Your Guide to Ring Styles – How to shop for styles & settings
– This ring style guide gives you a quick overview of ring sizes and settings. Visit a jewelry store near you where you can try on a variety of ring styles to determine what looks right. Establishing a relationship with that jeweler means that they’ll also know the right ring styles to suggest at each visit. Our showroom at Boggs Jewelers has many of the styles described in this article on display.
Explore Rings in our Jewelry Gallery
The Right Ring Fit
You should go to a jeweler to get your fingers professionally sized, and not just your left hand ring finger. A jeweler should size your knuckle – it should fit gently over the knuckle. Then size the finger. A simple, but accurate, way to do this is by taking a piece of paper wider at one end, wrap around your finger and mark where the ends meet. Then wrap the paper around a ring sizer (called a mandrel) to check the correct size.
There are many different setting techniques offered by today’s designers. Most often people research ring settings when shopping for engagement rings, but settings relate to fashion rings, cocktail rings, statement rings and more. If you are uncertain about a term used to describe your a ring’s setting, ask your professional jeweler to clarify it for you. Here is a glossary for some of the most popular ring setting styles:
In Flush settings, sometimes referred to as “burnish setting,” stones are level or flush with the surface of the ring mounting. The technique of flush setting allows the jeweler to scatter gemstones across a piece of jewelry without the need for prongs, channels or groupings of stones to hold the gemstones securely in place. Jewelry with flush-set stones is often modern and stylish with a scattering of brilliance from randomly positioned gems.
A diamond is completely surrounded by a precious metal border in this setting technique that resembles a picture frame.
Bead & Bright Setting
Bead and bright setting creates such amazing glitter and sparkle that it is often difficult to see where a gemstone ends and brilliant metal begins. The process sets stones even with the surface of the metal by raising metal beads to secure the stones in place. Frequently used for smaller sized diamonds and gemstones, bead and bright setting can be done in strips or over large areas of metal.
Popular for mounting rows of small, uniformly sized stones, this setting technique uses two strips of metal to hold the stones in between, resembling a railroad track. Used for round, baguette and square-cut stones. Gems set in this style offer a continuous row of brilliance with no metal separations in between. The finished appearance is sleek and sophisticated and the nature of the style leaves no metal prongs to catch on clothing.
A setting technique for small diamonds in which the stones are set so closely together that no metal shows. A pavé surface appears to be paved with diamonds.
A ring mounted with a single gemstone. This is the most popular engagement ring setting.
Named after Tiffany & Co. who brought this ring setting to popularity in the early 1900s. A Tiffany-style ring is a four- or six-prong setting using long, slender prongs to hold the stone.
Thank you to Jewelers of America for the contributions to this post.