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How to Choose an Engagement Ring Setting

An engagement ring is an outward expression of love for which there are a myriad of variations and settings. Learn what to look for and what works best when selecting a setting that highlights the engagement ring.


  • Step 1: Be mindful of your fiancee's lifestyle, especially if she's an avid athlete or gardener. Also, keep in mind that some settings are not recommended for everyday wear, so check with your jeweler.
  • Step 2: Choose a reputable jeweler. This is an important purchase -- one that may require additional fittings or repairs down the road. Make sure you know exactly what you're buying and the warranties included with your purchase.
  • FACT: The tradition of wearing the engagement ring on the third finger of the left hand began because it was believed that finger contained a direct connection to the heart.
  • Step 3: Study the type of setting you'd like to use to hold the stone or stones in place. The most popular setting is a prong, which uses 3 to 6 claws to hold the stone in place. Other settings include: tension, bezel, channel, bar, pave, and gypsy.
  • TIP: To simplify the process, consider purchasing a wedding set, which consists of an engagement ring setting coupled with a matching wedding band.
  • TIP: An engagement ring generally consists of the band, the setting that holds the stone -- sometimes called a mounting -- and the diamond or stone itself.
  • Step 4: Decide if you'd prefer a solitaire setting, the most popular engagement ring setting. A solitaire setting features a single, centered diamond. Other options include a three-ring setting featuring a larger center stone flanked by two smaller stones, or a setting with sidestones, several smaller stones set flush in the band.
  • Step 5: Set your budget before you buy. Bands and settings are typically available in 14- and 18-karat white gold, 14- and 18-karat yellow gold, and platinum.

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