A “ jewellery setting” is a piece of jewellery, that is complete except for the stones. Mounting refers to the action of mounting the gemstone to this unfinished piece of jewelry. Gemstone jewelry mounts are also popularly known as ‘jewellery settings’. Once the gemstone is set on the mount or mounted on the setting, then it is known by its name. For e.g., an unfinished ring without its gemstone will be known as a setting or mount. Once the gemstone has been added to it, you simply call it a ring.
Before going any further, a bit of jewellery trivia for you. Jewellery can either be cast as a single piece or be made by assembling and combining different components. These individual or separate components used to create jewellery are called ‘findings’. These include clasps, shanks of the ring, bails, prong head for the gemstone, metal loops, and stringing material for threading beads, but not the stones. Stones are simply called gemstones, stones, or by their individual name like emeralds, diamonds, etc.
Popular Gemstone Jewellery Settings
There are several types of gemstone settings for different jewellery pieces like rings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, and earrings. Given below are some of the popular gemstone mounts used to create jewellery pieces.
1. Bezel Setting
A bezel setting is a metal band or strip that is wrapped around the gemstone. It is the earliest known technique of setting stones. Bezel setting is a very secure setting so it is used for fragile stones or creating jewellery for people with an active lifestyle. Bezel setting wraps the metal around the stone so it does not let much light out of the stone. This may reduce the brilliance and aesthetic appeal of the stone and the jewellery piece. Therefore, this setting is used with cabochons. Cabochons means those stones which are polished but not faceted or cut to reflect light. Bezel setting is also used to hide imperfections or make them less noticeable in a gemstone. Different variations of bezel settings include semi-bezel, half bezel, and tube mounts. In semi-bezel and half bezel, the full perimeter of the stone is not covered while in tube setting, the stone is set into an optimum sized and tube-shaped mount.
2. Channel Setting
Channel settings are the most beautiful and eye-catching settings for jewelry pieces, especially rings. These types of gemstone jewellery setting align several gemstones in a row. Channels are cut lengthwise in jewelry and gemstones are set in them. Neither prongs nor metal is used to hold the stones. Instead, the stones are fit tightly into the channel with the utmost precision. Both sides of the channels overlap the gemstones and are notched and grooved on the inside. These edges are slightly narrower than the gemstones to secure them in place. Channel settings are beautiful but they should be treated with proper care and handling so that the stones are secure and do not get lost.
3. Pave Setting
Pave settings are the most difficult settings which only accomplished goldsmiths are able to create. Pave is derived from the French word Pavé, which means pavement. This type of setting appears like a sparkling street with gemstones set close together. Pave settings are generally used to set small round cut diamonds and gemstones. The goldsmiths carefully drill holes slightly smaller than the girdle of the gemstones into the metal such as the shank of a ring. The stones are placed in these holes and set on the metal with the help of small prongs raised and pressed over the girdles of the stones. A larger center stone is generally mounted above these paved gemstones. Pave mount imparts a brilliant sparkle to the jewellery piece and also makes the center stone appear larger. Pave settings are mostly seen on rings but are also used in bracelets, pendants, and even earrings.
4. Prong Setting
Prong setting is generally used for translucent or transparent faceted stones to show off their maximum brilliance. These gemstone jewellery settings are the most popular type of settings used. These are also used for precious and semi-precious cabochons that rank higher on the Mohs hardness scale. Prong settings have three or more metal prongs or tines that secure and hold the gemstone in place. Four prong settings are standard in jewellery making but sometimes six and more prongs may also be used in case of a highly valuable or large gemstones. Six prong settings are also known as Tiffany settings as they were developed by the acclaimed jeweler Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1886.
A big advantage of prong setting is that gemstones sparkle more due to increased reflection of light and thus make the gemstones the center of attraction. Less metal is used which makes more of the stone visible and the jewellery can be easily cleaned too. Some obvious disadvantages are that prong settings should not be used on stones that are fragile as they may get scratched easily. Secondly, the prongs may snag on clothing and there are increased chances of stones getting dislodged. So, if you have invested in prong mounted jewelry, take precautions like better handling and regularly getting them checked at the jeweler who will ensure that the mounts are secure and not loose.
5. Pressure Setting
The pressure setting applies the pressure of the metal in the ring's design to secure and hold it in place. Generally, a larger and round gemstone is used as a center stone. It is surrounded by seven or more round gemstones set usually in prong-style settings. The pressure of each gemstone is used to hold all the stones including the center stone in place.
6. Invisible Setting
In invisible settings, the mountings of the gemstones are not visible to the naked eye, thus earning the name. It gives the appearance of gemstones set in a jewelry piece in an uninterrupted and seamless pattern. These types of gemstone jewellery settings are difficult to set. The technique is to cut the grooves below the girdles of gemstones which are then set into the framework of the jewellery piece that remains hidden. Gemstones having a square, baguette, princess, trillion and emerald cut look best in invisible settings.
7. Illusion Setting
Illusion setting is generally used for small transparent gemstones like diamonds to make them appear larger. The gemstone is set in a ring of metal, that is brightly burnished to become highly reflective. Metal edges are shaped into sharp angles and bent around the stone to secure it. The metal edges create the illusion of being part of the gemstone itself. When the gemstone sparkles, it reflects off the metal edges surrounding it, creating the illusion of a larger stone.
So, these are some of the popular gemstone jewellery settings used to create beautiful jewelry pieces. If you are interested in acquiring high-quality and affordable gemstone jewellery, then you have come to the right place. AËLRA JOAILLERIE offers a wide range of diamond and gemstone jewellery that includes a variety of rings, earrings, pendants, and bracelets in classic, trendy and original designs and settings. The gemstone setting includes prong, channel, bezel, flush, pave, micro-pave, and a combination of several settings. Browse, select and acquire these beautiful jewellery pieces which you will wear and treasure for years to come.