A bezel setting might be the right choice for you if your day looks like this: School. Yoga. Jogging. Cooking. Cleaning. Take the kids to soccer. Rock-climbing. Crafts. Dance class. Rinse. Repeat.
Engagement ring shopping could be difficult for the go-getter moving from activity to activity. It can also be hard for those who work hard and play hard with sports to choose the right engagement ring settings.
A bezel setting could be your perfect match.
Many people with active lifestyles don’t have much experience with fine jewelry. When they get engaged, it’s hard to picture a big diamond ring on their finger.
Thankfully, the engaged person isn’t limited to the same traditional solitaire ring that’s been around for years and years.
Now, it’s time to get to know the bezel.
What Is a Bezel?
It wasn’t uncommon to find bezel settings under the “unique” ring categories on websites. However, they’ve become more popular since the age of online shopping.
The sleek and modern look of having the edges covered offers a minimalist style you won’t get from a traditional prong setting.
A traditional bezel is the best option for someone who likes the solitaire engagement ring style, but not its profile. Those who want less bling and more ring will love what a plain metal bezel has to offer.
Bezel settings aren’t popular enough to have their own category on jewelry sites like other engagement ring settings, so you might have better results by using the search bar instead of looking at ring style categories.
Different Types of Bezel Engagement Rings
Even though bezel set stones are a simple design, there are a few different variations of bezels you might run into.
Most bezels you come across will be a full bezel. That’s when the metal rim goes around the entire circumference of your center stone. These offer the best protection of the different settings available.
Livia Diamond Ring
Anybody who has heard of a bezel assumes full settings are the only kind of bezel settings. They’re most often found under the solitaire ring category because of the plain bands. They may be raised or completely flat.
Some bezel-set rings don’t follow the status quo. Some full settings may not be set flush with the band. They can be raised as well for a slightly raised profile. Even elevated, the diamond is still encased in the metal.
Matte Finish Nicky Solitaire Ring
You might even consider choosing a different shape besides round-cut diamonds. You still benefit from the secure fit of a full bezel, but it doesn’t look like every other stone out there.
A half-bezel setting is where the metal rim only goes around half of your diamond or gemstone. A partial bezel just covers a section of the diamond. Partial and half settings often have unique designs.
Lumiere Bridal Set
Half bezels can be both good and bad. The good part is that they allow more light to enter your diamond and still hold the diamond securely in place.
This could be a choice style for someone who has purchased an ideal cut or Excellent cut diamond for their center stone.
The drawback is that this kind of setting protects a portion of your diamond engagement ring. Half or more of the girdle, or edge of the diamond, is exposed to potential chipping or breakage.
Hybrid settings are more fluid in their ring style. This type of setting may feature a bezel-set center diamond, but there might be other small diamond accents that aren’t bezel-set.
In a hybrid setting, you’ll see other popular ring setting styles incorporated into the design. These diamonds are more for a more modern jewelry design rather than extra protection.
This kind of bezel ring is ideal for those who like the modern style of a bezel stone but don’t necessarily lead an active lifestyle.
Pros and Cons of Bezel Settings
Most diamond engagement ring styles have positives and negatives for the ring-wearer. A bezel is no different. Here’s a brief overview of the best and worst things about owning a bezel engagement ring.
- Bezel rings don’t catch on any fabrics unlike prong settings
- A bezel-set ring has fewer nooks than other settings which make it easier to clean around your diamond
- You can’t knock a diamond loose in a bezel ring
- A full bezel set diamond can’t fall out because of the metal around the entire circumference
- Bezel engagement rings are best for people with active lifestyles unlike prong settings
Breaking Down the Positives
One of the biggest complaints from new and old engagement ring wearers is how often their prong setting catches on different fabrics. Sweaters seem to be the enemy of those engagement rings.
When a diamond ring catches on fabric, it’s catching on the prongs.
If you do it enough times, your prongs start to move away from your center diamond. The next time you knock it on something, you could lose your diamond.
A bezel-set ring serves as a secure setting because the thin metal around the diamond is set flush to the band. There’s nothing for the fabric to catch on. Likewise, the metal keeps your diamond in place so it can’t be knocked loose.
