Channel Setting For Engagement Rings (Pros And Cons)

Curious about the pros and cons of the channel setting for your engagement ring?

Perfect, you're in the right place! In this LearningJewelry.com guide, you'll learn:

  • Is the channel setting style good for engagement rings?
  • Channel setting vs the pavé settings and prong settings
  • Where's the best place to buy a channel set engagement ring online?
  • How to save money when shopping for a channel setting?
  • And much much more!
channel diamond setting

When you choose a channel setting, you are choosing a modern and strong design. You're not a huge fan of delicate and dainty rings and want a bold and daring look for your engagement ring.

Channel settings in engagement rings are so easy to find a matching wedding band set. In fact, you won't find near as many channel set engagement rings as you do both women's and men's wedding bands. 

Read Also: What are our recommended online stores to buy engagement rings?

You'll love the way channel set diamonds create a flash instead of a sparkle. It's easy to find matching wedding bands with a channel setting as well as matching with the groom. 

If you are someone who wants a bold, modern look for their engagement ring, a channel setting might be the right setting for you. But just to be sure, we've got everything you need to know about channel setting in order for you to make the right decision for you.

Let's get into it!

What Is A Channel Engagement Ring Setting?

When someone refers to a channel set engagement ring, they are talking about the style of the band rather than the setting of the center diamond.

In a channel setting, the diamonds or gemstones are placed in a groove into the precious metal. Sometimes the groove will be solid and in other settings it can be open. 

You will generally see either round or princess cut diamonds in a channel setting. If there are round stones, they will be soldered on the top and bottom of the girdle of the diamond and placed as close next to each other as possible.

Princess cut diamonds fit squarely into channels and often have a strip of metal on the top and bottom, making a viewable window like below: 

The channel setting was inspired by the Art Deco period to create a modern design using bold lines and geometric shapes in a setting. Channel set engagement rings are a well-known engagement ring style, but channel set wedding bands are even more popular.

Read Also: 21 different settings styles and designs for engagement rings review

Channel settings also make it easier for the bride and groom to coordinate their wedding styles. Many men that choose to have diamond bands choose channel settings. 

Today, you can find classic channel set diamonds mixed with different engagement ring styles, but you'll most often square diamond channels  alongside angular center diamonds like the radiant, princess, or emerald cut shapes. While there are round channel set stones, most people prefer the square for more modern and geometric diamond rings. 

Should You Choose A Channel Setting For Your Engagement Ring?

As with all ring settings, it can be difficult to decide which setting is the best. Channel set rings definitely have their positives, but there are drawbacks as well.

But are these less than flattering characteristics dealbreakers?

Don't worry, we'll sort you out so you can make the best decision on whether or not you should add a channel set engagement ring setting to your wish list. 

Pros

  • Safe setting for small side stones
  • Easy to match wedding rings
  • Bold, dramatic appearance
  • Doesn't snag
  • Thicker metal band

Cons

  • Limited wedding band choices
  • Channels can get damaged
  • Impacts brilliance

There are plenty of reasons why you should choose a channel setting for your engagement ring. You might have heard that pavé stones in a halo engagement ring are more likely to fall out of diamond jewelry because of their size. 

But solitaires may not be your style. Channel settings are a great option for someone who wants side stones, but with a more secure setting. Channel set stones are bold and uniform, creating a very modern look.

They don't snag like prong-settings. The shank of a channel setting is also thicker, making it have increased durability and looks great on people with larger fingers. 

james allen channel setting diamond ring

There are a few reasons why someone might deter from choosing a channel setting.  If you try to mix a prong set band against a channel setting, the two ring styles clash.

And if your channel set engagement ring doesn't come with a matching band, finding one is a little harder. You have to make sure you find the same size channel set diamonds as well as the same number of diamonds of your engagement ring. 

Channel set diamonds do impact brilliance of your diamonds because they are often pressed against a solid metal background. Now, this is solved with open back channel settings, but more diamonds come loose with them.

Lastly, repairs can get a little costly if you damage a channel setting. You are still wearing a soft precious metal, so it is possible to be dented or damaged, which can damage the diamond channels. Repairing them is very difficult and most of the time, the ring can't be salvaged.

Channel Setting vs Prong Setting?

The first comparison I want to make is the inset channel and the prong set. As mentioned above, prongs tend to snag and inset channel diamonds tend to be more secure. Below are my high level pros and cons of each.

Pros

  • Channel settings are more durable 
  • Channel settings are more secure 
  • Prong settings give off more brilliance
  • Prong settings are more dainty

Cons

  • Channel set rings draw more attention to the metal
  • Channel settings are more expensive
  • Pavé set rings don't look great on larger fingers
  • Prong settings snag
channel setting vs prong setting

Channel Setting Vs Pavé Setting?

