Whether you’ve just started your engagement ring journey, or you’re well on your way, you’ve undoubtedly come to realize that there’s a lot to consider about the design and look of a ring. One choice that becomes apparent as you look at right settings and styles is how high set vs. low set is the height of the ring. What do we mean by this? We’ll explain as we break down high set vs. low set engagement rings – an often overlooked part of the setting that has a big impact on how your ring wears.
High Set vs. Low Set Engagement Rings
High vs. Low: Telling the Difference
Regardless of style or design, engagement rings generally come in two profiles: high set and low set. This distinction is also referred to as high profile and low profile since you notice the difference when viewing the rings from a profile angle.
When looking at the side profile of a ring, notice how the center stone is being held in the setting. If you can see significant space between the culet (bottom pointed tip of the diamond) and the band, it’s considered a high setting. If the culet is close to or almost touching the ring’s band, it’s a low setting.
A high vs low profile ring viewed from the side
Pros & Cons of High Set Engagement Rings
A ring with a high set profile means that your gemstone will sit higher off your finger. Many people love this look because it prominently features the center stone and makes it appear to have more brilliance. But there’s more to consider:
- - The high setting sets off the stone from the rest of the ring, giving it the appearance of being larger than its actual size.
- - Because there’s more space for light to interact with the gemstone’s facets, it can appear to have extra brilliance and sparkle.
- - Usually, it pairs with a wedding band easily because the added space allows for a wedding band to fit snugly against the engagement ring.
- - The added height makes it more prone to snagging and catching on clothing, furniture, and hair.
- - It’s more prone to damage from accidental bumps on things you come in contact with on a daily basis.
- - It’s not conducive to an active lifestyle or a profession that requires heavy use of one’s hands.
A higher prong setting vs a lower basket setting
A higher set decorative basket setting ring
Pros & Cons of Low Set Engagement Rings
A ring with a low set profile means that a stone will sit lower and sometimes flush with the metal of the band. This is a great choice for people in the healthcare industry who are putting on rubber gloves frequently. Other factors to consider:
- - A low set profile is a very safe and secure option to protect your gemstone from accidental damage due to bumps and hits against something.
- - Very comfortable and wearable as well as being extremely durable for the lifespan of the ring.
- - Low chances of getting snagged or caught on fabrics, furniture, and hair.
- - Larger gemstones need a higher setting to accommodate their size, so smaller stones are more suitable for a low set profile.
- - Gemstones may appear less sparkly and eye-catching when they’re set so close to the band.
- - A less versatile setting style with fewer options for how the stone can be set with the overall ring design.
- - Choice of matching wedding bands is more limited, as low set rings don't have as much space for a wedding band to sit flush with the engagement ring. Clients often choose a crown or curved wedding band, or accept that there will be a slight gap between the two rings.
Low profile rose cut ring
Bezel set ring with crown style wedding band
Choosing from Different Types of High Set Rings
Prong settings are generally the most popular and commonly seen settings for engagement rings. It’s a very versatile setting that can accommodate all gemstone shapes and sizes. The traditional 4-prong setting holds a gemstone less securely than a 6-prong setting.
In a classic example of a 4-prong setting, our Ariya features a center stone that is lifted into the spotlight high above the band. For more security with this timeless look, our Amy features a 6-prong setting with a subtle pavé accent on the band near the shank.
Cathedral settings are a sophisticated and classic style that features the center stone mounted above the shank, held up by curved metal arches. This setting can help make a smaller stone appear larger and will maximize the sparkle.
For our Saffron, the pavé tapered band helps to accentuate a stunning round cut diamond that is already lifted by the cathedral setting for maximum light return. And with our Greer, a vintage-inspired emerald cut engagement ring is set with special diamonds at the center of the cathedral setting.
Trellis settings exude an elegant appeal with prongs woven together in a cross pattern that hold the center stone with softly curved prongs. It’s a very versatile setting style that can be made to look classic, modern or very vintage depending on the details.
There is something truly lovely about pairing the elegant curves of a trellis setting with a nature-inspired look, and that’s exactly what we did for our Adamaris. For our Hetty, we went for a special peek-a-boo moment with the extended trellis setting creating three hearts underneath the three diamonds in the ring.
Higher profile cathedral set ring
Higher profile trellis set ring
Choosing from Different Types of Low Set Rings
Bezel settings are very popular, especially for those who lead an active lifestyle. They provide incredible peace of mind for an ultra-secure setting for a center stone. They are easy to clean but may obstruct some of the stone’s sparkle and brilliance.
Bezel settings are a great style when you do have a larger center stone but still want a low set engagement ring. For our Paulina, we set a 3 carat cushion cut diamond in an Edwardian-era style with hand-engraved detail throughout. For a sleek and modern bezel, our Hanem pairs a round cut center stone with flanking tapered baguettes.
Solitaire settings are well suited to create more minimalist engagement rings. While solitaires can use prongs, when they’re designed as a basket setting, they’re stronger and more durable and can sit lower while allowing a lot of light to hit the gemstone for maximum brilliance.
Our Candace is a classic example of a low set basket setting. A stunning marquise cut diamond sits low in the solitaire setting with a pavé-set band. For a more unexpected, contemporary look, we have our Danlys, a polished double-band solitaire engagement ring set with a low profile oval diamond.
The height of your setting may not feel like the most important choice you make for your engagement ring, but from a practical perspective, it will carry a big impact over time as you wear your ring. Give it some thought as to how the ring will fit into your normal life and definitely try on some settings if you’re able to, and you’ll be sure to make a great choice.
Low profile bezel set rings
Low profile prong ring