The only way to really lose a diamond in a bezel is if you shatter it first. That’s not an easy feat. Your chances of losing your diamond are higher in a 3 prong or 4 prong setting.
Six or more prong settings protect your stone from chipping better, but they’re not very sleek. You’re more likely to have a prong catch on fabric if you have a bunch of prongs around your center stone.
Just because you have or want a prong setting doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen to your stone. All it means is that you just have to be a bit more careful than bezel wearers.
- You’re very limited on options for bezel engagement ring styles if you shop at a physical jewelry store.
- Diamonds in bezels let in less light than other settings. You might have to sacrifice light reflection for more protection for your stone.
Breaking Down the Drawbacks:
Choosing a bezel for your stone limits your choices for engagement ring types. The biggest downside of choosing a bezel for your stone is your limitation of choices.
If you’re shopping at brick-and-mortar jewelry stores, you might find a couple of bezel settings in their jewelry cases. You’re going to have more options for settings online.
But if you’re wanting bezel set stones, you are limited on options that keep your diamond completely secure in the band. Most bezels fall under the three main styles listed before.
Still, there are other options for a flush setting that still offer your diamonds a little more protection around their edges that aren’t bezels.
The other part that might concern your about a bezel is how it impacts the sparkle of your diamond or gemstone.
Many people consider the sparkle of a diamond its most important feature, so they choose round diamonds with ideal cut or Excellent cut grades. These diamonds are more expensive than diamonds with a Very Good or Good cut.
Put these diamonds in a bezel, you don’t get to see the full impact of a diamond with perfect symmetry. It kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
Or, you could think of it as a way to save money or direct some of that extra cash toward other factors of your stone. For example, its color grades or carat weight.
A Very Good cut round diamond won’t look much different in a full setting than an ideal cut will.
Bezel vs. Prongs
A major concern of buying a bezel is its price. Most of the cost factor in engagement rings is due to the center diamond. Ring settings impact cost too.
We’re not just talking about the ring metal you’ve chosen either.
Like all fine jewelry, the price breakdown of bezels can vary. On average, a bezel setting will usually cost a little more than your typical prong setting solitaire. But don’t worry, they won’t cost too much more. Most pave settings are more expensive than your average ring.
Bezel Setting Prices
A bezel engagement ring setting could cost more because they’re harder for a jeweler to create.
These settings might cost more because they’re harder for jewelers to create. Not every ring jeweler has the skill to craft beautiful settings. That’s especially true for more detailed settings.
A jeweler has to be very careful when creating a bezel setting. They have to hammer the metal rim around the diamond gently.
It’s very time-consuming. The jeweler has to know how much pressure to apply, so he doesn’t wreck the setting and crack the center diamond.
Diamonds can still crack, despite their hardness rating. The Mohs scale analyzes a mineral’s resistance to scratching. The dust and dirt in the air will scratch softer gemstones, causing them to appear cloudy.
Any gemstone can chip, crack, or break when hit hard enough. Most faceted gemstones have cleavage planes. Cleavage determines the stone’s resistance to being struck.
So, imagine a jeweler trying to hammer down a thin metal rim around softer gemstones. The jeweler has to worry about scratching AND breaking it in conjunction with not screwing up the metal rim.
You also have to factor in future repairs. If you damage the metal surrounding the diamond, it’s going to be much harder to be fixed and cost more than a simple prong setting.
It’s not a huge distinction, because some ring designs don’t even qualify for a free resizing from a company, like an eternity ring for example. A bezel-set diamond ring can still be resized since there’s nothing on the band. The only repair that would cost more is if you damaged the setting itself.
You might even have to purchase a new ring if you damage it too much.
A bezel set engagement ring is an excellent style to choose if you’re the busy bee or are constantly getting your hands dirty.
They also serve a unique option that you won’t see too many people with the same style. While they do conceal some light reflection in your diamond, it lets you worry less about your diamond’s sparkle and more about its carat size or setting.
If you’re curious about how a bezel setting might look on your hand, you might consider choosing from a retailer with a great return policy. While most stores give you 30-60 days to decide if you like it, Clean Origin offers you 100 days to decide that you love your setting.