Jewelry Stone Settings: A Complete Guide

Author: Jewepiter Team

When it comes to creating stunning jewelry, the stone settings are just as important as the stones themselves. The right setting can enhance the beauty of a stone, protect it from damage, and even improve its overall brilliance. 

Whether you’re a seasoned jewelry seller or just starting your jewelry business, understanding different jewelry settings can help you make informed decisions when it comes to design and quality.

In this post, we will explore everything you need to know about stone settings in jewelry, including different types of settings and how they affect the appearance and durability of a piece.

1. What is Stone Setting?

Stone settings refer to the way a gemstone is secured into a piece of jewelry. There are dozens of different types of stone settings, each with their own unique features and benefits. 

Some of the most popular types of stone settings include prong, bezel, channel, pave, flush, and tension settings.

2. Types of Jewelry Settings

Prong Settings / Claw Setting / Basket Setting

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Let’s kick things off with the prong setting. This is the most common type of setting and it’s what most people picture when they think of an engagement ring. The prong setting involves a metal claw that grips the gemstone tightly, thereby holding it in place.

Prongs can vary in number depending on the size and shape of the stone. Prongs can be single, double, triple, split, or V-shaped, each offering a different aesthetic. 

But they all serve the same purpose – to showcase the gemstone in all its glory. The elevation of prong-set stones allows light to enter from the top and sides.

And while prong settings offer great visibility, they can sometimes snag on clothing and require regular maintenance to ensure the stone remains secure.


  • Most popular and cost-effective method of setting stones
  • Wire working is a useful method for creating prongs.
  • Typically uses 3-6 evenly spaced metal claws to securely hold the gemstone
  • Available in various shapes and sizes of heads or baskets depending on stone’s shape and size
  • This technique lets more of the stone be seen, making it the center of attention. 

When it’s best used

  • Prong settings are quite versatile and can be found in various jewelry pieces such as solitaire rings, stud earrings, and pendants. 

Four Prong Setting v.s. Six Prong Setting

Four Prong Setting – evenly spaced prongs or claws are bent over and allow maximum light to shine through the diamond; available in various shapes and styles.

Six Prong Setting – offers more support to the center stone than four prong setting.

Multiple Prong Setting – reveals more features of the diamond while offering more security.

Bezel Setting/Rub-over Setting

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Next up, we have the bezel setting. This setting involves a metal rim that encircles the sides of the gemstone and extends slightly above it. Unlike prong settings, bezel settings offer more protection to the gemstone, making them a great choice for those with active lifestyles.

Bezel settings can be full, partial, open, or closed and each type offers a unique look. While bezel settings are not as flashy as prong settings, they offer a sleek, modern look that many people love.

Bezel settings are commonly found in eternity bands, cuff bracelets, and coin necklaces. They offer a smooth and comfortable fit, which adds to their popularity.


  • One of the oldest techniques still popular today and used to secure most cabochon cut gemstones along with many of the faceted stones used in fine jewelry.
  • A thin metal strip is soldered with the head to wrap around the gemstone and hold it in place
  • Provides a very secure grip and protects the gemstone’s edges, girdle, and pavilion from scratches and chips

When it’s best used

Best suited for fragile gemstones such as opal

Ideal for making the diamond appear larger than it is.

Bezel settings are commonly found in eternity bands, cuff bracelets, and coin necklaces. 

They offer a smooth and comfortable fit, which adds to their popularity. Jewelry settings are not just about aesthetics but also about functionality. 

For example, according to a report by the Jewelry Industry Research Institute, the bezel setting, which encloses the gemstone with a metal rim, is reported to be 60% more secure than the classic prong setting. 

Full Bezel Setting V.S. Semi-Bezel Setting

Full Bezel Setting – encircles the center stone completely and provides maximum protection; can accommodate any gemstone shape and is used in many types of jewelry.

Semi-Bezel Setting – shows off more of the diamond while still protecting it; allows light to enter through more angles than a full bezel setting.  It’s a bit easier to perform than gypsy setting, as it only covers the extremities of a gem.

Pave Setting

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Derived from the French word “pavé” (meaning “paved”), this setting involves carefully setting small gemstones very close together, often using tiny prongs or beads to hold them in place. 

The result? 

A mesmerizing display of brilliance and elegance!


  • Named after the French word ‘pavé’, meaning pavement, because the surface of the jewelry item appears to be covered with tiny diamonds
  • Small diamonds are set closely together, covering a large area using a lot of small prongs to hold the stones in place.
  • A type of bead setting where diamonds are set in fields rather than rows or strands. 
  • Pave set diamonds typically cover a broad expanse and share beads to create a diamond encrusted appearance.
  • Stones are positioned close together in a honeycomb pattern and held with small triangular claws
  • Produces a carpet of brilliance across the entire surface of a jewelry item
  • Pave set accent stones can enhance a modest center stone.

When it’s best used

  • Best results are achieved with diamonds and white gold
  • Perfect for adding sparkle to engagement rings, earrings or pendants. 

