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Curious about the pros and cons of the pavé setting for your engagement ring?
Perfect, you're in the right place! In this LearningJewelry.com guide, you'll learn:
- Is the pavé setting style good for engagement rings?
- Pavé setting vs solitaire setting as well as other styles
- Where's the best place to buy a pavé set engagement ring?
- And much much more!
When you own a pave engagement ring setting, you are choosing a popular and versatile ring setting. Whether you've chosen the look of French pavé, scalloped pave, or micropave, your ring will be stunning.
You will love the attention a pave engagement ring will draw as the light bounces of the road of diamonds that lead up to your gorgeous center stone.
Let's get into it!
What Is A Pavé Setting?
Pave settings are a style of ring setting that refers to the way small diamonds or gemstones are set into the band of an engagement or wedding ring. It's more of a ring style than a setting.
The word "pavé" come from the French word meaning "paved road". In a pave setting, the diamonds are set so close together that the metal between them is either barely visible, or not visible at all. This look creates a street of diamonds.
There are a few different pave setting styles. The one most ring wearers are more familiar with is the micropave setting. While pave diamonds are generally 1-2mm in diameter, micropave diamonds lie in the .01 carat range.
These types of diamonds are also commonly called diamond chips. Not only do you find micro-pave settings in diamond engagement rings, but the setting is also common in many men's diamond rings.
The other two pave styles aren't as well known, but deserve to be mentioned. The French pave and scalloped pave styles don't make the diamond band look different from aerial view. But in a profile view, you'll see they are slightly different.
No matter which pave setting is your preference, it is clear that the popularity of pave settings isn't slowing down as it remains to be one of the most popular engagement rings styles in the jewelry market today.
Pros and Cons of The Pavé Setting For Engagement Rings?
Like all ring settings, pave setting have some excellent advantages, but also a few disadvantages. But are these disadvantages deal breakers? Well, it depends on what you consider a dealbreaker. But don't worry. We'll lay out all the positive and negatives of owning a pave set engagement ring.
- Adds extra sparkle
- Accentuates the center diamond
- Doesn't need high diamond grades
- Works with many ring settings
- More expensive
- Smaller diamonds have higher risk of falling out
- Resizing can be difficult for jewelers
When you're the owner of a pave ring, chances are, you love things that sparkle. And boy, does a pave ring sparkle. If you have regular sized pave stones, you'll give off sparkly flashes of light.
If you've gone with a micropave look, your ring should glitter with tiny flashes of light. Both of these looks accentuates your center diamond by creating a sparkly path up to it.
With a pave setting, there are is so much sparkle and light flowing through those stones, you don't necessarily need higher diamond grades. If you are just doing a straight set pave band, you may still need high quality diamond grades.
But pave styled halo rings don't need higher carat weights. The pave stones in the halo setting make your center stone appear larger than it is. And with all that flash coming from that gorgeous ring, will anybody really notice that inclusion on your SI2 diamond? Probably not.
Pave settings can really be mixed with a bunch of different engagement ring styles. They are most commonly found in halo and vintage settings. You can find pave bezel settings, pave split shank, and pave tension settings. It is really a versatile look, which is one of the many reasons why it is so popular.
Like any ring setting, there are some cons to owning the pave setting. For starters, pave settings don't have any prongs. Instead, small beads of metal are applied to the stone, keeping those small diamonds secure.
In a micropavé setting, the beads of metal are underneath the diamond chip. Because they don't have prongs, if the tiny bead gets bumped hard enough, the bead can break off. This happens a lot with Neil Lane or Vera Wang engagement rings.
But never fear, because there is a such thing as a channel set pavé diamonds, which seems very confusing. Channel set diamonds are lined up next to each other and soldered on the top and bottom of each diamond.
The diamonds are still small, so there is a higher chance of losing a diamond than with a prong setting. But, a channel is safer than tiny beads of metal.
Sometimes diamonds do fall out from time to time, especially smaller ones. It doesn't have to do with the craftsmanship always. You should always keep up with routine maintenance with any of your diamond settings.
This could be rhodium plating white gold, retipping prongs, or changing ring size. Jewelers have had problems sizing pave setting engagement rings because of how far the accent diamonds go down some pave diamond rings.
If the diamonds go any further than half the shank, sizing the ring may cause the diamonds to fall out and keep falling out. So, you should make sure you pave dream ring's stones don't go further than half the shank.
Pave Setting vs Solitaire Setting For Engagement Rings?
While pave set diamonds can be paired with most ring settings to begin with, there are some ring styles in which pave diamonds are not found. So, we've compared pave with some of the other options for shank styles.
