Pavé diamonds are giving any jewelry piece absolute sparkle. Still, finding a high-quality pavé ring can be a rather difficult task. In this article, you’ll learn about what to keep in mind while searching for the best pavé ring for you. Plus you’ll get lots of inspirational ideas on how to incorporate pavé diamonds into the design of your engagement ring.
Why pavé diamonds?
Pavé (pronounced as pah-vey) is a French word meaning “to pave” (de paver). This one of the most popular ring setting types refers to the way, how the stones are set in a ring. In a pavé ring setting, lots of small stones (colored or transparent) build a sparkling “paved road” in the band of a ring. They are held at their places with the help of peal-like metal claws (prongs or beads).
What size diamonds are used in a pavé setting? The pavé stones are really small, at about 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Stones smaller than this size (at about 0.01 carat) are considered micro-pavé.
The most popular pavé setting types
Jewelers distinguish many types of pavé settings. In the photos, you see the most popular of them.
- In this picture above, it’s a micro pavé, with its incredible tiny diamonds which can be more than 100 in one ring.
- The setting above is a scalloped pavé. The name refers to the shape of the grooves which give a scalloped look.
- Here is a French pavé ring. It has sharp V-shaped grooves underneath every stone.
- Look at this bright cut pavé ring: two diamond lines of this ring display a mix between a channel and pavé settings. Stones are held with two metal rims with tiny prongs between them.
The general idea of all these pavé types is to increase (or decrease) the visual metal quantity between stones. Some tiny diamonds look freer of metal holding them, some — more protected. This, in its turn, influences the overall look and sparkle of a ring.
The pavé setting is also often confused with a similar, but not the same channel setting.
What is the difference between pavé and channel set diamonds? Look at these two wedding sets. Though they look like each other, in the left photo it’s a true pavé setting and in the right one, it’s a ring with a channel set diamonds. There are just two different setting techniques.
So, why can you choose the pavé setting for your ring?
The most popular pavé setting types
Are pavé diamonds expensive?
Now you see how many different types of pavé settings exist. Surely, any pavé ring will have its amount of stones. Depending on this amount and what the stones are (type, quality, etc.) and on the overall design of a ring, the price will be calculated.
To be even more exact, let us describe the actual price calculation we make at NinaVova for our custom design rings. Usually we use 2 ways to define the price:
Logically, the smaller a diamond, the less it costs per carat. If the stones are large, you will need less of them in your ring. If they are super tiny, you’ll need more.
For convenience, the carat of a pavé ring is usually stated in total carat weight (TCW or CTW), which is the sum of the carats of all its stones. By knowing this, you can compare the price of your pavé ring to others and decide which piece is a better deal. Besides, you have to know about little tricks which mall jewelry stores use to make the price of a pavé ring overcharged.
Mall stores can announce that a pave ring they are selling is a 1CTW one though it combines together only a 0.5 ct diamond plus accented stones in the total sum of 0.5 ct. Surely, it has to be said to a customer before he will purchase the ring. Also, the price mall stores offer might be 3-4 times higher than the actual value of the ring’s CTW.
As you see, there are many factors inside the price and there is no exact answer how expensive (or inexpensive) the pavé rings are.
How durable are pavé diamonds?
One of the most frequently asked and intricate questions “Do pavé stones fall out?” will be answered here.
Generally speaking, any stone will fall out if not set properly or a ring is poorly designed. Still, how to avoid falling out in a pavé setting?
Firstly, your pavé ring has to be exactly of your size, to avoid any re-sizing. The best possible solution here is without doubt a custom-designed ring accurately matching your finger size. A custom made piece is always cast according to your actual size, unlike at big jewelry stores. They cast rings in the common ring size 6 (16.5 mm) and after stretch or tighten them not caring about the ring’s structure & overall look. Just keep in mind — a high quality pavé ring is a casting one which totally fits your finger.
Secondly, you can discover a poorly designed ring even with an untrained eye.
