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A Buyers Guide to Bezel Settings

Love them, hate them, there’s one thing everyone gets from bezel settings, a strong reaction. The slender metal band that frames a center diamond is the cause of much confusion. Did you hear the myth that a bezel setting dulls a diamond’s sparkle? Have you seen a clunky bezel that overpowered a modestly sized diamond? We’re here to tell you to give them a second chance, try some on at home, and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

Parker No.7 in yellow gold. A bezel set round brilliant diamond.

DO BEZEL SET DIAMONDS SPARKLE?

Properly designed bezel settings don’t diminish the brilliance of the stone even the tiniest bit. The sparkle that we see in most diamond shapes, especially rounds, is the result of light that enters at the table, reflects off the facets of the pavilion, and reflects right back out the way it came in, through the table and crown. Only extremely thick and poorly crafted bezels will prevent light from entering the diamond. So sleep well, your sparkle is safe.

So what does the bezel do? It protects the delicate edges of the diamond’s girdle. It prevents build-up from dirt, dust, and oil — all things which cause a diamond to lose its brilliance and become dull and cloudy. If you’re interested in a diamond that has an extremely thin girdle, or a diamond shape that features a pointed tip, like a pear or marquise, a bezel is the perfect choice for protecting the stone from damage.

If it wasn’t already clear, we love bezel settings. Their wearability is perfectly modern, and they make for a solid low-profile alternative to the traditional four-prong setting. We highly recommend them for anyone seeking a low-maintenance setting that goes from boardroom to ballroom, and anywhere in between.

Not all bezel settings are created equal. If you’re coveting this streamlined style, you’ll want to take as much care selecting the setting as you do choosing a diamond.

Beyond the look, there are many reasons why you’d want to choose a bezel set diamond over a prong-set diamond. Since we’re all about practicality, let’s take a look at the practical benefits of this modern low-profile setting.

East west emerald bezel in 18K yellow gold

DO BEZEL SET DIAMONDS FALL OUT?

Bezel settings are significantly more secure than their prong-set cousins. Bezel set diamonds will not chip or come loose with wear. If you hit your prong-set solitaire on the edge of a glass desk or marble counter, there’s some risk that your diamond could come loose or chip. Bezel settings wrap your stone in a band of metal, protecting the most delicate edge from the small bumps of daily life.

High-quality bezel settings are custom made to fit your center stone. To make sure your jeweler sets your diamond correctly, you’ll want to inspect the setting post-purchase. If you had the ring appraised for insurance, the gemologist will do this for you. Make sure that the inner edge of the bezel is touching the diamond with no gaps. The stone should be level, the rim should be symmetrical, and there should be no visible damage.

BEZEL SETTINGS ARE LOW MAINTENANCE

Prong settings typically need to be inspected and tightened annually as part of routine upkeep and maintenance. Bezel settings? Not so much. A yellow gold bezel setting (our favorite) is one of the lowest maintenance rings you can buy and provides a striking contrast to the white diamond.

Round bezel solitaire by Frank Darling — Parker No. 7

BEZEL SETTINGS ARE LOW PROFILE

Looking for a fuss-free, low-profile setting that won’t get in the way of everyday life? A bezel setting could be for you. Bezel settings are generally lower-profile then prong settings and very easy to wear. Are you looking for something even flatter? Consider a shallow bezel set diamond-like an oval, marquise or rose cut.

Billie. No. 5 a rose cut diamond set in a yellow gold band.

BEZEL SETTINGS WON’T CATCH OR SNAG

With prong settings, no matter how high quality the finish, there is always some risk of a prong catching on your favorite sweater or preventing you from slipping on a pair of woolen gloves. In contrast, a bezel settings smooth outer edge is snag-proof. So go ahead and buy that loose-knit sweater you’ve been dreaming of. You deserve it.

BEZEL SETTINGS CAN HIDE A DIAMONDS FLAWS

Are you looking for a bigger diamond at a better price? An SI1 or SI2 round brilliant with a visible crystal inclusion on the girdle is less than ideal for a prong setting, but perfect for a bezel. The slender rim of gold conceals the inclusion. No one but your jeweler will ever be the wiser. Take it from Frank Darling; your secret is safe with us.

A chip on a diamonds girdle which can be masked by a bezel setting.

BEZEL SETTINGS MAKE DIAMONDS LOOK BIGGER

Bezels, like halo settings, enhance the size of the center stone. You’ll want to remember when picking out your diamond that the stone will look a bit bigger when set — you’ll get used to it.

HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR MY BEZEL SETTING?

While bezel settings are more secure than prong settings, you’ll want to care for them gently as you would any precious object. If any debris become lodged in the bezel, take your ring in for cleaning. More often than not this will dislodge debris without risk of scratching the setting.

If your diamond comes loose in the bezel setting, this may be due to improper finishing. You’ll want to take the ring back to your jeweler to have the setting tightened.

WHAT IS THE BEST SHAPE FOR MY BEZEL SETTING?

Bezel set Emerald and Asscher diamonds have a classic art deco look. These cuts look especially stunning in yellow gold bezels which contrast the white of the diamond and frame your stone. The vertical lines of the bezel reinforce the long vertical stone facets for a sophisticated look that never goes out of style. 

Asscher bezel in 18K yellow gold

Bezel set oval, and round diamonds are soft and romantic. This classic look is sophisticated and easy on the eyes. 

Bezel set three-stone settings are a unique look that combines decorative metalwork with multiple stone shapes.

Emerald three stone bezel set engagement ring

Unsure if a bezel is right for you? Why not try on this stunning, modern setting at home, for free. Our try at home service allows you to preview four styles in the comfort of your home, risk-free and without a sales pitch. Ready to get started?