Types of Pave Settings

Pave settings come in various styles, each with its own unique charm. 

The micro pave setting, for instance, uses incredibly tiny diamonds for an extra dose of sparkle. 

The U-pave setting, on the other hand, features tiny U-shaped cuts where the diamonds sit, offering an unobstructed view of the stones. 

Then we have the French pave, scallop pave, and many more, each with distinctive features that can transform a piece of jewelry into a work of art.

The Pros and Cons

So, why choose a pave setting? Apart from the undeniable sparkle, it offers a beautiful way of incorporating multiple diamonds into a design without overpowering the main gemstone. 

However, it’s worth noting that due to the complexity of the setting process, pave settings can be a bit more expensive. Plus, the numerous tiny diamonds can make cleaning and maintenance a bit more challenging.

Channel Setting

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A channel setting is a technique where diamonds or gemstones are aligned in a grooved channel within the band of a ring or bracelet. 

The stones sit flush with the metal surface and appear as if they are floating. Channel settings offer a sleek and modern look that is perfect for wedding bands or eternity rings. 


  • Stones are secured in a channel that has been cut into the band before the metal is pushed over the edges of the stones, providing extra protection.
  • Maintains a solid presence in contemporary jewelry, with clearly defined edges and clean, flowing lines. Strands of channel set stones can be set in rows or ribbon throughout a piece of fine jewelry.
  • Small gemstones are set side-by-side in a groove and are typically uniform in size, held in between two parallel tracks on each metal wall
  • Gives impression of floating stones in the jewelry item and produces maximum amount of light

When it’s best used

Protects the gemstones exceptionally well and often used in wedding eternity bands, rings, and tennis bracelets

Types of Channel Settings

Channel settings come in a variety of styles. 

You have the straight channel setting which offers a neat, linear look, the tapered channel setting that narrows towards one end, and the bar channel setting that uses metal bars to separate each gemstone. 

The choice is yours!

The Pros and Cons

Channel settings offer a secure way of setting gemstones, making them a great choice for active individuals. They’re also versatile, working beautifully in everything from wedding bands to stackable rings. 

However, resizing can be tricky due to the continuous design, and the lack of light from the underside can make the gemstones appear slightly less brilliant.

Bar Setting

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A bar setting involves inserting a metal bar between each diamond or gemstone and securing it in place. The stones sit on top of the bar and the metal surrounding them is carved away to create a smooth and sleek look. 


  • Each diamond is separated with a column of gold that holds them securely in place, similar to the channel setting.
  • A variation of channel setting, where thin metal bars are exposed in between the gemstones, giving a different visual effect

When it’s best used

It’s an excellent choice for durable jewelry pieces that require a modern look.

Tension Setting

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In a tension setting, the gemstone is held in place by the pressure of the metal band pushing against it. The band is slightly bowed, and the stone is held in place by pressure from the metal. A visually stunning style where the stone appears to be floating between two pieces of metal but can be impractical for everyday wear.


  • The diamond is held in place within the metal by using pressure, like it’s floating mid-air, allowing maximum light to pass through the stone.
  • A relatively new setting technique using metal pressure to hold a stone
  • The girdle of the stone is settled into small grooves in the inner surface of the metal

When it’s best used

Requires strong metals and is only suitable for very hard gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies

Creates a contemporary look and a statement piece that will surely turn heads. 

Pro and Cons

Pros: Provides a modern and unique look.

Cons: Not suitable for softer stones.

Flush/Burnish Setting

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A flush setting involves mounting the diamond or gemstone into a drilled hole in the metal, so that the stone sits flush with the surface. The stone is held securely in place by pressure from the metal surrounding it. 


  • Enables designers to create jewelry featuring stones that lie flush in the surrounding metal. This can be done with a single large stone seated in a broad, level surface or to set smaller stones to create a spangled look.
  • This technique involves setting the stone directly into the metal. 
  • Similar to bead setting, where stones are placed in holes that have been drilled out on the surface of a jewelry item
  • A seat is prepared on the metal surface to place the stone and after fitting, the metal is rubbed down and over the edge of the stone
  • The center stone is set beneath the band and protected from wear.

When it’s best used

It creates a discreet and understated look that is perfect for minimalist/streamlined jewelry designs. 

Pros and Cons

Pros: Very secure and less likely to snag on clothing.

Cons: Doesn’t allow as much light into the stone.

Bead Setting

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In a bead setting, small beads of metal are raised from the surface and hammered into position to secure the stone in place. 

Primarily used to display sequences of small diamonds, it fell out of popularity but has been revived in modern jewelry. With CAD jewelry design, it is now possible to create less labor-intensive styles.


  • Stones are placed in holes that have been drilled out on the surface of a jewelry item
  • The beads of metal are raised from the surrounding surface to hold the stone in place
  • Not commonly used today, but was popular in the 20th century

When it’s best used

This creates a durable and unique embellished surface around the stone, perfect for adding sophistication to jewelry pieces. It’s a great option for those looking for a secure and durable setting.

Invisible Setting

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In an invisible setting, diamonds or gemstones are set into a metal frame without visible prongs or bezels. 

