Curious about the pros and cons of the flush setting for your engagement ring?
Perfect, you're in the right place! In this LearningJewelry.com guide, you'll learn:
- Is the flush setting style good for engagement rings?
- Flush setting vs the pavé settings and prong settings
- Where's the best place to buy a flush set engagement ring online?
- How to save money when shopping for a flush setting?
- And much much more!
Flush settings can be a very confusing ring style to get ahold of in the jewelry industry, but are very special and unique if you manage to find one. They're often confused with other settings like bypass and bezel.
While many ring settings can be flush, not all of the are flush settings. It is difficult to find a flush setting for an engagement ring, but you'll have loads of luck finding a flush setting wedding band.
A flush setting is meant for the busy finance who has an all-hands-on-deck attitude and isn't afraid to dig around the dirt to reach their goals. Flush settings are also perfect for those with careers such as medical, personal trainers, or any job that requires a protective ring setting.
You'll love that you still get the same protection as similar settings, but still have full visibility to the table of your diamond.
Many flush settings are also affordable as they don't need high diamond grades and are often in the form of a cluster setting. But is a flush setting right for you? Let's find out.
Let's get into it!
What Is a Flush Engagement Ring Setting?
There is a ton of confusion as to what a flush setting is because of other similar settings like bezel and tension/gypsy settings. While a flush setting does sit flush to the the metal in an engagement ring, a true flush setting is seen more often in wedding bands.
Flush settings can also be referred to as "hammer settings". This is because jewelers and lapidaries cut a hole into the gold or platinum to place the diamond in, allowing to sit flush. Then they take a hammer and hammer around the edges so the metal surrounds the diamond. It is then worked on to become smooth.
In some styles, milgrain ring designs are applied to the precious metal, so you don't actually see the hammering. In fact, most obvious hammer settings are seen in wedding rings for men.
Other setting styles that are grouped into flush settings are diamonds that have been set into the metal band, but the table of the diamond is exposed all around.
Other flush settings may have short prongs holding the center diamond in place, while still keeping it inside the metal and flush to the rest of the ring shank. It may contain side stones or different diamond shapes.
Should You Choose a Flush Setting for Your Engagement Ring?
Like all ring settings, there are both benefits and disadvantages to be an owner of a flush-set diamond ring. But never fear, we'll compare and contrast these points to that by the end of this guide, you'll feel confident on making a decision on whether or not a flush setting is the right type of setting for you.
Flush settings have many benefits. One of the best benefits is that flush settings are one of the safest ring settings for people with active lifestyles. The flush settings that are hammered in are most protective.
When they're set into the metal with open space, it's not as protective. And with most flush settings, you also don't have to worry about them snagging. Even the ones with small prongs, because they're usually short enough to not cause problems.
Flush setting engagement rings are a very unique style of engagement ring that doesn't necessarily focus on the center diamond itself, but often the metalwork by applying milgrain or side stones to accompany it.
Flush settings look great with a princess cut center stone with a bold and geometric ring shank for a more modern look.
Although flush settings can be very unique, they can also be difficult to find. Most engagement rings that are flush to the metal are just low set, not low set into the metal.
It's more likely to find flush settings in men's wedding bands rather than women's rings or If you find settings like this, you'll be more likely to find a bezel or tension set engagement ring than a true hammer setting. The hammering technique can only be used on certain gemstones.
A diamond is always safe in a hammer setting, but other kinds of colored stones may be vulnerable to cracking while being hammered in. Always check your Moh scale of hardness to see what stones are durable and which aren't so much.
Flush Setting vs Bezel Setting
In many places on Google, you'll find lots of websites saying that flush settings and bezel settings are the same. There are some definite similarities, but also some key differences.
- Flush settings let in more light
- Flush settings often have detailed accent diamond settings
- Bezel settings are prominent
- Bezel settings have more dimension
- Flush settings don't highlight center stones
- Flush settings aren't usually engagement rings
- Bezel settings cover part of your diamond and impact light return
- Bezel settings don't look good with princess cut diamonds
Even though flush settings and bezel setting are almost the same, there are a couple differences. In a bezel setting, the rim of metal covers the girdle and edge of the diamond, with the exception of a half bezel.
