Whether square cut or pear shape, the diamond you choose for your engagement ring is a super personal decision. But what about the setting? The ring that's going to hold that brilliant, sparkling diamond of yours for all eternity? Let's give it a little love, shall we? Choosing the perfect diamond engagement ring from among the myriad styles available is a monumental task too. There are prong settings, three-stones, bands, and more. But one that's stood the test of time, with its unique blend of elegance and security, is the bezel set engagement ring.
Some might say a bezel setting is too modern, too minimal, while those in the know might tell you this setting style has actually been around since ancient times. In this blog post, we'll explore the history and charm of bezel settings, take a look at how they differ from prong settings, get into the nuances of a half bezel versus full bezel, and talk factors such as security, cost, fashion, and personal style.
What's better than a chic, Elongated Radiant cut diamond in a minimal bezel setting?
What is a Bezel Setting?
When most folks picture a classic engagement ring, it's probably something similar to a Tiffany-style solitaire. A round brilliant cut diamond, held by four dainty gold prongs, raised aloft on a slender gold band. A bezel setting, however, was invented millenia earlier than this modern style engagement setting. In fact, there are even examples of the bezel setting found in ancient Egyptian jewelry and from the Roman and Byzantine empires.
But what exactly is a bezel setting? Bezel set engagement rings have a thin band of precious metal that surrounds your diamond, holding it securely in place. The bezel set gemstone is secured on top of or within a band that can include many different design elements. But bezel settings not only provide a sleek, modern aesthetic but also offer increased protection for your diamond, making them a secure, excellent choice for those with an active lifestyle.
Which is Better? Bezel vs. Prong Settings
Renowned for their security and simplicity, bezel settings fully wrap the entire circumference of your diamond in precious metal, reducing the risk of snags or damage from exposed diamond edges. They also offer a contemporary, sophisticated vibe that easily transitions between fashion trends. If you prefer a bold, modern look, opt for a heavier gold statement style with an extra thick band, for instance. But a bezel ring can also be perfectly petite, with a thin rim of metal on a barely-there band. There really is something for everyone. When it comes to cost, bezel settings can run a bit higher because they require slightly more metal, however this can be a cost-effective investment in the long run by reducing the need for repairs or diamond replacements.
Half Bezel vs. Full Bezel: Decoding the Difference
One of the most modern ways you can indulge in the security and modern style of a bezel setting without it looking too heavy metal is with a half bezel setting. This newer style is one that instead of entirely circling your diamond in metal only partially encircles the diamond, leaving the sides open for more visibility of the gemstone. A half bezel setting design combines the security of a bezel with a touch of openness, offering a unique compromise between a full bezel and a prong setting.
While you can certainly go with a traditional bezel or half bezel set north-south, parallel with your finger, the on trend twist is an east-west engagement ring, particularly a half-bezel east-west setting. This turns any elongated diamond shape, such as oval, marquise, or emerald, on its side so that it sits horizontally across your finger. This way of setting a diamond really emphasizes its size and looks very modern. The half-bezel with metal at either end helps accentuate the length and spread of the diamond for a bigger look.
Does a Bezel Setting Block Sparkle?
One of people's main concerns about a bezel engagement ring is that it might affect the way that light interacts with their center stone, perhaps allowing in less light and making it look dark. But this is quite a nuanced consideration. Diamonds are cut to act as little reflective mirrors, with the light entering the diamond through the crown (its top), reflecting off the pavilion facets (its bottom) and bouncing back out of the top. So a little coverage around the outside edge shouldn't have too much impact.
Where this is the exception is if the diamond is poorly cut, which won't sparkle in any type of setting, or if the bezel edge is too thick and covering too much of the diamond's crown, thus limiting the amount of light that enters the stone. Assuming that you are shopping high quality diamonds and expertly crafted jewelry, neither of these should be too much of a concern. Some also appreciate that a bezel setting covers the edges of the diamond, reducing the visibility of inclusions or imperfections from the side view.
Beyond Bezel Set Engagement Rings
Metal surrounding a diamond doesn't isn't just for engagement rings. Bezel set diamonds can be found in a wide variety of jewelry styles, including bezel set wedding bands, bezel set diamond stud earrings, bezel set diamond pendants, and more. Some of our favorite ways to wear bezel set rings include a bezel set wedding band, or bezel set eternity band that encircles your entire finger with sparkle. Or go for a full-on fashion moment with a pair of long bezel set diamond drop earrings. Because sleek and sophisticated is for everything.
Bezels aren't just for fingers either - our Graduated Bezel Diamond Drop Earrings elevate any look.
Perfect for matching with Bezel or Half Bezel engagement rings - our Bezel set wedding bands are an ideal match.
Bezel Set Engagement Rings: A Lasting Symbol of Love
Ultimately, the bezel setting is great for active people. Whether you choose something super modern or add milgrain detailing to your bezel to turn it into a more vintage inspired ring, the bezel setting stands as truly timeless. It is a unique look that's glamorous, secure, and cost-effective, and bezels can enhance the beauty of your gem with an elegant, gleaming edge. Whether you opt for a full bezel engagement ring, half bezel setting, or explore the dazzling world of bezel set jewelry, you're sure to find a piece that reflects your personal style and commitment to lasting love.