Tag Archives: diamond engagement rings

Setting Rings in Motion

Riveting Ring Setting Types

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-setting-ring

When choosing a ring, a ton of thought goes into the precious gemstone(s) that will be featured.  Lest you forget, the mounting plays a huge role in the overall aesthetics of the ring as well.  Commonly (and, technically, inaccurately) referred to as the “setting” (‘setting’ is the act of placing a stone into a “mounting,” the physical object), the choice and formation of the metal utilized here is just as important as the way the mounting looks.  Here are the most popular setting options available, as well as some of the lesser seen varieties.  A close inspection of each band/mounting type will help to give you a better idea as to what setting is right for your particular ring finger, your loved one’s…or your cat’s paw.

If loving you is prong, I don’t want to be right

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Prong Setting

Ah, the perennially prominent prongs.  A prong setting is the most ubiquitous in the world of diamond rings, especially engagement rings.  Prongs are small metal hooks that hold the stone (hopefully) securely in its spot.  Most rings will feature four of the talon-like pieces to keep their gem held tight (just like a raven’s foot), but some have six, or even more.  The reason why everybody loves prongs so much is because with this brand of setting more of the stone is visible.  The more visible the stone, the greater the opportunity for light to hit it at various angles.  The more light, the more bright (or “brighter” …for those of you who prefer correct grammar).  The only major downfall of a prong setting is that the metal hooks can get caught on clothing items, other pieces of jewelry and in rare cases, the mouth of fish.  If the precious metal of the ring is soft, like gold or platinum, the prong can easily bend – if it’s titanium, like Sia sings, it probably isn’t going anywhere.

Bez Friends

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Bezel Setting

The second most celebrated setting is the bezel.  This is probably the most secure variety out there, so it’s good for the ring-wearer-on-the-go (not exactly sure where they are going, but you get the idea).  One cool thing about the bezel setting is that in order for the center stone to be properly locked into place, the mounting must be custom made.  This gives each ring a certain uniqueness to it.  For a little “peek-a-boo” light action, there is the partial bezel.  This sub-style leaves the sides of the stone open for some serious ray penetration and subsequent brilliance enhancing.

Why so tense?

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Tension Setting

A tension set stone looks as if it’s being magically held in place, therefore a great pick for mystical men and whimsical women.  The way a tension setting is structured is a highly scientific process, using sophisticated calibration techniques; the jeweler doesn’t just ram the diamond into the metal and then have a cigarette.  The gemstone dimensions are precisely measured and the metal then has minuscule divots cut into the main open areas.  The stone is delicately placed in the opening and then violà, held in place due to the pressure the band is exerting on it.  The end result is that the gem is suspended there, for all of eternity.   Since this process is so complicated, tension setting can be expensive.  However, if you want the ‘look for less,’ you can opt for a “tension-style” setting.  This basically is a subtle bezel setting that has still has the band converging in the middle, giving off the impression that it’s actually tension set, and that you are an authentic baller.

Don’t change the channel 

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Channel Setting

Do not go into a jeweler’s shop asking for a “Chanel” ring, unless you are prepared to part with a hefty sum.  A channel setting is used for stones of a more diminutive nature, that are set in a nice little row (like, for instance, adorable ducklings sitting on a log).  These are often used in wedding bands (as there is typically no large, center stone), and have seen a recent rise in popularity, as designers are mixing gems of different or alternating colors in the band.

Raising the Bar

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Bar Setting

This setting version is essentially the same as the channel, only instead of fully encapsulating the diamonds from all sides, the bar type band leaves the sides of each stone exposed.  Again, this is ostensibly so more rays of light can bombard the stones and refract out in a dynamic rainbow of organic opulence (aka: sparkle).  A great setting if the actual setting you met your betrothed at was a bar – or if they just spend all day there now.

The road to ____ is pavéd with good intentions 

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Pavé Setting

The pavé setting is similar to the channel setting, except the diamonds/stones typically are even smaller and do not look as if they are as deeply set into the band.  A series of little dazzlers encircle the whole ring, so an overall effect of ne’er-ending sparkle is achieved.  Using a very precise drill, the jeweler makes infinitesimally small holes throughout the band and then sticks the baby diamonds in there.  This style can look elegant on the right person, but may come across as over the top on someone with more understated tastes (for a more subtle pavé style, there is the eternity band, which is completely inlaid with diamonds, but doesn’t have a center stone).  One of the biggest gripes people have about pavé set rings is that once those buggers are in place, it becomes nearly impossible to re-size the ring.  Bottom line if you want a pavé ring: get the size correct off the bat / don’t ever gain or lose weight.

