Engagement Ring Setting Types: Bar
By Devorah Isenberg , Wednesday, January 04, 2012
If you’re in the market for a diamond engagement ring, but you are looking for a setting more distinctive than the classic prong setting but more dazzling than the bezel setting, you are in for a surprise. The little-known bar setting is the perfect combination of fashion and function, of diamond security and light performance, and of traditional ring design and modern unique flourishes.
The bar setting gets its name from the two bars that are set on either side of the center stone, perpendicular to the band, that protect it, hold it in place, and give the setting its trademark appearance. This setting has some similarities to the channel setting, in that the diamond is held securely be hidden notches carved into the strips of precious metal on either side of it. However, unlike the channel setting, the bar setting is usually used on a single center stone, not a row of smaller diamonds. Also, where in a channel setting the sides of the diamond would usually be completely enclosed by the setting, the bar setting leaves two sides of its diamond dramatically exposed. These exposed sides ensure that plenty of light reaches the diamond, allowing it to have great light performance and sparkle.
Although the bar setting can be used with a variety of diamond shapes, from pear to princess-cut, it is most often employed in the setting of a round brilliant diamond. The contrast of shape between the round diamond and rectangular bars of the setting form a visually interesting dynamic that makes the ring eye-catching despite its simplicity. A setting type this unique needs no additional ornamentation, although some bar settings are enhanced even further with the addition of small, pavé-set stones on the bars themselves.
For diamond engagement ring customers looking for a setting that is as bright and brilliant as the prong setting but a little more modern, the bar setting is an ideal choice. Unlike a bezel or channel setting, which anchors the stone in metal on all sides, the open sides of the bar setting mean that lots of light can flood into the diamond. For a well-cut diamond, light entering the stone translates directly into light being reflected out of the stone in the forms of brilliance, fire and scintillation—the three features of light performance. If you are looking for a setting that emphasizes the simple beauty of a well-cut diamond, maximum exposure is key.
And while the diamond set in a bar setting appears to be floating delicately between the two strips of metal, the truth is that the diamond is held much more securely by hidden grooves in the metal that grip the diamond firmly at its widest point. As long as the setting is crafted by an expert jeweler from a reputable jewelry shop, the setting should be secure and the diamond is highly unlikely to be lost.
The bar setting can be left dramatically simple, or decorated with your choice of melée stones. It can be a focal point of your ring, or part of a more intricate design. It can host a diamond, a sapphire or an emerald. Every bar setting is as unique as the couple who chooses it, but one thing remains the same. This is one of the world’s most ideal settings—bar none.
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