Diamond engagement rings come in a huge variety of styles, and understanding the key differences between them all can be a daunting prospect. To that end, today we take a closer look at channel setting engagement rings, and just what makes this popular style a timeless classic.
Whereas many settings can be found on any part of the ring, the channel setting is found almost exclusively on the shoulders of a ring (the parts of the setting immediately on either side of the main diamond). The “channel” in question is a narrow space formed within the band itself. Parallel grooves run high along the walls of the channel, and into these grooves is placed the girdle (the thin rim around the widest part) of the diamond.
The grooves hold the girdle in place by applying opposing force perpendicular to the band direction. The parallel force is applied by the rest of the diamonds withing the channel. These forces keep the stones firmly in place without the need for glue or adhesives of any kind.
The diamonds most often used in channel setting engagement rings are rectangular, since those shapes (baguette, princess, emerald, even cushion cuts) stack well against one another. Round cuts can also be used, but the ensuing space formed where each circle borders another will be noticeable (though not alway undesirable).
(The channel setting is not to be confused with the pave setting. A pave setting places small stones in close proximity to each other, often above the setting itself, or in a halo surrounding the main stone. Channel settings, by contrast, are most often composed of a single line of stones set within the band itself.)
One major advantage of channel setting engagement rings is how transferrable the style is to matched wedding rings. Since the channel setting occurs primarily in the shoulders of an engagement ring, accenting the main stone without being a part of the main stone’s setting, that same design can be very successfully applied to a wedding band, which generally has no main stone to contend with.
But your main focus, as always, should be on how the ring makes you feel. No one setting is superior to another, and everyone has different tastes. Hopefully this guide will help you better understand one of the many styles available, so you can find the perfect ring for that perfect person. Find more on this topic here.