Whether opting for a stunning brilliant cut diamond stone or selecting a princess cut agate gemstone, one thing is for certain, wearing your gem of choice simply wouldn’t be possible without the stone setting process.
There are several different types of stone setting methods relied on by jewellers big and small. The techniques used all help to frame the stone to perfection set it securely and draw the eye to the real showstopper. Some stone setting techniques even help to protect more delicate gemstones from wear.
In this blog post, we explore the most popular types of stone-setting processes so you can truly appreciate all the time and craftsmanship that went into creating some of your favourite jewellery pieces.
Often considered one of the oldest and simplest stone setting methods – a fact that means it is seen across many ancient jewellery pieces - the bezel setting uses a metal ring to hold the stone in exactly the right place.
This adaptable setting process remains popular to this day and is used to set a variety of different cuts with excellent results. Here Brides explains more about why the bezel setting is so effective and enchanting:
“The bezel setting is often used in particular for precious and fragile stones. A massive pro is the security of the stone because the metal fully surrounds the gemstone, meaning that it is incredibly protected against daily wear and tear. Bezel settings create a trick of the eye to enhance the size of the stone. They create an illusion that the stone is larger than it actually is, particularly when the colour of the metal is matched to the colour of the stone.”
As the name suggests, the prong setting uses a series of usually four to six prongs to secure the stone. This setting is another popular option in the jewellery designs of today. The prong setting allows you to show off the shape and size of the gem more than any other stone setting technique.
With the edge of the gem exposed, the prong setting ensures the stone can catch the light in the most stunning way.
Great for smaller stones and widely used in the Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco eras, bead settings produce intricate designs that have recently enjoyed a resurgence. The bead settings of the modern day are much easier to achieve, with jewellers using CAD design in the place of hand tools to achieve the perfect finish.
Another beading technique is the pavé method. Its name literally translates as ‘pavement’ in French as a nod to this intricate setting style. Unlike the traditional bead setting, where stones are set visibly apart in rows or strands, the pavé technique positions these holes much closer in ‘fields’. This creates a honeycomb pattern and the illusion of a larger, single, encrusted stone.
The technique itself minimises the use of metal by using tiny, claw-like spurs to hold the faceted, individual stones in place. These are eventually pushed back into place to bring these smaller gemstones together within the design. The pavé stone setting method is only suitable for tiny stones, with the vast majority of these round cut.
Want to see what some of these stone settings look like in real life? Check out our collection of gemstone jewellery to get up close and personal with our handcrafted pieces.