Ring setting types: Invisible
By Devorah Isenberg , Thursday, December 08, 2011 3:54 AM
Even if you know little about diamond settings, you can probably guess that the invisible setting is a diamond setting style in which the hardware of the setting is invisible to the viewer. But what is this setting? How does it work? And for what kind of rings is it recommended?
Most ring setting styles show the bands or prongs of metal that hold the diamond securely in place. Of course, an invisible-set diamond is held securely as well; the hardware is just cleverly hidden into the design of the invisible setting to give the diamond the appearance of a continuous surface of diamond. Here’s how it works. Grooves cut into the girdle of each diamond help it fit snugly into a metal framework built into the surface of the ring band. When several diamonds are mounted side-by-side into this framework, the framework is completely covered, giving the ring the appearance of being a solid sheet of diamond. There is no metal or beading visible between the diamonds, which lie flush against one another for a truly unique look. This setting type usually incorporates princess cut diamonds whose straight sides make them ideal for creating this kind of illusion.
The invisible setting, developed by French jewelers over two hundred years ago, can be utilized in several different applications. Most often, it is used as a decorative element on the band of a diamond engagement ring, or as the central motif of a diamond-set wedding ring or anniversary band. When used on a wedding band, invisible settings gives the ring similar sparkle to a pavé or bead-set band, but with a sleeker, more modern twist.
Occasionally, four or more small diamonds in invisible settings are used together in a central prong setting on an engagement ring, creating the illusion that they are all one much larger stone. While this technique may be a way to get the look of a large center stone for a much lower price point, it is not recommended by most reputable jewelers, as the smaller diamonds have a much lower value and the overall look can be seen as less than tasteful. However, invisible settings are more commonly used to decorate and enhance the band of a ring set with a more traditional center diamond.
Invisible settings, if done correctly, are relatively secure. However, they do pose a significant problem if repairs ever become necessary. Only specialists in this type of manufacturing can repair them and specialty rates can be expensive. For this reason most jewelers do not carry them. When purchasing jewelry made with invisible setting, it is wise to anticipate potential future needs. If you are uncertain that you can get your invisible setting serviced properly, you should consider other setting options that create a similar look such as channel and pave, both of which can be repaired by any competent jeweler.
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