- Pave settings are great to draw attention from a smaller center stone
- Pave settings have more sparkle
- Solitaires allow you to mix and match wedding bands
- Solitaire bands are more durable
- Pave setting diamonds get knocked around more
- Pave diamonds require more care
- Solitaire center stones needs higher diamond grades
- Solitaires can make center diamonds look small
We don't realize how often we knock our hands around throughout the day. It's not that we're bulls in china shops, but the frequent light bumping day in and day out can knock some of those small pave diamonds out. Now, not all pave diamonds will fall out, but there is a higher risk.
They also require a little more care than a solitaire setting. You should use a mild soap and water with a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub all those diamonds. It may take a little more time, but well worth it for all that sparkle!
Because the focus is all on a singular stone in a solitaire setting, you have to make sure that center diamond has higher diamond grades as well as larger carat weight. The simplicity of a solitaire can backfire when it comes to the appearance of size on a solitaire.
Anything under a 1/2 carat weight of a diamond doesn't look great. But it most definitely would look fantastic in a pave ring ring setting.
Pave Setting Vs Shared Prong Setting For Engagement Rings?
Pave diamonds are known for their sparkle. They are dramatic and draw eyes to the room, especially micropave.
You don't have to worry a whole lot about diamond grades because of how small the pave diamonds are. In a shared prong setting, two melee diamond share two small prongs.
- Pave settings draw attention
- Pave settings don't need high color or clarity grades
- Shared prong settings are more secure
- Shared prong settings give larger melee diamonds sparkling effect while holding in place
- Pave diamonds don't have prongs
- Pave diamonds are very common
- Shared prongs are usually found in eternity bands which are fragile ring settings
- Shared prong repairs will cost more
They allow side diamonds to give off a sparkling effect while being larger than pave diamonds. Instead of beads of metal, those shared prongs hold diamonds in more securely than a pave setting.
Pave diamonds are not as secure as shared prong settings because of the lack of prongs. The small stones and diamond chips are either held in by beads of metal, or the metal is applied underneath in a micropave setting.
You'll most often find shared prong settings in eternity bands. Eternity bands are gorgeous, but impractical as the diamonds go all the way around. Repairs will also cost more as tiny prongs require careful craftsmanship and maintenance from a highly skilled jeweler.
Where's The Best Place To Buy Pavé Set Diamond Engagement Rings Online?
Bezel settings are fairly common for earring and pendant jewelry, but not as much when it comes to engagement rings. It could be difficult finding a high quality bezel ring at popular jewelry retailers locally.
You'll probably have better luck looking at a local custom jeweler or family owned jewelry store that doesn't carry commercial pieces. But if you ask me, the best place to buy any diamond ring is going to be online at one of these recommended diamond retailers.
James Allen is hands-down our favorite online retailer, and here's why. One of the worst things about going to a mega retailer like Jared or Helzberg is the pushy salespeople. But you can't really hold it against them. They're just trying to meet a sales goal that's been imposed on them to make every day so they don't lose their jobs.
But at an online retailer like James Allen, they have staff available 24/7 ready to answer all of your diamond questions with no sales goal to meet. You can be sure their diamond experts are giving correct and unbiased information with none of the pressure. They're simply there to help you understand what you're looking for in an engagement ring.
James Allen also has incredible 360 degree viewing technology of every diamond in their large catalog. You can see each diamond up close and personal to identify all of its inclusions and characteristics so you can purchase with confidence.
After picking out your diamond, you choose from any of their diamond settings, including bezel set rings. You will be able to view the ring you customized and are not charged for any labor.
Best of all, James Allen offers you a lifetime warranty that takes care of any routine repairs such as rhodium plating white gold and polishing the precious metal it's set in.
Blue Nile is one of the most popular online diamond retailers on the web. They are very similar to James Allen by letting you customize your engagement or wedding ring online.
You can pick out your diamond shape and filter through all of the different diamond grades in order to pick your perfect center diamond. Unfortunately, not all of Blue Nile's loose diamonds have 360 video, and the quality isn't that great either.
But Blue Nile remains one of the biggest names in online diamonds, so they must be living up to their reputation. Customers boast Blue Nile's customer service, saying it's better than going to a store in person.
They also don't work off of commission and you can be sure you are getting correct information as their experts are GIA trained.
I'm not too crazy about Blue Nile's "lifetime warranty" as it only covers manufacturing repairs. Basically, if the ring was created badly, they'll replace it. But, if damage is due to wear and tear, you're on your own. Any company should take care of an issue they caused, so I don't care to word it as a warranty.
Whiteflash is another online diamond store that offers the same filters and customization for diamond engagement rings. They pride themselves with having diamonds of superior brilliance.
Whiteflash diamonds are a little more expensive than James Allen or Blue Nile, but they are still more affordable and have much better diamond quality than anything you could find at a mega retailer.
Whiteflash shares my disdain of manufacturer's warranties and offers their customers a one-year service plan for any type of repairs of your ring. This includes sizing, retipping prongs, tightening stones, and of course, cleaning and polishing. But, after the year is up, you're on your own.