Second only to the perennial favourite solitaire, the bezel setting is one of the most popular styles of engagement ring. It’s also one of the oldest forms, simply because the bezel setting is the easiest way to secure a stone to the band without risk of future loss or damage. Before technology – and jewellery-making techniques – advanced, this was of paramount importance. Consequently, it influenced the fashion. But that’s not to say that there’s anything dated about the bezel setting. If anything, it’s approaching timeless. And that’s one of the characteristics that makes it such a good choice when designing your own engagement ring.
What is a bezel setting?
The bezel setting, also known as a rub-over setting, is characterised by the stone being completely surrounded by a metal band. Unlike the solitaire – and many other styles – the bezel does not employ prongs. Rather, the metal wraps around the stone’s ‘girdle’, keeping it in place. This brings a number of attendant benefits. As well as some perceived disadvantages.
The pros of the bezel setting
There are two major advantages to the bezel setting. Firstly, the stone is more secure. With the widest edge embraced by metal, even after years of wear, the stone is unlikely to come loose.
Secondly, because the stone is recessed it has fewer exposed edges and is offered more protection. With the sides encased in precious metal, even if you accidentally catch it on a hard surface, the stone is unlikely to suffer. This also makes it easier to wear because its overall profile is lower than most other settings. This means that the stone is less likely to snag on clothing or get in the way during everyday activities.
As an added bonus, the bezel setting is also easier to clean and maintain than most other designs.
The cons of the bezel setting
The primary reason that some people are deterred from the bezel set engagement ring is the fact that less of the stone is on display, which can impact upon its brilliance. But if you’re really looking for sparkle, you can balance this out with a halo bezel. This is quite an uncommon style these days, but can be extremely beautiful.
How to design your own bezel set engagement ring
The really beautiful thing about the bezel setting is that it lends itself to such a wide range of ring designs. It can work equally well with a totally modern aesthetic and for rings with an entirely vintage feel. The bezel setting can be super-understated. It can be created with a bold flash of bling when the halo is employed. Or, you can go for something totally quirky and original, with a fluidity to the accented band. A common mistake is in thinking that the bezel setting is boring – perhaps just that little bit too practical. But practical and beautiful needn’t be mutually exclusive. In fact, harmonising these two traits is the keystone of successful design!
The main things you need to keep in mind when planning a bezel set engagement ring are:
- The metal of the band will more strongly influence the colour of the stone in a bezel setting. Yellow gold, for example, will always make diamonds appear warmer. And this is much more noticeable in a bezel setting. Platinum bezel set stones can seem colder and brighter – and this is actually a good way to counter the loss of brilliance in the sunken stone.
- Stones can appear smaller because the setting obscures the edges.
- Bezel settings are generally more cost-effective. This is partly because they can be easier to make (unless you go for an elaborate design). And partly because fewer raw materials are required.
- Bezel set rings needn’t be simple. If you like the security of the bezel setting but would also like an almighty dollop of wow-factor, don’t be put off. A bezel set ring can be as elaborate as they come. Imagine multiple stones in individual bezels piled upon a band. Picture a multi-haloed bezel setting, glimmering in rings of bling. Visualise asymmetric bands. Imagine anything you like within the laws of physics. That’s one of the major benefits of designing your own!
The bezel set engagement ring is practical, striking and totally open to customisation. If the design appeals to you and you’d like to discuss your options, make an appointment with one of our designers today.