A pavé setting utilizes round cut diamonds closely packed together in a row on the band hiding the metal beneath where a channel set has either round, princess, or emerald cut diamonds inset in the band. 

Pros

  • Channel settings hold small stones better
  • Channel set rings are more likely to be engravable 
  • Pavé set rings have thinner shanks 
  • Pavé diamonds accentuate smaller center diamonds 

Cons

  • Channel settings show inclusions more
  • Channel settings have lots of metal
  • Pavé settings only use round diamonds
  • Pavé settings more like to lose diamonds
channel setting vs Pavé setting

Where To Buy The Best Channel Setting Diamond Engagement Rings Online?

There are plenty of places to buy channel setting rings, but they can be quite difficult to find a large selection. They aren't categorized as channel set very often, because most ring settings are named after the center stone ring style.

In a brick and mortar jewelry store, you might not run into many variations of channel settings. But, should you choose to check out the world of online diamonds (which I highly encourage), it'll open you up to new thing! Here are some of our favorites!

James Allen

At Learning Jewelry, we love James Allen. You've probably figured that out by now. But do you know why? James Allen has phenomenal customer service and better access than any local retailer by being open 24/7 to your needs. Call them up, email them, or use their live chats to speak with an associate. 

James Allen has one of the largest online loose diamond catalogs, if not the largest. You can customize sliders to suit your needs when it comes to diamond quality.

You can choose from various grades for your center stone, all while keeping within the parameters of the budget you've set forth. They have a section listed for channel settings, but it's small. You actually have to search a little deeper because channel set diamonds can be mixed with other dominant settings such as tension or cathedral settings. 

James Allen also lets you view diamond grading reports before you get the stone and their diamond experts are on standby reading to answer any questions you might have.

My favorite thing about James Allen is the lifetime warranty they offer. It covers all routine maintenance to jewelry, which is especially important for rings. It will cover if any diamonds become loose in the channel, polishing, and rhodium plating white gold. 

Read More: Should You Buy Your Engagement Ring From James Allen?

james allen channel set diamond engagement ring

Blue Nile

Blue Nile is a very popular choice when it comes to buying diamonds online. Like James Allen, they have a large selection of loose diamonds to virtually place into ring settings. Blue Nile has a larger selection of ring styles than James Allen does, but are not as unique as them. 

They also have 360 viewing technology, but it's not a pristine clear as James Allen. They also only have it on some of their diamonds. Blue Nile carries a large selection of designer settings that allow you to take favorite designers like Veraggio, but place the diamond you hand-picked. 

Blue Nile has a great reputation and tons of views and customers. They are one of the leading diamond retailers online. Their customer service is GIA trained and also don't work off sales. When you create a channel setting ring with Blue Nile, you also have to search. They don't have many channel setting engagement rings in their collection, but this 3/4 channel around the baguette side stones is both beautiful and unique.

My least favorite thing about Blue Nile is their so-called lifetime warranty. The warranty doesn't cover anything wear and tear, like prongs around your center stone, or tightening diamonds.

Not even rhodium plating. It only covers if it has a manufacturer's defect. You'll need to go to a local jeweler or store to pay for repairs. However, they do offer 30 day returns, no questions asked and no shipping fee. 

Read More: Should You Buy Your Engagement Ring From Blue Nile?

blue nile diamond engagement ring

Whiteflash

Whiteflash is the lesser known of the three retailers here and it's also more expensive than the other two. So why is it on the list? Whiteflash specializes in diamonds with superior brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Their patented collection of round diamonds, A Cut Above, utilizes only the best of diamond quality. 

You can browse the A Cut Above collection of loose diamonds as well as other loose diamonds of varying diamond shapes just like James Allen and Blue Nile. Their viewing technology is one of my favorite as they use a revolving video to show their diamonds. You even get to choose from gorgeous name brand settings like Ritani and Tacori. 

Whiteflash is also big on education. If you've got any questions about anything on their website, they've probably got an article on the bottom of the page to explain it. For any questions you can't answer, you are able to talk to their highly trained staff of GIA trained gemologists and diamond professionals.

All of Whiteflash staff are GIA gemologist or Diamond Graduates. The other two have only some GIA trained. Whiteflash does an excellent job of making its customers feel stop feeling uneasy about shopping online. 

They give all customers one free year of service, which includes all of the regular routine maintenance as well as any ring size changes that could happen. I think that's definitely better than Blue Nile's warranty, but not as good as James Allens.

Read More: Should You Buy Your Engagement Ring From Whiteflash?

whiteflash diamond engagement ring

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