Channel Setting vs. Pave Setting – Pros, Cons and Differences

Pave vs channel engagement ring settings

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While most people are keen on the selection of the gemstone, it’s equally important to choose a setting that securely holds and adequately displays the stone.

Pave and channel are two of the most popular types of ring settings. They determine the appearance, style, and design of the ring, and although at first glance both appear similar, there are significant differences that define the look and aspect of each of these setting types.  

Let’s take a closer look at pave and channel ring settings and determine which is the better choice is for you.

Channel or Pave – Which one should you buy?

Pave vs channel setting

The channel and pave are highly desirable settings for rings but deciding between the two can be hard. Your decision will depend on your taste, fashion sense, style, preference, budget and lifestyle. 

Choose the channel setting if:

  • You want a more secure ring
  • You’re looking for subdued sparkle and brilliance
  • You like larger diamonds on your ring setting
  • You lead an active lifestyle and don’t want your diamonds catching on objects

Choose the pave setting if:

  • You want a ring that catches the eye and with heightened glamor and sparkle
  • You don’t have busy hands
  • You’re careful with your jewelry and are good at maintenance
  •  You want a beautiful and elegant ring at a reasonable price

What is the Channel Setting?

Channel set engagement ring

Channel setting engagement ring. See more here.

The channel setting is exactly what it sounds like. A line of diamonds placed within a groove or channel of the ring. The stones are protected by the sides of the metal bands that encase and hold the gems in place.

The diamonds within the channel are typically uniform, made of the same size, shape, design and quality.  Circular diamonds are the most popular choice for the channel setting, but square and rectangular shapes are also common, giving a continuous tessellated look to the ring.

In the channel setting, diamonds can be placed along the whole band of the ring, or partially, depending on the amount of sparkle and shine that the wearer wants.

Channel Setting- Styles and Designs  

The channel setting can be embedded with precious stones of various shapes and sizes. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular gem cuts for the channel setting.

Types of stone shapes for channel ring setting

See these settings on Blue Nile.

  • Round cut – Round cut diamonds are the most popular design for channel rings.  In this style, circular diamonds are cut to a precise size, and placed within the channel or groove of the ring.
  • Princess cut – Princess diamonds are shaped like a square or rectangle, and when viewed from a certain angle, they resemble an inverted pyramid. The princess cut stones are arranged in an orderly manner, within the channel of the ring.   
  • Oval cut – Oval cut diamonds are a less popular choice compared to round and princess cuts. But they are perfect for those who seek a unique design at an affordable price.
  • Baguette cut – The baguette cut is a step-cut similar to the emerald cut. It makes for clear and unique looking channel settings. Here’s a perfect example of a Baguette Cut Diamond Eternity Ring in a channel setting.

Pros of the Channel Setting

  • The channel setting is perfect for a wearer who wishes to stack other rings on the same finger. It matches and complements various other designs and styles.
  • The channel setting has smaller diamonds that are about 1/3 the size of the central one, making it not only a visual treat, but also a cost-effective option. In other words, more bang for your buck.   
  • The channel setting holds the diamonds securely and is the ideal option for those who consistently work with their hands and need a durable ring.
  • Since the diamonds and gems are securely embedded within the channel, there are lesser chances of the ring getting caught in everyday objects like a scarf or dress. 

Cons of the Channel Setting

  • The channel setting has spaces between the gems, especially if it’s made of diamonds with curves, making it easier for dirt to get trapped.  
  • Since diamonds and other precious stones are embedded within the channel, light doesn’t hit the back of the gem, making it less sparkly.
  • It’s expensive to repair or modify a ring with a channel setting.  

The Pave Setting

The pave setting has a plethora of small diamonds covering the entire band of the ring. The diamonds are secured by tiny prongs or beads, and the metal underneath is hardly visible.

Those who opt for the pave setting, favor diamonds over other stones, to bring out that extra sparkle and shine. Small and round diamonds are the most popular choice for a pave ring, because they cover a greater surface area.

This is one of the most brilliant options for a ring and is popular in eternity bands and engagement rings.

Pave Setting – Styles and Designs 

The pave setting can consist of diamonds in various sizes, shapes and designs. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular styles for the pave setting.

  • Micro pave – Micro pave designs feature small diamonds below .01 carats. These small accent diamonds are secured to the band of the ring with small prongs. The stones are carefully arranged to cover the entire surface area of the ring.
  • Micro pave set – The micro pave set is very similar to the micro-pave design, where small diamonds are closely placed together. In this style, however, the diamonds aren’t held together by prongs, but by micro beads.
  • U- Cut pave – The U cut pave setting consists of small U-shaped metal beads that holds up the diamond for greater strength and security.
  • French pave – The French pave setting consists of V-shaped beads that hold and secure each small diamond. This shape not only gives the stone more support, but also allows more light to be reflected onto the gem. See a stunning French pave eternity band here.

Pros of the Pave Setting

  • The pave setting can be used for both modern and vintage style wedding rings.
  • The large central stone of the pave setting often looks about 20-30% larger because of the brilliance of the pave stones. The wearer can invest in a considerably smaller main stone.
  • The pave setting makes the ring look shinier due to its smaller diamonds covering the entire surface area of the ring.
  • The smaller diamonds of the pave setting accentuate and amplify the effect of the central stone.
  • The pave setting, with its miniature diamonds, is typically more affordable than the channel setting. 

Cons of the Pave Setting

  • The pave setting is best done with diamonds and isn’t ideal for delicate gemstones.
  • Rings with pave settings are extremely difficult to resize and modify.
  • Pave settings are challenging to maintain and clean because there are smaller nooks and crannies between the stones.
  • The pave setting is delicate and not suitable for those who work a lot with their hands.

Wrapping Up

As the beautiful ring designs featured above showcase, both pave and channel have their pros and cons and make for stunning engagement and wedding rings. At the end of the day, it comes down to durability and personal preference.

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