Nothing quite communicates class and glamor like diamond earrings and studs. They are beautiful, versatile, and can be paired with just about anything for an elegant look.
When having a pair of diamond earrings custom-made or buying a pair that is already complete, one of the most important things to consider is the setting upon which the stone lies.
Unknown to many, the overall look, sparkle, and depth of a diamond are primarily affected by its cut and the setting upon which it is mounted.
In addition, the setting sometimes has an influence on what diamond cut your stone will get. So, what are some of the common diamond earrings, and how should you go about choosing one for yourself?
5 Diamond Earring Setting Types
This is likely the most common type of setting used when making diamond earrings. It is considered a traditional setting since it is the oldest and has, therefore, been used the longest. The prong setting is also commonly referred to as the claw setting.
With this sort of setting, the diamond is secured using small pieces of metal mounted on the ring. The pieces of metal secure the stone in place by ‘clawing’ at the stone so that only the top part of the prong is visible from the top.
Usually, there are more than two prongs, and the idea is to have the stone at the center so that the prongs encircle it to make sure it is secure.
Apart from making sure that the diamond does not fall off, the prongs also act as barriers that make it difficult for the stones to sustain scratches.
Even though diamonds are the hardest element on earth and are difficult to damage, they can scratch against each other in storage or as you wear them.
The main downside to this setting is that dirt builds up too quickly since the setting is very ‘open’. The prongs may also get caught in clothes from time to time, especially if the clothing’s fibers are not tightly packed. Here is a breakdown of some of the most common prong settings.
This type of ring setting is generally not recommended for diamonds, but it is the best kind of prong setting for diamond earrings. Usually, earrings do not feature stones that are as large as rings. For this reason, you need a prong setting that will secure the stone in place, and that will also give it a good amount of visibility.
Earrings that have a 3-prong setting often have a martini design because they resemble a martini glass. The three prongs converge at the base of the earring to form a triangle, and when the diamond is set, it looks like a martini.
Even though it is not the most ideal for earrings, the three-prong setting comes with a decent degree of durability. It is recommended for diamonds below 1.5 carats.
This sort of setting comes with extra protection and a nice touch of class. Instead of a martini, the 4 prongs form a basket since they are connected by a base that also cushions the diamonds.
Gems fitted into 4-prong settings have a lot more brilliance because this setting allows in more light, so you can expect a little more dazzle. This setting is best suited for diamonds that weigh 2 carats and below.
One of the best merits of this setting is that it is suitable for different cuts of diamonds.
Apart from providing a stronger hold, 6-prong settings also accentuate the stone by creating a crown-like effect around the stone. However, because of the number of prongs, it is only ideal for stones that are larger than 2 carats.
This prong setting is largely used for stones that are 3 carats and more. They are not too common, largely because the stone is too heavy and may cause the ears to droop. With an 8-prong setting, however, your stone is securely set.
- Great for gem visibility
- Ideal for multiple stone cuts
- May get caught in your clothes’ fibers
The bezel setting is likely the most conservative, but it carries a distinctive elegance. Bezel set diamonds have a band of metal around them that holds the stones in place.
For this reason, the diamond is held very securely, and it is kept from getting damaged by scratches since the bezel acts as a barrier.
Bezel settings are best suited for stud earrings, and they are great for round-cut diamonds. The main downside is that you may not see the stone in its fullness, largely because the bezel covers the sides of the studs.
- Very firm and secure
- Only suitable for round-cut diamonds
This setting is mostly used for earrings that have one large central diamond which is surrounded by several smaller ones. The smaller stones form the halo, and this is where this setting gets its name.
With this setting, you can have a single or double halo made of Pave diamonds which are used as decoration for the large central piece. This arrangement creates an incredible dazzle effect because of the larger diamond surface area that is visible.
One of the best things about this setting is that it can accommodate all sorts of diamond cuts, providing room for loads of creativity. The main downside, however, is that the smaller diamonds can fall off easily, so a lot more care is essential to make sure that they do not slip out.
- Ideal for many stone cuts
- Beautiful and elegant
- Gemstones can easily slip away
This sort of setting is a favorite for many since it allows the central stone a lot more visibility and the ability to sparkle. This is because the diamond dangles and moves with every movement, creating more sparkle as it integrates with light.
With it, you can have prongs or a bezel, and you can choose just about any cut of stone you want.
- Great for the sparkle effect
- Ideal for large stones
- Earrings can get a bit cumbersome
With this setting, the stone is held securely from underneath so that it remains almost invisible. For this reason, it may appear as though the stone is not held securely by any metallic parts. Usually, it is used where there is a cluster of stones.
One of this setting’s largest downsides is the fact that it is mostly applicable where the stones are small. Seeing as it is also quite complex, it cannot be used with many diamond cuts and is almost always used with princess-cut diamonds.
- Beautiful and elegant
- Ideal for clusters
- Only practical for small stones
- Not ideal for many cuts
Tips for choosing the perfect diamond setting for yourself
Consider the stone cut you are going for
When choosing which earring setting you are going for, start by deciding what kind of stone cut you are looking to get. Prong, halo, illusion, and dangle settings work well with many cuts since they are designed to take the shape of the gem.
Since the stone cut also determines the sparkle and depth of a diamond, go for a setting that will allow it to refract light the way you need it to.
Consider the size of stone
If you are going for a large stone, you need a setting that will accommodate it with ease. The best settings for large stones are prong and dangle settings. For smaller stones, you can go for the bezel, halo, and illusion settings.
Diamond earrings will always make a statement no matter where you are. The setting, however, has an impact on how well the diamond is accentuated largely because it affects the way the stone may interact with light.
Make sure you consider the kind of cut you are going for, as well as the style of earrings you want, especially if you are having the earrings handmade.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.