Setting Styles The most popular setting styles are: Prong, Channel, Bezel, and Pave. Though presenting varying degrees of difficulty to the setter, the setting style only minimally impacts the cost of diamond jewelry. A prong setting consists of several (2-6) small metal arms that are notched and bent to hold the stone in place. A channel setting utilizes a narrow metal rectangle, holding the stones in place on the opposite sides or girdle edges. A bezel setting utilizes a metal ring into which the stone is pressed to hold it in place around the girdle.
A pave setting is created by drilling small holes into a solid plate to hold each diamond in place by its cutlet, and then hand-raising small beads of metal with a cutting tool to hold multiple stones (often 4 or more) in place, resulting in a final appearance of being one, much larger stone.
French pave and “U” setting. A style of pave used to set stones in straight or curved rows. French pave utilizes extra cuts and creates a “faceted” look to the metal around the diamond.
Not all setting is created equal. A talented/seasoned diamond setter with ten to twenty years experience can charge 5 times as much as the novice with two or three years experience. Uneven spacing, unequal prongs, prongs that are too light or too heavy are all characteristics of inexperience. The look and the longevity of the setting are all dependant on the setters ability and talent. Manufacturers that focus on cost savings over quality typically end up with finished jewelry that loose diamonds and have a look of inferior craftsmanship especially after the diamonds are worn for a period of time and have lost their luster.