With a flush setting, the metal is flat (or close) to the edge of the center stone, not over it. This allows just a little more reflection and sparkle. Flush settings usually have more detailing in the band than a bezel setting.
Bezel set rings are more likely to be very modern and industrial looking, while flush settings can be vintage too. Flush set diamonds are often embedded as melee stones tend to create designs such as leaves and vines.
Bezel settings are more likely to be high set than a flush setting. Flush settings are very straightforward and half to be set into the band, or close to it. If not, it wouldn't be flush to the metal.
A bezel setting can be high set, on top of cathedral settings, and part of many styles. The metal rim that is prominent on a bezel setting also gives the ring more dimension, allowing that center diamond to pop just a little more than a flush set engagement ring.
Flush settings are not the right setting for you if you spent a lot of time picking out a diamond with high clarity or color grades. If you've spent a large amount of money on a diamond with superior brilliance and fire, putting it in a setting that is going to take away from its beauty is just plain sacrilegious.
In this case, a bezel setting would at least be better because it adds depth and prominence, even in a low setting. And we've mentioned it a time or two, but bezel settings are much easier to find. You're more likely to find flush wedding bands than you are for bezel settings as well.
Bezel settings cover part of your diamond, while flush setting don't. While it's not a large amount of light that's limited, there is more limitation in a bezel setting than a flush setting.
And also because of this reason, princess cut diamonds are going to look much better in a flush setting that comes up to the diamond girdle, rather than covering it. A bezel setting looks as if it covers even more of the diamond than a round diamond would. Check it out below.
Flush Setting vs Tension Setting
A tension setting can be flush to the metal band, but that doesn't make it a flush setting. See how confusing this is? But stay with me. Let's see how flush settings compare with tension/gypsy settings.
- Flush settings are more protective
- Flush setting have wedding band options
- Tension settings have better brilliance
- Tension settings draw more attention
- Flush settings lack elegance
- Flush settings make your center diamond look smaller
- Tension set diamonds are more likely to chip
- Tension ring styles can prove difficult to matching a wedding band
When it comes to protectiveness, a flush setting has the edge (quite literally) over a tension setting. While a tension setting is meant to give the illusion of a floating diamond, some of the girdle can be exposed, leaving it vulnerable to damage. Flush settings also have more options for wedding bands, as well as finding a matching set.
Because of the floating illusion, tension settings often leave some of the diamond exposed. While uncommon, it's possible to chip a diamond, even if it is the hardest material known to man.
But not all tension settings have this exposure. And, all of the exposure isn't necessarily a bad thing either. Because there's no metal beneath a tension set diamond, it allows for the light to go through, giving the tension setting excellent sparkle. For this reason, and the appearance of looking unsafe, tension setting will also draw more attention from onlookers.
When compared to a tension setting, flush settings can lack a little elegance. While they can be a beautiful vintage design, these designs are usually complex and intricate, rather than simple and dainty.
A true flush set diamond will just be hammered into the metal, but the detailing is more on the band than accenting the center. A flush set diamond will also look smaller in its setting than a tension setting, for the most part. There are some tension settings where the metal makes the diamond look smaller. But on average, if the metal usually just holding the top and bottom of a diamond, you really get to see it in its size as opposed to being almost one with the metal.
But the downside to owning a tension set diamond over a flush setting is that because of those exposed edges, it makes it more like to chip than a flush setting that is surrounded by metal.
Diamonds may be the hardest mineral on the Moh scale, but it doesn't mean they can't be chipped if hit in the right spot with the right pressure.
A flush setting would minimize the chances of chipping. Tension setting engagement rings usually have ring shanks that are wavy and swirled, making it more difficult to find a matching wedding band.
