High set vs low set engagement rings: How do you choose?

High set vs low set engagement rings: which one’s better?

Are you looking to buy the right engagement ring for your partner and are trying to decide whether to choose a high setting or a low setting?

You’d probably never even heard of a ring setting until you walk into the jewellery store.

Don’t fear, because in this article we’re going to explain what the advantages and disadvantages are for each setting and which one you should choose.

What is an engagement ring setting?

The ring setting refers to how a gemstone is set or mounted onto a metal band. The setting not only provides security for your diamond (or other gemstone) but affects the overall design of the ring.

There are many different types of ring settings available, so it’s important to choose the right one to suit you or your partner’s lifestyle.

Ring settings can also play a role in the value of your ring if you choose to sell it at a later point.

What is a high set engagement ring?

When viewing an engagement ring from its side profile, you’ll be able to tell if it’s high set because it will protrude into the air and be further away from the band. This setting is great for really giving your ring that ‘wow’ factor.  

For those who’ve invested in a high-quality, brilliant diamond, a high setting will make it stand out. For a long time it was believed that a diamond needed to be set high in order to let light in through the bottom. This led to a rise in popularity of high set diamonds in the 70’s. Diamonds reflect light that enters through the top, so setting it high will not increase brightness however it will certainly show off the diamond more. This type of setting is a much more contemporary and modern look.

High set rings often have prongs that curve elegantly upwards. Even a gemstone with a longer girdle will have no problem being accommodated by the prongs. For people wanting to show off a large rock on their hand, this is the perfect setting.

High v Low setting

High v Low setting

What are the advantages of a high set engagement ring?

There are many reasons why the high setting is popular:

  The high setting can give the illusion that the diamond is even bigger than its actual size

  It allows underbezel and underrail details to be applied for effect

  The ring tends to look more elegant and stylish when viewed from the side

  Easy to pair with wedding bands because of its high profile. Wedding bands can sit more snugly against the engagement ring

  It works well with different ring designs so you can choose from many different options

What are the disadvantages of a high set engagement ring?

  Easier to damage because of its high profile. Can catch or snag on clothing, sheets and hair. This can be both annoying and cause damage to the ring

  Not ideal for people who lead a very active lifestyle or use their hands a lot for work (eg. doctor, masseuse, etc.)

  You will have to take it off frequently to avoid losing or damaging it, such as when putting on gardening or kitchen gloves, doing chores around the house, etc. In this case it might be safer to wear a wedding band

Engagement Ring Conundrum

Engagement Ring Conundrum

What is a low set engagement ring?

Low settings (as you may have guessed) sit closer to the finger. This type of setting is good for people with hands-on jobs because you’re less likely to scratch or hit the stone on various surfaces.

Typically, low settings suit ornate and more vintage-style ring designs, but that’s not a set rule. Centre stones are better protected in a low setting, with the downside being that it won’t sparkle as much as a diamond in a prong setting.  

What are the advantages of a low set engagement ring?

  Low set engagement rings are more durable and wearable in the long run

  Good for people who lead active lifestyles or work in a job that requires using your hands

  Low set engagement rings are more comfortable to wear

  Less likely to damage or snag it on something accidently

What are the disadvantages of a low set engagement ring?

  A diamond in a low setting won’t sparkle or have as much brilliance in a low setting because less light is passing through it

  You need to choose a smaller gemstone because large diamonds require a higher setting

  Can look less elegant when viewed from the side because of the shorter prongs.

Is a high set or low set engagement ring better?

It completely depends on what you think your partner will like (or what you like).

If they are a bit of a klutz and you think there is a high chance they will damage their engagement ring over time, perhaps a low setting is the safer choice.

However, if they enjoy showing off bright and shiny things then it’s probably safer to choose a high setting.

Even if they lead a very active lifestyle, they can always wear their wedding band on a day-to-day basis and put on their engagement ring for special occasions.

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