As you see, for the pavé technique, skilled setters are requisite. Their artisanship will not cost cheap, but it’s well worth it. In many cases, a pavé setting piece demands more meticulous work from a jeweler than mass-market production can offer. Some flaws of mass-market pavé jewelry will make your ring look cheap. Let us concentrate on these important points next.
How to choose the perfect pavé ring
When choosing a pavé ring, you aim is to find one:
Down you’ll find what to look for while choosing your excellent pavé ring.
Matching Colors & Brilliance
If you decided on a pavé diamond ring, mismatched diamond colors can make your ring look cheap though you might pay a fortune for it.
Why it can happen: mass market jewelry stores have ready-to-wear pavé settings where you need just to put a centerpiece. Since tiny diamonds in the pavé setting are usually very clear (around F clarity, to be exact), the center diamond may not match their clarity. Not everybody can afford a large diamond of high clarity and it’s normal. So, by purchasing a preset ring, the result you may get is a ring where small diamonds accentuate a big stone with a yellowish hint.
The same thing may happen with colored gemstones in a pavé setting. The center gemstone has to match with pavé stones: depending on the design, they can be of the same hue or have a beautiful gradient coloration. A professional jeweler is able to make all of this and create an impeccable custom design. Buying a ring from a mall jewelry store you have to rely on your own taste and vision.
Example ring with pavé color gradation which demands meticulous work from a jeweler.
Matching Pavé Diamond Halo & Center Stone
In a mass-market piece, the centerpiece may not be set properly in a pavé band that is standard-sized. Looking at such a ring, you’ll see dark hollows (gaps) between the halo and the center stone. Besides, prongs that are too big, wide, or heavy can distract from the center stone and cheapen the look. Custom-made rings are thoughtfully designed to avoid these flaws.
Balance between the Ring Price & Design
An experienced jeweler will tell you how to achieve the best possible design within your budget. In a pavé diamond setting, for example, he can suggest smaller diamonds than you planned from the beginning. Still, set by an expert they will look great. The difference in size will not be obvious until you’ll measure stones with a millimeter ruler 🙂 but the price difference may be substantial.
Finding the balance between the price and design is one of the skills of an experienced jeweler. Let us find together an optimum design of your pavé ring: contact us for a free consultation and share your needs & vision.
Great designs with pavé diamonds
The pavé setting is the most flexible setting to combine with others. Here we collected the most interesting & unusual ideas to inspire you for the ring design of your dream.
If you like an original touch, you can choose a Hidden Halo Ring with pavé stones. In this design, pavé diamonds are incorporated into the basket bar just under the center stone. You will not see the pavé from the top, only from the side view. The idea of this design is to make the sides of your ring just as special and sparkly as the other parts.
Don’t concentrate on only one row in your pavé setting. Multi-Row pavé Diamonds in a wedding band or set give the most sparkling and eye-catching look.
In both pavé Diamond Wedding Bands pictured above, you will see in the middle two rows of tiny metal beads in the technique called milgrain. It is used to create an ornate border around parts of a jewelry piece. Milgrain and pavé settings together give a vintage look: both techniques were used during the Edwardian and Art Deco eras.
Like something more from vintage-styled jewelry? One more setting from the Art Deco era which is great combined with pavé diamonds is a calibré-cut setting. In the pictures above, there are Calibré Cut Diamond Rings with pavé sets. Their gemstones are lined up together without spaces between them. It’s exactly called calibré-cut. Usually, the stones are rectangular or rounded. In the past, they were often pavé set so they fit and outline around a large, center stone.
In mass-market jewelry, you often will see a pavé setting teamed with a prong setting as in the left photo above. It’s quite a common combination. More interesting and unusual is a mix of pavé with bezel set center stones as in the right picture above. This mix gives the overall antique look, plus the bezel is a very protective setting.
And lastly, if you need a bit of fairytale “dust” in your jewelry, choose a micro-pavé diamond ring with super tiny stones. This technique is achieved with the aid of a microscope to make an unrivaled “diamond-dusted” look.