Oh, halo there 

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Halo Setting

Hark!  The heavenly halo setting sings!  This is definitely a miracle performing mounting, as the halo setting makes the center stone look significantly larger.  If you really want to make that puppy pop, you can have a double halo, and get even more bang for your buck  The angelic halo, which can be round or square, encircles the radius of the diamond with other, smaller diamonds.  It’s basically like having a full pavé setting around your center stone, and a virtual angel watching over your diamond’s every move.

The Flushing Bride

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Flush Setting

To qualify as a flush, the band of the ring needs to have a hole drilled into it so the center stone can literally rest flush in the shank (band).  The end result looks like a tension set band and a bezel had a sturdy looking baby, and this is it.  This is one of the more secure setting breeds; a veritable Fort Knox of mountings.  It’s a somewhat masculine look, hence it often shows up in men’s bands.  Men who love fancy, glittery things, that is.

Cluster Bucks 

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Cluster Setting

Here’s the deal with cluster settings; they’re yet another beautiful deception in the duplicitous and riveting ring milieu.  A group of smallish stones are lumped all together, to either create the appearance of a more massive, cumulative stone, or to aid the overall gemstone mass of ring that contains a center stone.  Cluster settings are basically the reason why one must always ask for a distinction in “carat weight” versus “total carat weight.”  A cluster of ten delicate diamonds which weigh 3 carats total, will typically not be worth nearly as much a single stone weighing 2 carats.

Take Me to Cathedral

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Cathedral Setting

This is as delicate and pulchritudinous a ring mounting as they come.  Lifting the stone to blessed heights, the cathedral setting emulates the grand spanning arches of an actual basilica.  The gem is literally raised off the finger, usually with fetching, stretching prongs, but can also be tension or bezel set (it’s simply the comely church-like aesthetic that defines this setting).  Just watch yourself; the added height makes this potentially arrogant ring ripe for breaking, as envious worldly elements seek to rend it back to earth – or worse, farther down below… like Australia. 

Use Your Illusion 

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Illusion Setting

Known in the jewelry world as the “illusion setting” (as in “It’s not a trick…it’s an illusion”), here we have a small diamond or other gemstone featured in a band that has an elaborate metal framework surrounding it.  Usually, the diamond would be at the center of a flower shape, with petals jutting out on the sides.  These guys were popular during the Retro period, and would routinely showcase hearts, additional floral pattens, intaglios, itty bitty side stones, and in very rare cases, hashtags.  If it hasn’t been made clear yet, the “illusion” referenced here is that while the diamond/ring in reality may be of a meager nature, it appears to be quite sizable and expensive (apologies to any prideful magicians out there).

Vintage of Innocence 

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Vintage Setting

We saved one of the best for last, the vivacious vintage setting.  These preterite pieces may incorporate a variety of the previously listed mountings, or elements intrinsic to them.  However, a primary distinguishing characteristic in most vintage settings is the use of intricate metalwork.  The term for this is filigreed, yet most people from yesteryear were certainly not ‘greedy’ in their displaying of gems and metals with a fervent flourish.  Filigreed is comprised of a nexus of metal threads, woven together to form a delicate pattern.  It can incorporate tiny beads, balls and baby baubles.  These are great rings for those who not only appreciate the past, but revel in it.

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-Joe Leone 

Engagement Ring #Trends: Fall 2015

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

When it comes to buying engagement rings, most people tend to (smartly) play it safe.  Jumping on some new and zany trend clearly may not be the most practical move when we’re talking about an item that is supposed to last for the duration of you and your partner’s *eep* lives.  Luckily, there are some jewelry “trends” that do such an exquisite job of staying within the boundaries of class and sophistication, they will undoubtedly be able to go the distance.

The following styles are not just currently popular; they each hold a certain uniqueness that right recipient may verily identify with.  Read on to see which variety may perfectly suit your soon-to-be betrothed, thereby ensuring an elated “YES!” – as opposed to a “Wow, well…it really is something.

