Do you want your gemstone sparkle or glow? What is important to know about high & low profile engagement rings
If you are quite puzzled how the shine of your diamonds is related to the ring height, you can be sure it really matters. After reading this guide you will know what your jeweler means by saying “bezel” or “pavé” and how understanding the difference between them can help you to find the engagement ring of your dream.
What is the ring setting
- the price of the ring: some settings require from a jeweler more meticulous work;
- how the ring will fit you, if it will be comfortable for everyday use or not.
Why it’s important to know whether your ring setting is low or high
Every, absolutely every setting type can appear in 3 heights or in other words profiles: low, standard or high.
Look at these similar rings in different profiles. Guessed where the highest profile is?
So, how do you understand if a ring has a low or high, or standard profile? Three options:
- Just ask your jeweler or a salesperson.
- Look at a ring from its side view and check the distance between the tip of the stone and the base of the ring. If the space is big, it’s with a high probability a high setting ring or at least standard. A low setting ring will not have much space.
- Look at how it appeals visually to you. Is it tall or rather low and smooth? Does it sit close to your finger? If yes, you deal with a low profile engagement ring.
Why it’s important to understand the profile of a ring: it’s directly connected to how your ring will appear to you and which grade of wow factor it will have. Below we are listing other not immediately obvious benefits & downsides of high and low profile engagement rings.
- High profile rings especially with a big center stone are very appealing and give the impression that the stone is larger than its actual size and has more sparkle.
- A high profile ring can be paired easily with a wedding band, especially if you need two rings to sit close to each other. Usually, it’s enough space beneath the center stone to put a wedding band right next to a high profiled engagement ring.
- High profile rings are very popular. The classic high profiled prong setting by Tiffany & Co. is for decades the most popular ring style in general.
- A high profile ring is extremely sensitive to your lifestyle and the conditions in which you wear it. It can get caught on tools, snag work gloves, or scratch other people. Besides, the centerpieces of the ring need to be handled carefully so that they will not accidentally be knocked against a hard surface.
- Low profile engagement rings in comparison to high profile ones may look rather decent than show off. Logically, larger flashy stones need a higher setting, so you probably will get a smaller stone for your low profile ring. However, for those who search for something classy and elegant, it will be a perfect choice.
- Low profile engagement rings are more comfortable for everyday wear or in a career that requires intense use of hands such as, for example, healthcare.
- Low profile engagement rings are safer and more resistant to accidental damage: you can easily wear your favorite cashmere sweater or do housework without taking the ring off.
How to recognize easily a ring setting type & understand its profile
From left to right: Medieval bezel ring with a red stone, antique-styled moonstone bezel ring and a modern opal bezel ring
- The stone is held securely in the bezel setting so that you can be quite sure it will not be easily damaged or scratched. That’s why the bezel setting is the best for fragile stones such as opal, as also as diamonds which in this setting can not be dislodged easily.
- Following the above said, you can wear your bezel ring practically every day and by any kind of activity starting from housework to motorcycle races :).
- Still, it’s widely discussable that the bezel setting may partly hide the beauty of a stone by covering its edges with a metal stripe. However, the setting works well with round cut stones making them look bigger than they actually are. Here you can only rely on your own taste and skill level of your jeweler.
Pavé and micro-pavé setting
A family heirloom pavé ring from the 18th century, Metropolitan Museum
A high profile enagement ring with the combination of prong and pave settings
Specifically, a pavé setting can make the center stone of a ring appear larger and enhance its sparkle, sometimes up to 20% than its original size.
Prong setting or claw setting
It’s a classic diamond prong setting ring with four symmetrical prongs
- It perfectly highlights and accentuates the center stone making him appear larger and more prominent.
- But such rings if high set may snag on furniture, clothing, and other materials.
- Besides, it’s like a pavé setting requires time and effort to clean because of crevices.
- And lastly, to avoid a potential risk of loss or damage to the center stone don’t buy a poorly designed ring with low-quality prongs. For a good quality ring, it will be enough if you will examine it periodically to make sure the prongs are still tight and your gemstone is secure.
There are numerous other setting types but mostly all of them have this or that similarity to these 3 main type settings. For example, in a cathedral setting, the diamond is not only held with prongs but raised up by two arches that resemble a cathedral building. It makes the stone higher than a standard prong setting. Still, both of these settings use prongs.
Compare these two prong rings where the stone of the first one is additionally raised by two metal arches
A channel setting (the upper one) is considered to be a safer setting because stones are held in place not by beads or prongs as in the pavé setting ring below