Some people really strive for a lot of originality on their wedding day, starting from the very root of the event—getting engaged. There are so many options for wedding and engagement rings out there, and it can feel overwhelming to find something that’s truly original and perfectly suits your partner. Let's introduce you to the bezel setting—a unique style that should be on your list for consideration. Below we explore everything you need to know, as well as the the pros and cons, of bezel set engagement rings, according to diamond experts.
“A bezel setting is a more modern style, where the metal completely surrounds the gemstone, leaving only the top of the gem exposed. This is one of the most secure ways to set a gem, compared to a prong setting," says Don O’Connell, president and CEO of Charles & Colvard, a jewelry company specializing in moissanite and lab-grown diamonds. Bezel rings (also known as rubover) are modern, practical, and particularly great for the active person.
There are two main types of bezel settings:
Full bezel settings: The center stone is completely surrounded by a thin metal rim, securely holding it to the band. This style is particularly ideal for those living very active lifestyles.
Partial-bezel settings: Also called a half bezel, the center stone is surrounded by metal on two sides of the stone, leaving some of the stone (the “top” and “bottom” of the edge of the stone) exposed. This makes more of the stone visible. Despite the difference in design, partial-bezels offer the same amount of security as a full bezel.
Despite their being a simpler ring design, the cost of an engagement ring with a bezel ring setting can vary vastly. Typically, they can cost anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars. This depends mostly on two things: Features and metals. If a setting features halo, pavé, or side-stone diamonds, it will cost significantly more than one without. Likewise, the type of metal used in a bezel setting will heavily influence cost (e.g. 18 karat gold vs 14 karat gold).
Like any engagement rings, the bezel engagement ring style has its pros and cons. Be it practicality or how it may feature a center diamond, these are aspects that should be noted if you’re considering this kind of setting.
Aside from it being the chameleon of wedding rings, bezel rings are extremely versatile and can work very well with other styles of rings, like a bezel-set solitaire ring that really lets the center stone shine. It also works with all types of stone cuts, but the most modern of all the choices is a round cut, like Beyoncé's.
Because of the style, they're also extremely friendly to those with active lifestyles. Unlike prong settings, bezel settings surround the entire ring, so there's no worry about it snagging a sweater, chipping, or the gem falling out if you work with your hands. And because there are no prongs to be checked, bezel rings are a breeze to clean.
If you want tons of sparkle, a bezel set diamond probably isn’t for you. The bezel setting can sometimes take away from the brilliance of the stone itself.
They're also not the cheapest option on the market. Bezel rings can be more expensive than other settings due to the weight of the metal and the fact that it's not the easiest setting to create. You pay a markup for metal and labor when you get a bezel ring.
Bezel settings are often bulkier than others, which can actually make the center stone appear smaller or not as brilliant.
Seeing as these are the two most common engagement ring settings, they’re often compared to one-another. To recap, a bezel ring setting will hold a diamond or gemstone in place within a fully enclosed or partially-enclosed metal rim. Opposingly, a prong setting will hold a center stone in place with four to six small prongs (typically, circular stones will have six, while square shaped and rectangular stones will have four).
Going with either ultimately comes down to personal preference. That being said, there are a few more distinct differences that might sway you in one direction or the other.
Snagging. Due to its shape, bezel settings aren’t prone to snagging on clothing, blankets, linens, and the like. Prong settings, however, consist of small and sharp points that are much more likely to cause snagging.
Light Exposure. Since the bezel design fully surrounds its center stone, it allows less light to enter it. Therefore, it’ll look less brilliant than one set in a prong setting, which lets in as much light as possible.
Covering Imperfections. More coverage isn’t all bad, though. Since bezel settings cover more surface, they’re more likely to cover inclusions (small imperfections) and other flaws. Prong settings may show off more of your diamond or gemstone, but that also means they’re less likely to cover up the same imperfections.
Size illusions. As mentioned before, your engagement ring setting can influence how big your center stone appears. Thicker bezel settings tend to make stones appear smaller, while prong settings showcase a stone’s true size.
Durability. Those who participate in more active, hands-on, or outdoor lifestyles and careers are encouraged to choose bezel engagement rings, since they’re notably more durable. Likewise, they’re great for those who’d like an engagement ring that possesses a softer center stone, such as pearl and opal. Prong settings aren’t especially delicate, just not as resistant. Due to their small size, prongs are also more likely to get damaged if they brush up against hard surfaces.
Now that we’ve covered all of the need-to-knows, it’s time to get (window) shopping. We’ve gathered a handful of various bezel set engagement rings, featuring different center stones and band styles, to excite and inspire. Shop them below.
If ever there were a classic example of a bezel-set engagement ring, this is it. For fans of simpler, less flashy jewelry, it features a sleek band and sparkling round diamond solitaire.
Speaking of the classics, this ring possesses a partial (or semi) bezel setting, allowing more of its ethereal blue diamond to be seen.
A bright green sapphire is the center of attention when it comes to this engagement ring. The gemstone’s size is emphasized by being set in a dainty bezel setting with a thinner band.
Strike the perfect balance between dainty and brilliant with this dew drop inspired ring. Not only is the center ring supported by a bezel setting, but the smaller surrounding diamonds are as well.
Undoubtedly within the top tier of opulent bezel-set rings, this engagement ring features an antique diamond set into a wide bezel band adorned with pavé diamonds. It’s an absolute showstopper, made for engaged individuals who desire something luxurious.
There's no such thing as a universal engagement ring, because the beauty of an engagement ring is really in the eye of the beholder. But for the partner who is looking for a ring that somehow feels both classic and modern at the same time, a bezel engagement ring is likely exactly what they need. If you’re unsure what the best ring setting is for you, get in contact with a local jeweler and request their expertise.