It’s a sleek and elegant option for those who prefer minimalistic jewelry designs and want to showcase the beauty of the stones with no visible metal setting. 


A new and improved method that is difficult to accomplish

can be difficult to repair if any grooves become damaged.

Stones are positioned on metal tracks in such a way that no metal is visible from in-between them, giving a continuous surface

Best suited for multi-stone arrangements with straight edges

When it’s best used

The invisible setting is a beautiful and elegant option for those looking to make a bold statement with their jewelry while maintaining a modern, minimalistic aesthetic.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Maximizes the visibility of the gems.

Cons: Requires skilled setting and can be difficult to repair.

Cluster Setting

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The center stone is surrounded by smaller diamonds/gemstones, creating a cluster effect and making it a popular choice for colored gemstones.


  • Provide the opportunity to play with different shapes and colors, as smaller stones can be arranged in patterns or combined with other stones to create unique designs. 
  • Important to choose high-quality stones that are well-matched in color and clarity. 
  • Important to work with an experienced jewelry maker who can ensure that the stones are held securely in place and that the overall appearance of the setting is uniform.

When it’s best used

Ideal for those who want a bold and brilliant look without the cost of a single large stone.

Often exhibits flower shaped designs and circular form

An excellent choice for engagement rings or anniversary gifts, where a larger stone may not fit within the budget.

 Variation – Colette Setting

A colette setting is a variation of the cluster setting, where multiple smaller diamonds or gemstones are used to create an ornate crown-like shape around a larger central stone. This type of setting adds drama and sparkle to jewelry pieces such as engagement rings and pendants.

Halo Setting

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A modern take on the cluster style setting where small diamonds are set around the center stone to make it appear larger and give it an added sparkle.The smaller stones are usually pave-set and set closely together, which enhances the brilliance of the center stone by reflecting light back onto it. 


Can come in various shapes, such as round, oval, or square, and 

Can be customized with different types of stones, including diamonds, colored gemstones, or a combination of both. 

Can be a single row or multiple rows of stones, depending on the desired look.

When it’s best used

This setting can make the center stone appear larger and more brilliant than it actually is, and is a popular choice for engagement rings.

Tube Settings

A tube setting involves setting the gemstone within a metal tube that securely holds it in place. This type of setting offers a strong and minimalistic look that is ideal for contemporary designs. 

Tube setting involves placing the stone within a tube. You can buy pre-made tubes or create your own.

Tube settings are particularly well-suited to gems with elongated shapes such as baguettes and marquises.

Gypsy Setting

Similar in appearance to bezels, but with thicker walls. In order to gypsy set stones, the heavy metal edging supporting the stone must be hammered into position by a craftsman with extreme care.

Core Settings

Core settings involve embedding the diamond or gemstone into a metal core that runs through the center of the stone, suspending it above the surface of the metal band. This creates a distinctive and unique look that adds depth and dimension to the jewelry piece.

Variation – Micro Core Setting

The micro core setting is a variation of the core setting, where a smaller metal core is used to suspend the diamond or gemstone. This creates a minimalistic and understated look that is ideal for modern and contemporary designs.

Star Setting

A star setting (or starburst setting) involves arranging smaller diamonds or gemstones around a larger central stone to create a star-like pattern. This type of setting adds a stunning sparkle to any jewelry piece, making it perfect for engagement rings, pendants or earrings.

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Crown Setting

A crown setting (or coronet setting) involves creating a metal crown around the diamond or gemstone. This type of setting adds a regal and elegant touch to jewelry pieces, making it a popular choice for engagement rings and other special occasion pieces.

Wax Setting

Wax setting is a process where the stone is held in place using wax instead of prongs or bezels. A mold is first created with the desired design, and then molten wax is poured into it. The diamond or gemstone is then pressed into the wax, creating a secure and unique setting. This process allows for a lot of creativity and flexibility in design.

Pressure Setting

This setting is all about creating an illusion. Multiple small diamonds are set together to give the appearance of a larger stone. The result? An impressive, budget-friendly sparkle.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Gives a big diamond look on a small diamond budget.

Cons: Cleaning can be tricky due to the tight setting.

Tiffany Setting

Introduced by Tiffany & Co. in 1886, this setting lifts the diamond off the band, allowing more light to enter the stone.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Highlights the diamond beautifully.

Cons: The protruding diamond may snag on clothing.

And the list goes on. Each setting has its unique charm and beauty, and understanding them can greatly enhance your jewelry selection or creation process.

The right setting can make or break a piece of jewelry. So, whether you’re a jewelry seller or a jewelry aficionado, it’s crucial to understand these settings.

3. Conclusion

Choosing the right setting is a critical aspect of jewelry design that can significantly impact the piece’s aesthetics, durability, and how the gemstone is showcased. 

At Jewepiter, we believe in empowering our readers with the knowledge that can help them succeed in their jewelry business.

By understanding the different types of stone settings and their benefits, you can make an informed decision on the best setting for your jewelry needs. 

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