Twist and Shout

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

The Twist style is definitely not a new fad, but is seeing quite the surge in popularity these days.  Dating as far back as the Victorian era, twisted bands are cool for a multitude of reasons.  First, they look very intriguing, as if the wearer’s hand is ensconced in a vine and ivy laden forrest.  Second, they symbolize an entwining of two partners, in what could be perceived in a highly (*giggle*) sensual manner.  Just think, the people entering into this eternal bond of marriage, their bodies wrapped around each other, for life.  Also, this is a nice pick if you just happen to like knitting.

Do I Detect an Accent?

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

As far as accents go, this year it’s go bold or go home (to your native land).  There are actually a lot of ring styles and designs that fit into this category, so let’s examine a few of them.  First, there are the floral inspired bands, which feature some flouncy flower element to them.  Either tiny petals encircling a center stone, little leaves around the band or some other incarnation of naturally grown, blossoming beauty.  Next, there are the bows.  An elegant bow can enhance the aesthetics of an otherwise humdrum ring (however, try not to go overboard here, as a big, bouncy bow will make the ring look like a cartoonish cotillon present).  Last, rings that feature a center diamond (or other gemstone) that is cut in an irregular shape or fashion.  Within this sub-genre would be the rough cut diamond grouping.  These stones can be breathtaking, and wholly represent “raw beauty.”

I can see your Halo…Halo

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

The double halo.  This angelic motif has been around for a while, but has really been gaining momentum as of late.  The obvious benefits of a halo setting are that it really directs the eye to the center of the ring and also gives the main attraction stone an added bolstering of melee side-sparkle.  In addition, the halo aides in giving the illusion that the primary stone is somehow larger.  Ergo, two halos do twice the heavy lifting in this sparkle-enhancing context.  Twin halos also make the ring look “stacked,” as if there are just so many layers of diamonds on the thing, that it’s got to be extraordinarily valuable (not to say that that’s anyone’s goal or anything, *cough cough*).

Deco the Halls with Art 

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

For the Gatsby-loving Gal, Art Deco can be the way to go.  The current climate of ring design, and the general ethos surrounding engagement ring culture is that you can’t miss with pieces from, or inspired by, this era.  Either actual vintage items from the 20’s/30’s or ones just now designed to recreate that distinct look, Art Deco rings have a style like no other.  The mixing of colored gemstones, the rectangular and oblong cuts, the juxtaposition of the simple and the ornate; all leave quite the impression on one’s finger.  There’s just something ravishingly regal and cool about Art Deco rings, as if the wearer is both elegant and refined, but also knows how to pop bottles and get down, flapper style.

This quartet of ring styles embodies what is currently trending; yet they each should have true staying power in their own right.  If you think your special someone may prefer a more traditional mounting, by all means, go with your intuition.  In truth, your best bet is to either ask their close friends what they really want or (depending on the kind of relationship you have) just ask them outright.  While any ring will be appreciated, one that really speaks to them will be forever #adored.

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-Joe Leone 

How NOT to Ask your Partner for a Prenup

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As we’ve previously investigated, prenuptial agreements can be a very necessary and useful tool in protecting one’s assets and interests.  Ergo, it is (pretty much) unanimously agreed upon that securing a prenup can be a smart road to travel down when approaching the ever ambiguous altar.

Yet how does one broach this (potentially) highly sensitive subject matter?

Well, there may not be an absolute “right” way, but there certainly are few irksome and bumbling phrases and terms you should desperately avoid.

“I don’t want you to divorce me and then take all my money.”

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Well, duh.  This is clearly the most common fear of someone who has money when they enter into a marriage with someone who doesn’t have a penny/is in debt/has a loan shark waiting for them in the parking lot.  Perhaps a “let’s get a prenup so, in case things don’t work out, we both get what’s fair” will sound less insulting and laden with paranoia.

“Sorry, but I just want to make sure you won’t divorce me as soon as you get your citizenship …and take all my money.”

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Um…le awkward.

When walking down the aisle with someone from another land, there may be a slight tickling at the back of your brain that they are getting hitched to you solely so they can enjoy the fruits of your country.  If this is the case, simply explain that you need a prenup in place because it looks good to the immigration board when they conduct your review.  This will at least temporarily assuage some of the awkwardness and buy you some time…in the event that they aren’t just using you for your glorious connection to the USA: debatably the greatest country in North America.

