Weddings are very, very expensive. Not only is the wedding day itself a large expense, but there are a ton of little things along the way—and it all starts with the engagement ring. Getting an engagement ring can be daunting, but if you're watching your wallet, it can feel like a big, huge... diamond on your shoulders.
If you're looking to ball out on a budget with a gorgeous diamond ring for your partner-to-be, a pavé ring can be a stellar option for your wedding. It provides a ton of sparkle without breaking the bank.
A pavé ring is “a ring setting is made up of tiny stones set very closely together to create a line or adjacent lines, creating continuous sparkle," says Don O’Connell, president, and CEO of Charles & Colvard, a jewelry company specializing in moissanite and lab-grown diamonds. Derived from the French word for “to pave,” pavé rings look like they're paved with gems and stones. The visual effect is stunning, as the tiny stones accentuate the beauty of the center stone. "Between the sparkle of the gems, the luster of the metal, and how closely these stones are set, it can be difficult to distinguish the metal beneath the stones from the actual stones themselves.”
Smaller stones usually mean smaller amounts of money, but more stones also mean more sparkle. Pavé rings are also extremely versatile—they work with both modern style rings and ones with a more vintage flair. They’re also great because they can be blended with other styles of rings, like a halo pavé style, where the wedding band is set with gems or stones and the center stone is surrounded by stones.
There are so many types of pavé settings. Here, the five most common types to make your ring style choice a little easier:
Pavé rings are often recommended for diamonds only, as it doesn’t offer protection for more fragile gemstones like pearls and opals. You don't want a scratched gem, that'll defeat the point of saving the coin for the ring in the first place.
They can also be hard to resize due to the ring's style because causing any significant change can damage the prongs holding the gems in place. So if you're considering a pavé style, consider that it's not a low-maintenance ring to have. Talk to your partner before buying the ring and triple-check that you have their ring size. And don’t forget to talk to your jeweler about what can and cannot be done with a ring like this style to save yourself from a headache down the road.
If you or your partner are heavy-handed or work with your hands, this may not be the best ring style for you or you're beloved, as smaller diamonds can pop out of their settings more easily.
At the end of the day, a pavé style ring setting is versatile, budget-conscious, and offers plenty of design choices, so you're sure to find something great for anyone you love.