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Here's What You Need to Know Before Buying a Pave Setting

Shopping for an engagement ring on a budget? You're not alone; in fact, it's more the rule than the exception these days. There are beautiful and stylish ways to maximize your ring budget. First, you're in the right place: Shopping online for an engagement ring can save you 40 to 50 percent off brick-and-mortar jewelry stores. Second, consider a setting that incorporates extra-small stones, like a pavé setting.



What is a pavé setting?

Pavé (pronounced pah-vay), from the French word for "paving," is a setting in which several small diamonds or gemstones accentuate the main stone, creating a field of sparkle. Usually, the diamonds are so closely set that the metal beneath them can't be distinguished from the diamond; to help with this, most buyers pick white gold for their band in order to ensure minimal visibility of the metal prongs that hold the diamonds in place. The pave setting may also be referred to as a "bead" setting, and if the paved stones are especially small (smaller than about .01 carats), a micro-pavé setting.


What is a pave setting pave versus side stones

Because of the added shimmer, a pavé setting can make a diamond look larger than it actually is, allowing you to save money by choosing a smaller center stone. A pavé setting is different from a ring with side stones, because of the number and density of stones: A pavé setting resembles a street paved with diamonds, while a side stone ring may utilize larger diamonds or gemstones to accentuate the focal stone.

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Different styles of pavé settings

what is a pave setting micro pave

Micro pavé

In this style, accent diamonds are set closely together, secured with small prongs. This draws attention to the diamonds while minimizing the look of the metal. Jewelers must work with high precision to create this setting; lasers are often used to produce a flawless result.

what is a pave setting french

French pavé

This style, similar to micro pavé, incorporates a small, V-shaped cutout underneath each diamond, which allows for more light to hit the stone and less metal to show on the ring..

what is a pave setting u cut or scallop

U-cut pavé/scallop

In a U-cut or scalloped setting, the metal beads holding the accent diamonds have U-shaped cutouts underneath, adding a distinctive design element.

what is a pave setting bright cut or channel

Bright cut/channel

The most traditional setting, the bright cut (or channel setting) is so named because the diamonds look like they're held by two walls of metal. This setting has seen a resurgence in popularity recently thanks to a growing interest in vintage and vintage-style engagement rings and jewelry.

what is a pave setting shared prong

Shared prong

In this style, two accent stones are held together by the same prong, minimizing the metal, enabling a tighter and more uniform look, and enabling light to hit the diamonds and maximize sparkle.

what is a pave setting surface prong

Surface prong

The most common setting, each diamond is held tightly in place by a tiny metal prong. They can be rounded, flat, pointed, or V-shaped.

what is a pave setting bar

Bar

The bar setting holds diamond accents in place with bars of metal on either side. This secure setting style is typically used for baguette-style diamonds in three-stone rings or eternity bands.

what is a pave setting bezel

Bezel

In this setting, diamonds or gemstones are enclosed by metal. This holds the stone securely in place and adds a pretty design element. Bezel-set rings are popular with both men and women and have long-lasting appeal.


Pros of getting a pavé setting

The biggest benefit to a pavé setting: You get more sparkle for less money. Pavé set rings have one continuous shine, giving the wearer the illusion that the diamonds are more plentiful and bigger than they actually are. This setting also allows for the center stone to be highlighted and exemplified through the sparkle of the side stones. Pavé in a halo setting — in which small diamonds encircle a larger stone — can make a center stone look bigger and add shine if the center stone is low set. The pave setting is also extremely flexible and works beautifully within modern or vintage-style engagement rings.


what is a pave setting halo versus no halo

Things to consider about the pavé setting

As with any style of ring, there are also some caveats to the pavé setting. It is recommended for diamonds only, as it doesn't offer protection for more fragile gemstones. Additionally, the close pave setting makes resizing the ring difficult. There's also a low but still present chance of losing the side stones. When caring for the ring, it is important to remember that soaking a paved set engagement ring increases the likelihood of diamonds coming loose — be sure to take extra care in cleaning and maintaining a pavé engagement ring.


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