“Hey, don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m scared you will divorce me at the drop of a hat and use your high powered lawyers to make sure I never see a penny.”

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Ok, so if you’re the one who is entering into the marriage without any dough, you may (justly) have some trepidation about getting married to someone who could conceivably squash you in divorce court.  Here a touch of simple ‘reverse psychology’ may help: “Just so you know that I’m not trying to rob you legally blind, let’s get a prenup!”  This may quell their fears about your intentions, while you quietly conjure up some equitable prenup conditions of your own.

“I just want to ensure that if we ever get divorced you won’t raise our children Wiccan.”

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Prenups are not only about money.  They can state certain things about child rearing and the like.  If you are scared your mate has the potential to do weirdo things with your kid’s upbringing (be it religious instruction/cult involvement/AmWay sales) you can protect their innocent minds with a thoughtfully crafted premarital agreement.  To execute this with propriety, you may go with something along the lines of: “It’s so great that we’re on the same page now with everything – just in case either one of us loses our marbles one day, let’s get a prenup that will safeguard our future offspring from lunacy.  Heart you, honey!”

“So…I was talking to my friend…she thinks you have a huge amount of debt that you’re not telling me about.  I’m thinking prenup: STAT.” 

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Sometimes people have secrets.  Sometimes those secrets come in the form of ginormous, gaping chasms of debilitating debt.  In the modern times in which we live, people are more aware than ever that when you marry someone, you are also entering into a blessed union with their finances, be they good or ohdearlordwhatishappening??  If you suspect a massive amount of credit card/student loan/etsy.com account debt looming in their past, you may want to arm yourself with a prenup.  One alternative to the graceless phrasing above could be: “Sweetie, I’ve battled with some debt demons in the past.  I’d love for us to get a prenup so we both feel confident that we are protected from either one of us possibly going off the deep end.”  It’s not ideal, but at least they will feel the empathy you are expounding, which may even lead them to coming clean themselves about the $32,000 they owe to Bath & Body Works.

“I am worried that my business will blow up and you will rob me of the one thing I have put my entire heart, soul and loins into.”

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When you are a small business owner, it’s easy to develop a strong attachment to the very thing you have cultivated and nurtured into being.  If a prospective spouse sends off the vibe that they may usurp you of your little business-baby, you naturally will feel a tad overprotective.  In this case, all you need to say is something to the effect of: “You are the most important thing in my life; my business is the second.  Let’s hash things out so everyone knows exactly what we’re entitled to.”  It’s not perfect, but it’ll do the proverbial job.

“If you dump me, I’m keeping the rings.”  /  “If you dump me, I want my rings back.” 

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Believe it or not, this is an actual point of contention for numerous couples.  Sometimes the engagement or wedding ring is a family heirloom that not only has monetary worth but emotional value as well, and the person supplying it will want it returned in the event of an uncoupling.  There are other circumstances where the person receiving the rings feels that these objects are then their property and they are forever entitled to them (the law, incidentally, is typically on their side in this case).  Whatever the scenario is, if you want to make sure you ultimately retain the rings, simply say: “Dear, you know these rings mean a lot to my family; so my mother/father/wacky Aunt Helen is making me get it in writing that if something goes awry, they then can have them back” or “If it somehow doesn’t work out with us, I just want to always have the rings to remind me of you.”  They’ll still likely know you’re spouting fabricated nonsense, but this makes it a little more palatable…like you’re actually considering their feelings.

“If you gain a lot of weight, I want out.”

Uh…there’s just no delicate way to put this one.

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-Joe Leone 

A Dozen Famous Men Who Wear Diamonds

The times, they are a’changin’ – at least in the world of men’s fashion.  Long gone are the days of men being negatively scrutinized for wearing jewelry; diamond jewelry, specifically.  How have we become privy to this groundbreaking information?  Why, by looking to the famous, naturally!  Here is a compilation of just some of the dazzling dudes who are currently rocking diamond rings, bling and…other things.  Get ready: you may be surprised by some of the members included in this cadre of cool.