That's why making sure your tension setting has a matching wedding band is a must, unless you want a custom fitted wedding band design. And since flush settings have many varieties in wedding bands, it'll be a lot easier to pick one out if you need to.
Best Place to Buy a Flush Diamond Engagement Ring Online?
I've mentioned that true flush settings can be difficult to find. They're even more difficult to find in brick-and-mortar stores. You'll find that most of these stores only carry flush settings for men's wedding bands and very little protective settings like bezel or flush.
In fact, even at our recommended retailers, it's hard to find a true flush setting that's been hammer set. Most of the flush settings they'll carry will either be low profile with small prongs or bezel set.
If you're adamant about buying locally, I'd consider a local jeweler that might be able to assist you in a custom design process. But if you're looking for a flush set engagement ring to buy outright, here are some our favorite online jewelry retailers to check out.
James Allen is hands-down, our favorite online diamond retailer. They have a large selection of thousands of loose diamonds with varying diamond shapes. You get to compare diamond grades with your budget by narrowing down the color, clarity, cut, and carat weight of your center diamond.
They also have many different ring styles and settings. Its flush settings for engagement rings are a little more difficult to find. But, you are able to find a few among the tension and side stone categories.
I love the transparency you get when shopping with James Allen. At a typical physical fine jewelry store, there's a lot they don't tell you. And let's be honest, a big reason why we don't like going to the jewelry store is because they are pushy. To the employees, you're a sales goal they have to reach every day in order to keep their jobs.
At James Allen, their staff is not paid on commission, so whichever ring or diamond you decide on, it won't matter to them. They are available to you 24/7, ready to answer any questions.
They also have diamond experts go over any and all details of a loose diamond and its grading report. In a jewelry retailer, they'll minimize the 4Cs and either act like they don't matter for someone with a lower budget, but then act like you need an ideal cut round diamond that's internally flawless if you have a larger budget.
The sales presentation is based on what you're working with in your wallet. But James Allen shows you each individual diamond or gemstone and all of its flaws at 100x magnification, which is more than you'll find at a jewelry store. There are no hidden agendas. You see exactly what you're paying for, no gimmicks allowed.
While this is a common setup from an online diamond retailer, James Allen has a lifetime warranty unparalleled to its other competitors. All customers receive a lifetime warranty that covers all of the routine maintenance that your engagement ring might need, such as retipping of prongs, rhodium plating white gold, and tightening accent stones. They clean and polish for free as well as they offer to go up or down a ring size if for some reason you need to.
If you've even heard of the online diamond market, you probably have heard about Blue Nile a time or two. Blue Nile is generally one of the first picked stores for first time buyers, because they have a lot of positive reviews and people are more familiar.
I like Blue Nile too, even if it's not as good as James Allen. Blue Nile also has a large library of loose diamonds and ring settings in order for you to customize your perfect engagement ring. You can choose between a multitude of combinations and ring styles.
If you like rose gold or yellow gold, they have many options. Most fine jewelry retailers keep very few rose or yellow gold rings, as white gold is the most popular. And there in, lies the problem. Jewelry retailers cater to what the majority wants and is buying.
As far as flush settings go, Blue Nile doesn't have many either. They don't have a true flush setting that sits in the metal, but have many ring styles that are low profile and with short prongs.
But at a jeweler like Blue Nile, if you want a unique setting that you're friends probably haven't seen, Blue Nile is a great choice, as well as an affordable one. They also have online staff available to you 24 hours, and they claim to answer every phone call within 10 seconds, so no long waiting times for an answer.
They also have 360 viewing tech, but not for all of their diamonds. And if you're choosing a fancy color diamond or gemstone, you won't be able to preview it in the ring like you would with a white diamond.
Blue Nile also has a warranty, but it's not a great one. They call it a lifetime warranty, but it's actually a manufacturer's warranty.
If there is a defect in the actual ring design, they'll replace. Which, in my opinion, every company should because that's not the customer's fault. But there is no coverage on routine maintenance.