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What are Pave Diamonds — The Pro’s and Con’s of This Popular Setting Type

Pavé diamonds come with their pros (like sparkle), and con’s (like maintenance). Considering a pavé setting? Here’s what you need to know.

If you’re interested in a little extra sparkle, who isn’t, you’ll want to know more about pavé. Pavé is the french word for “paved.” Pavé settings are decorated with small diamonds that literally pave the band to give it nearly continuous sparkle. If you’re wondering how to pronounce pavé your not alone. It’s two syllables. First “pav” with a soft a, like Pavarotti or pavillion, then “a” like “a table” or “a rug.” Got it? Great! Let’s move on.

Smaller pavé diamonds are single cut. That’s a little different than their larger, round cousin. Single cut diamonds generally have 16, 17 or 18 facets. That gives them their shimmering sparkle. You will usually find them bead set. A bead setting holds a diamond in its place with four small beads of metal that slightly cover the crown of the diamond, holding it securely on the band.

Pavé settings use melee diamonds (pronounced like smelly) another french term for small loose diamonds, often 1 to 2mm in diameter. They can be even smaller. If you’ve heard the term micro-pavé, it’s the same concept as pavé, just with even smaller melee.

Besides the fact that pavé is gorgeous, there are two practical reasons to opt for this kind of setting. We’re all about practicality at Frank Darling, so here they are.

No.1 — PAVE DIAMONDS CAN ENHANCE YOUR CENTER STONE

Halo settings are what they sound like, a circle of light that surrounds the center stone. Halo settings are an effective way to enhance the visual presence of a center stone. They can add the appearance of an additional half-carat, or more.

Halos can be put on just about anything from round diamonds, to ovals, even Asschers, and give your ring a full and glamorous look. Alternatively, choosing a contrasting color halo such as a ruby or sapphire can be an elegant way to add contrast to your ring for a style that’s all yours. Birthstones are a common choice, but pavé comes in many colors, and so can your halo.

Double halos layer not just one, but two sparkly surrounds for an even fuller look.

Pros of a Halo Setting — Drama, Size, Sparkle

A halo setting adds a dramatic decorative element to any diamond.

Halo settings are an effective way to make a center stone appear larger.

For step cut diamonds, like emeralds and Asschers, a halo can add sparkle to dress up the more restrained sparkle of the center stone.

Cons of a Halo Setting — Maintenance & Price

Pavé can come loose over time, and may need to be replaced or tightened.

They’re polarizing. If you’re giving a halo ring as a gift, try to figure out if it’s your partner’s taste or not.

They can increase the price of a setting by a few hundreds of dollars. Some of this is due to the diamonds, but a lot of it is due to the cost of setting.

Our Signature Halo Setting

Our signature halo setting combines a sculptural, trellised basket with a bezel setting for a no-prong look that’s both decorative and modern. Low-profile and low-maintenance, just the way we like it.

Harper No. 3 The Bezel Set Oval Halo
The Bezel Set Oval Halo
PARKER NO. 2 The Bezel Set Asscher Halo
The Bezel Set Asscher Halo
HARPER NO. 3 Pave The Bezel Set Oval Halo Pave
The Bezel Set Oval Halo Pavé
The Bezel Set Pear Halo Pave
The Bezel Set Pear Halo Pavé

No. 2 — PAVE DIAMONDS CAN DRESS UP A SOLITAIRE

Many of our rings can be customized to add a 1/2, 3/4 or full pavé band. Pavé can be a great way to dress up a solitaire and add a little extra sparkle to the overall look.

A 3 carat round diamond with a pave band
A custom made cushion cut setting with a pavé band and hidden halo in platinum

Pros of a Pavé Diamond Band

Pavé adds a touch of sparkle without much extra cost

Pavé can draw attention to the center stone

Con’s of a Pavé Diamond Band

Pavé bands can require some maintenance. Stones can come loose with wear and may require tightening.

A full pavé is extremely difficult to resize. For this reason, we usually recommend a 1/2 or 3/4 pavé band for a sparkly face-up view that’s more practical in the long run.

If you’re sensitive to texture, this setting type can cause some friction between your fingers. Try one on one first to get a feel for this style. 

Platinum oval solitaire with a pave band
The Oval Floral Solitaire
The Asscher solitaire in platinum with a pave 1.8mm band
Asscher solitaire with pavé band
The Emerald Floral Solitaire Pave
The emerald solitaire floral pavé
East west marquise solitaire with pave band in platinum
Marquise solitaire with pavé band
The round six prong solitaire with a pave band
Round six prong solitaire
The pear solitaire pave with floral prongs in platinum

HOW TO DECIDE IF A PAVE SETTING IS RIGHT FOR YOU.

Try them on.

At Frank Darling, all our engagement ring settings are available to try at home for free. It’s like the internet, but in real life.

Get started by selecting your favorite four rings. We’ll send you sterling silver size seven replicas set with one carat cubic zirconia stones.

Each try at home kit comes with a pre-paid return label, ring sizer, and The Handbook. A practical guide that contains all the information you’ll need to select a diamond. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.