You may recall Arthur Rhodes, not necessarily because of how good a baseball player is, but because of the sheer brilliance of his sparkling earrings.  During one game, the fiery light that reflected off his ear adornments blinded shortstop Omar Vizquel, and sparked a huge brawl.  Now those are some eye-catching (and blinding) stones!

via seattlepi.com
via seattlepi.com

 

Style, Soccer and Spice icon, Englishman David Beckham is known for his cutting edge, trend-shaping clothes and jewelry.  He occasionally sports gigantic diamond earrings (those look like Princess cuts – perhaps an homage to the British Royal Family?)

via theguardian.com
via theguardian.com

 

Now, for the chap who single-handedly brought sexy back from wherever it was hiding.  Yes, JT (Justin Timberlake, that is).  This guy certainly knows how to showcase diamonds to the masses; he often dons excessively high carat weight stones in each lobe as he croons in falsetto to adoring female fans.

via buzzfeed.com
via buzzfeed.com

 

Catching celebrities (female or male) wearing diamond rings in public can be tricky business.  Many an enterprising young paparazzo has taken a fist to the kisser in an attempt to capture the perfect pic of just such jewelry.  No exception here: this blurry shot of Michael Bublé barely lets us sneak a mere glimpse at his diamond engagement ring.  His fiancée, Luisana Lopilato, is from Argentina, a place where men commonly wear engagement bands, and, of course, do the tango.

via examiner.com
via examiner.com

 

Maybe not every male celeb who wears diamonds should show them off as fervently as Shaun Rogers.  The New York Giant (and literal giant) loves to hit the town in his diamond earrings, studded watch, ring, bracelet and necklace with a crowned baby (totalling 500k).  Well, he did, until these items were purloined by a, ahem, “fan,” who nabbed them from his hotel room in Miami after a night of Floridian fun.  …Hope all that bling was insured (also, shame on him for losing his baby).

via yourblackworld.net
via yourblackworld.net

 

The man who brought us a touching portrayal of Ray Charles (and, lest we forget, the voluptuous and perpetually unsatisfied “Wanda” on In Living Color)  is often decked out in some serious ice.  Here’s a nice shot of the stud Jamie Foxx in his very own round brilliant ear studs.

via hollyscoop.com
via hollyscoop.com

 

Ok, everybody by now knows that Johnny Depp wears a diamond engagement ring, but have you checked out the extent of those rocks?  There is a whole lot happening on that finger of his.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to hock it to pay for the legal fees to keep his puppies out of jail down under (don’t worry, he won’t: he’s still got all that pirate booty he’s plundered).

via telegraph.co.uk
via telegraph.co.uk

 

Back to the baseball diamond, we find another slugger who prefers to shine in more ways than one.  Yankee fan object of hatred Manny Ramirez brought a touch of style (and melodrama) to the field when he slid headfirst into third base one night – and then realized one of his diamond studs (worth $15k) had popped out.  The game was delayed as everybody looked for the valuable piece of rock.  It was never recovered, prompting Manny to permanently stop sliding altogether (well, that’s possibly because he’s retired now).

via tampabay.com
via tampabay.com

 

Wait, how did Miley Cyrus make it on to this list??  Oh no, that’s just perpetual tween heartthrob Justin Bieber, fully swagged out in his sensational round earrings.  Here’s proof that diamonds can look great on women, men…and everything in between.

via Jason Merritt/Getty Images
via Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 

International sex symbol (and, oh yeah, “fútball” star) Cristiano Ronaldo has no qualms about parading his glittering gemstone earrings all around the globe.  He’s even been known to wear a pair featuring black diamonds, the ultimate cool stone (as determined by us, in this article).

via image4world.com
via image4world.com

 

Super talented diva Jennifer Hudson wouldn’t get engaged to just any old professional wrestler; she’d only settle for one with style, too.  Here we have David Otunga, WWE star and diamond ring enthusiast.  Looks pretty good on him, right? (even if someone does not share this opinion, the odds are in favor that they would never express it to the face of this massive gentleman)

via reuschjewelers.com
via reuschjewelers.com

 

We had to close out our list with a man who just exudes cool at every turn.  He’s portrayed a down and out financial whiz, a champion boxer, an intergalactic FBI agent…and then he saved the earth from invading aliens (actually, he did that several times).  Of course we’re talking about Will Smith, who is Hollywood’s most valuable actor (according to forbes.com, and millions of moviegoers).  Mr. Smith truly knows how to rock his rocks, flashing diamond earrings with smooth grace.  Do you know the difference between him and others who attempt this style?  He makes this look good.

via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

 

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-Joe Leone