In the world of engagement ring settings, many are made with the explicit reason for spicing your ring up and adding more brilliance and sparkle to it.
There’s one setting, however, which looks the other way and focuses entirely on the protection and security of your ring’s centerpiece diamond or gemstone – the bezel setting.
What is the bezel setting?
A bezel setting is any setting in which the center diamond or gemstone of a ring is surrounded partly or completely by a metal frame. The half-bezel, like this 14k white gold half bezel ring, only partially surrounds the center stone while the full bezel, like this platinum solitaire ring, surrounds the entire circumference of the stone.
The main goal which this setting successfully achieves is that it gives your centerpiece stone extra security and stability compared to the standard prong setting where the diamond/gemstone is secured held in place only by metal prongs. The bezel setting is the best choice in terms of durability in that the main stone of your ring will be both harder to dislodge and safer from knocks and hard impacts.
This makes the bezel setting ideal for people with active lifestyles that use their hands a lot for work– such as teachers, nurses, administrative personnel, and others. Of course, if you engage in manual labor or sports, taking off your ring is always recommended, but in general, the bezel setting offers the most protection for your diamond or gemstone compared to any other.
A side benefit to the bezel setting and another big reason why it’s so popular these days is that it also has a rather fresh and contemporary look. A lot of people tend to like the feel of the extra metal around their diamond instead of the sparkling spectacle that something like the halo setting offers. Instead of that, the bezel setting looks modest to some and simply modern to others, making them an attractive option.
Of course, this extra bit of metal has its drawbacks too, namely the fact that it restricts the amount of light that can reflect from your ring’s diamond. Simply put, a diamond in a bezel setting won’t have as much brilliance and sparkle as it’d have in a prong setting. It’s still beautiful, of course – it’s a diamond – but if maximizing the brilliance of your diamond is your main priority, the bezel shouldn’t be your first pick.
Design and Styles of Bezel Settings
As a fairly simple and straightforward setting, the bezel doesn’t really come in a lot of different variants and styles – there’s the full bezel which surrounds the stone from all directions, and the partial bezel, both mentioned above. The bezel can also be made in different shapes to suit the shape of the diamond itself like this 14k white gold square bezel setting for a princess cut diamond.
As for its color and material, the bezel is typically crafted with the same material as the band itself. But you can also find modern designs where the bezel setting is made of a different metal color, giving a two-toned look to the ring.
Aside from that, you can combine a bezel setting together with another setting such as this bezel + pave combination or this bezel + halo combo. This way you’ll get both the security and protection of the bezel and the sparkling beauty of the pave. As long as the two styles look good together and are well crafted, you can’t really go wrong.
What’s the Right Diamond Shape for A Bezel Setting?
There is no “wrong” shape for a bezel setting – every type, shape, and size diamond or gemstone can be “bezelled”. Round cut diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings so most of the bezel settings you’ll see are also going to be round, but you can go with any other shape as well. For example, take a look at this stunning pear-shaped diamond with both a bezel and a halo settings on top of it.
Why and How to Choose A Bezel Setting?
The two main reasons for choosing a bezel setting are 1) protection/security for your gemstone and 2) liking the contemporary look of the bezel.
The “How?” of choosing a bezel is also pretty simple – just find a reputable jeweler that you trust will give you a quality bezel set ring at a fair price. We recommend searching online as that’ll give you access to a wider range of options and more competitive pricing. James Allen and Blue Nile are two of the top retailers with fair pricing, high-quality products and excellent customer service. Also check out With Clarity (especially their Home Preview Service which lets you try on a ring for a few days before you buy), Brian Gavin and Whiteflash – all reputable retailers with excellent track records.
Factors to Consider Before Buying A Bezel Setting
The one key thing to consider before getting a bezel setting for your ring is whether you’re ok trading the extra brilliance and sparkle the bezel is going to take away from your diamond/gemstone for the extra security and protection it’s going to provide.
If you’re worried that you need a bezel for your ring to last multiple decades – that’s not true. Most settings are created to provide enough durability for daily wear – including settings like halo, prongs or even the unique tension setting. These settings will need to be protected from physical damage and will require regular cleaning but so will the bezel setting – just because your diamond has metal frame around it doesn’t mean it won’t need any care.
Regardless of what setting you’re using, you’ll always have to clean, protect, and maintain your ring and its diamond from outside damage and wear and tear. Still, the bezel does offer quite a bit of extra protection so while that’s not necessarily needed, it is a benefit. To see if this is the right choice for you, consider your lifestyle and what you’re looking for in your ring. Choose a bezel if:
- You want extra security for your center stone
- You like a clean, sleek, modern look
- You like the idea of the metal being as important as the center stone in the overall ring design
- You want a ring that’s easier to clean and look after
- You lead an active lifestyle and you use your hands a lot
How to Clean A Bezel Setting
Fortunately, the bezel setting is much easier to clean and maintain that most other settings. Because it doesn’t have any prongs that need to be routinely checked and that can gather dirt around and under the stone, the bezel setting will accumulate much less dirt and dust than most other settings.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you won’t need to clean your bezel set ring – regular cleaning with warm water, a mild soap, and a soft piece of cloth are strongly recommended since the ring will still have some dirt buildup overtime that’s best dealt with regular, light washes.
Pros and Cons of the bezel setting
With all that being said, let’s conclude with the pros and cons of the bezel setting.
- The bezel setting keeps the ring secure and stable in its place which is great for people with active lifestyles.
- It also offers extra protection from direct physical damage.
- The bezel will also keep your diamond from snagging onto clothes and other materials.
- The bezel is easier to clean and maintain as it doesn’t have grooves, channels or prongs in which dirt can accumulate.
- Many people find the bezel setting to have a nice, modern look that’s more appealing to them than the “richness” of other settings.
- If you’ve bought a medium-quality diamond with some inclusion noticeable to the naked eye, a well-made bezel setting can minimize their impact and make sure your stone looks as good as possible.
- The bezel hides more of the diamond/gemstone than other settings which feels counterproductive to a lot of people – after all, if you’ve bought a nice diamond, you want it to be visible.
- This setting also reduces the light reflection and thus – the brilliance of the diamond.