the opposite is true.  You get the idea.

Solitaire Ring or Solitaire Ring with Side Diamonds?

Another decision to make is whether you want to add side stones.  How much extra?  The price can double for the cost of the setting and this is without the diamonds added.  The side diamonds themselves can add a significant cost to the ring and that we’ll delve into in our next step, step 3.  At Mazal Diamond the price of the side diamonds are included in the price of the center stone when you buy a solitaire ring with side diamonds.

The goal of side diamonds, besides obviously making your band more brilliant, is to highlight your center stone.  You don’t want to distract from the main, center diamond.  Certain diamond shapes are preferred for use as side diamonds.  The most popular shapes used for side diamonds are: the round brilliant cut, the trilliant shaped diamond and the baguette cut diamond.

The use of side diamonds can be very simple, like the first three images below.  From left to right can you see the differences?  The left image features a single row of pave set stones on the top of the band.  Adding a second row of pave set diamonds, the middle image, will make a much more dramatic statement.  You can also add rows of diamonds on 3 sides of the band for even more style.  The band doesn’t have to be a simple curve.  Look at the second row of images to see the beautiful designs from Stefano Nicoletti, Mazal Diamond’s Creative Director.

Click here to see Mazal Diamond’s full line of diamond engagement rings

A Very Personal Decision

You will see this theme repeated through our engagement ring buying guide.  Every diamond is unique – no two are the same – so no matter which one you choose it will be special to you.  This holds true in turn for the setting.  Since your diamond is going to be one of a kind you want a setting that shows it off but also fits your style.  Whatever you choose it’s going to be beautiful!  We hope we have proposed, no pun intended, several setting options that will help in making your decision.  As always, our expert staff is available to answer your questions .. click here to contact us.  You can also Ask Stefano.  Just click on the box on the left side of the page.

On to Step 3: Choosing the Right Diamond

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