When it comes time to choose the right engagement ring for you, it can be difficult to decide what style you like most. There is a lot to consider to ensure your engagement ring is perfect for your needs. Today, we’re going to talk about the different kinds of settings that you’ll find on our vintage and antique engagement rings.


Let’s dive right in.


Engagement Ring Settings

The Claw Set Engagement Ring


It’s likely that the majority of engagement rings you look at will have a claw setting. The claw setting style – sometimes called the prong setting – is a very popular choice because of its diversity. In the claw style, the stones are held by metal claws. The number of metal claws involved varies, typically ranging from 2-12 depending on the size and shape of the stone.


Sometimes, more unique claws are used, such as square claws. An example of this can be seen in this square claw set diamond engagement ring. Although the central antique diamond is an Old European round cut, at a glance it appears as a square cut because of its four square-cornered platinum claws. This setting is very secure and also even allows the diamond itself to appear larger.


A different type of claw setting can be found in ‘relief’ claw settings. For these styles, the focal gemstone is held up above the rest of the ring within its claws. You can see an example of this in this antique emerald and diamond ring. The emerald is held in a relief claw setting above the complimenting diamonds. This setting is great for emphasising the central stone, allowing more light to interact with it.


The Collet Set Engagement Ring


The collect setting, also known as the bezel setting, is another very common setting style that you’re likely to come across in your search for the perfect ring. With the collet setting, the setting metal is tightly formed around the edge of the gemstone, keeping it very securely held. The setback of this setting is that less light gets into the stone, but it’s worth it to have the stone held very securely in place. This style is enduringly popular because it has a sleek and modern appearance, whether the ring in question is made new or already more than a century old.


The diamond at the centre of this antique ring is collet set, which – as you can see – allows it to take centre stage without risking much damage. Not only is a setting like this very safe for the stone, it is also among the most durable of settings, requiring very little in terms of upkeep.


Types of Ring Settings

Due to how securely the gemstone is held, the collet setting is an excellent choice for anyone with an active lifestyle who still wants to be able to wear their engagement ring every day.


Collet settings are also very versatile, being available to gemstones of every shape and size. Whether you want an understated ring or something over-the-top with a unique cut like a heart-shaped cut, the collet setting is able to be modified to suit any ring. For those wanting to wear their engagement ring every day and know that it is safe and secure – at the cost of slightly less sparkle from your diamond – the collet setting may just be the one.


Engagement Rings

The Channel Set Engagement Ring


The channel setting is commonly found in eternity style rings. It features the gemstone or stones being held by two elongated sections of setting metal. Typically, the channel setting has two strips of metal, one running above the gemstone and one below. The metal sits slightly higher than the gemstones, allowing them to be snugly held between the bars of metal.


This setting is fairly uncommon outside of eternity rings, where between half of and the entire circumference of the ring features a row of diamonds. The channel setting is very secure – particularly for holding several gemstones together, as is the case with eternity style rings. The channel setting is ideal for anyone who wants an engagement ring that focuses on the eternity aesthetic.


The Halo Set Engagement Ring


Very popular in the late ‘00s and early ‘10s, the halo setting features one larger central stone, surrounded by a halo of diamonds. This setting style doesn’t have to feature diamonds either as the central stone or the surrounding halo, but this is undoubtedly the most popular arrangement for the style.


The halo style is also reminiscent of popular diamond rings from the Art Deco jewellery era, since that era’s focus was largely around ‘bigger is better’ and diamonds were used in large quantities.


There are other setting styles around, Tiffany & Co, for example, has their own unique claw-style setting that is trademarked as the Tiffany setting.


Ring Settings

The most common setting styles you’re likely to see in your search for the perfect engagement ring will be claw settings and collet settings, but feel free to explore the wider world of engagement rings on the hunt for something unique. Happy hunting!


Written by

Bethany Massey

Having graduated university with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing Bethany then joined the AC Silver team as a content creator. Bethany spends her days writing content for the AC Silver blog and other luxury goods/antique publications.