Have you noticed any flashy pieces of jewelry where diamonds are positioned next to each other without any sign of metal holding them in place? This is called an invisible setting. It was developed by fine jewelers in France more than 200 years ago and continues to be a popular setting for diamond rings.
The overall look is an uninterrupted surface of gemstones. With no gold or platinum visible between the straight edges of stones, the visual impact of this type of setting is significant. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages or this unique ring setting.
What Is an Invisible Setting?
Just like the name suggests, invisible settings make it look like a diamond is virtually floating inside the ring. You can’t see any prongs or bezels, just the sparkling stones and the precious metal of the ring. This type of setting is most often used when multiple diamonds are mounted in a row or in multiple rows.
The stones are held in place by a hidden structure from below. This structure grips each diamond on small grove cut into their base. It is often used with square, emerald, princess and baguette diamond cuts. It can’t be used for round cut diamonds or for stones with rounded edges. The diamonds are then situated with their flat sides next to each other and fixed into the setting structure.
What Are the Advantages of Invisible Settings?
The most notable advantage of invisible settings is that it tends to make stones look larger. Because the structure which holds the diamonds in place is hidden below the surface, it shows the entire stone face. There are no prongs or bezels which cover portions of the stone’s surface in order to hold it firmly in place. That’s why using invisible settings is a valid technique for enhancing the look of smaller diamonds. It’s a smart way to use less expensive diamonds yet obtain a more expensive overall look for the ring.
The invisible setting also creates an uninterrupted effect for the diamonds which are positioned next to each other. Because multiple stones are set very close together and along the same plane, smaller diamonds blend into one larger shining surface.
An invisible setting is more difficult to make, requiring the jeweler to spend more time to prepare the stones and set them into the underlying structure. For this reason, invisible settings are more valuable and unique. When purchasing engagement rings and other diamond jewelry, most people appreciate details that make it special.
An invisible setting must be crafted by an experienced fine jeweler who can prepare the stones with precision and carefully set the stones. The skilled craftsmanship involved likely results in the ring being more expensive, but it also increases the ring’s value.
Most women wear their engagement rings often, even every day. That means that this particular piece of jewelry must be durable and easy to maintain. Another advantage of an invisible setting is that it is easy to clean. To make the diamonds shine brightly again, all you need is some soapy water and to buff it up with a soft cloth.
What Are the Disadvantages of Invisible Settings?
Though invisible settings show more of the stone’s face, the cut required to hold it in place does not guarantee the most light reflection. Other settings are better suited to optimize a diamond’s brilliance. If you have a loose diamond that is large or particularly reflective, we would recommend a more traditional setting. A prong setting, for example, would allow more light to reflect off all angles of the stone.
Because this type of setting is a bit more complex than other options, the stones should be checked and the ring should be polished by a professional jeweler on a regular basis. The stones are fixed in place in an invisible setting, but it’s possible that they could get loose over time or fall out if the ring is not properly maintained.
Experts do not recommend an invisible setting for heavy duty activities. It’s better to remove the ring before doing anything where the stones might get knocked out of place. It’s also important to note that rings with invisible settings can be more difficult to resize. This is because resizing would likely require the underlying framework to be modified or refitted.
As with all fine jewelry purchases, if you have selected a ring with an invisible setting, be sure that the jeweler guarantees their craftsmanship.
For a ring design that can stand up to daily wear over the long term, read “Durable Settings for a Ring that Lasts as Long as Love.”
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