The setting of your engagement ring is one of the most personal style choices you can make for your ring. One often overlooked setting that has a deep history but also a decidedly modern aesthetic is the bezel setting. A unique and beautiful look, a bezel setting works for every shape stone, is incredibly secure, and very low maintenance to wear. But doesn’t it diminish a diamond’s sparkle? Let’s jump in to answer that question and others to see if a bezel setting is right for you.
Why Choose a Bezel Set Engagement Ring
When to Go Bezel: Pros & Cons
The bezel setting has been perpetually popular in the engagement and wedding ring world. It’s been used since the beginning of stone setting as the oldest technique used due to it being incredibly secure and workable with the tools available at the time. The style of the bezel setting has gotten a lot more creative over time, so we’ve gathered some distinctive pros and cons to consider about this setting:
- - Bezel settings are among the most secure options for gemstone rings.
- - Hides blemishes and inclusions on the sides of a gemstone.
- - Very well suited to active lifestyles, as it will not snag on clothes like a prong setting.
- - Similar to the halo setting, a well-designed bezel can actually make your center stone look bigger.
- - Because of the skill involved with creating a bezel setting and the additional metal required, bezel settings are more expensive than other settings.
- - More metal means less of your diamond will be visible.
- - A thicker bezel setting has the potential to limit the amount of light that can enter into the diamond, thus diminishing sparkle.
- - If you ever need to remove the stone from the setting, it is much more difficult to do than with other setting styles, like a prong.
Types of Bezel Settings
There are two types of bezel settings: a full bezel and a partial bezel. A full bezel setting will completely surround the diamond, any shape and any size. A partial bezel setting doesn't fully surround the stone and contains gaps or openings in the bezel - and may also be called a semi-, half- or open bezel, resulting in quite a unique and modern look.
Both types of bezel settings will securely hold your diamond in place. Like all types of settings, there’s a selection of pros and cons, but the security of the bezel setting is definitely its leading positive feature.
Full bezel engagement ring
A type of partial bezel engagement ring
The Appeal of the Bezel Setting
The bezel is a popular engagement ring setting because it achieves a modern and sleek look while also being perfect for an active lifestyle. For athletes or people with hands-on jobs – like those in the medical or construction professions – the bezel setting offers greater security than prong settings. The metal in a bezel set engagement ring completely surrounds the stone’s girdle, so it’s much less likely that your diamond would chip or come loose if hit.
The modern look of the bezel is also very easy to maintain compared to other setting styles. There are no prongs to routinely check or clean, and prongs are also susceptible to becoming damaged if they suffer too blunt of an impact on a hard surface. None of those concerns exist for a bezel setting.
Cleaning your ring also tends to be easier since the diamond is set flush against the metal frame and there are fewer little nooks and crannies for debris to be trapped. The underside of the bezel can be a little harder to clean since it’s a hard to reach area, but using warm soapy water and a soft brush should do the trick.
Another key feature of the bezel setting is that it can easily hide blemishes and inclusions in a diamond. When these are close to the edge of the diamond, the metal rim of the bezel setting is likely to cover them, making them less obvious to the naked eye. This can give you some flexibility in choosing a lower clarity grade for your diamond if the visible inclusions are at the edges.
Like a halo setting, bezel settings can enhance how large the center stone looks. It’s a trick of the eye that has the added layer of metal wrapping around the stone appearing to expand the stone’s visual appearance. This feature works particularly well when the color of the metal is matched to the color of the stone.
One important thing to keep in mind about a bezel setting is that it will typically be more expensive than other settings like a prong. This is because it takes a great amount of skill and expertise to properly create a custom fit bezel setting for a gemstone. And with the additional metal used, there will be a higher cost for materials.
Tips on Styling Your Bezel Setting
Bezels are especially useful for shapes that feature a pointed tip, like a pear or marquise, since the bezel will perfectly protect those vulnerable parts of the stone. The bezel setting is also great at creating a soft look and when used with other design techniques that can make the bezel stand out or be the best supporting player. We gathered a few of our favorite bezel-set engagement rings for inspiration.
If you really love a bezel setting, a three-stone ring like our Bridgette may be just what you’re looking for. We’ve placed three rose cut diamonds in a platinum bezel setting and used a rope band in rose gold to signify two lives coming together as one. It’s finished off with some small diamonds spotting a bit of the band for some extra sparkle.
Finally, we incorporated the bezel setting for an ultramodern and chic ring for our Elsa. For this look, the bezel is prominent yet subtle at the same time, holding a cushion cut diamond and surrounded by a diamond halo. Fashioned in platinum, the band continues with pavé diamonds with a few more hidden underneath the basket.
When it comes to a bezel setting, less is definitely more. If smooth elegance and a clean modern look are your aesthetic, you can’t really go wrong with a bezel. Just remember to work with a professional jeweler that has the skill to produce a high-quality bezel setting that custom fits the center stone, and you should walk away with an engagement ring you love.