Choosing the best band for your diamond is almost as important as selecting the stone itself. Below are the key factors you should consider in order to make sure that the ring you buy is the best fit for the diamond mounted in it.
The Metal of the Band
Choosing a metal for your band comes down not only to what color you would prefer but also to how durable you want your ring to be.
Platinum is a popular choice for people who want a white ring that does not wear out quickly.
However, this metal is also one of the most expensive.
White gold is a good middle-ground option if you want a metal that is as white as platinum but is not as pricey.
This material is slightly less durable, though, and white gold will need to be replated with rhodium every couple of years to restore its color when the top layer of the band starts to wear off.
Yellow gold is a good choice if you like the color, but don’t forget that this metal is softer than platinum or white gold.
If you are after durability, you should consider 10-karat or 14-karat gold: The lower the karat of gold, the harder the alloy, and the more durable it is.
The Color of the Diamond
Diamond color is an important but sometimes overlooked factor when deciding on a metal for your band. However, if the color of the setting or the ring’s body does not complement the color of your stone, then the result would be less than appealing.
As a general rule, if your diamond is of a lower color grade and has yellowish tints, then setting it in white metal would not be the best choice: The yellow in the stone would stand out against the whiteness of a white-gold or platinum mounting.
Yellow gold is a much better option for such stones as the metal’s color will mask the coloring of the diamond, and it will look white.
Colorless diamonds are best set in white settings. Paying a lot of money for a stone of a high-quality color and putting it in a yellow gold setting, for example, would be a waste.
A less expensive diamond of a lower color grade would look just as well in such a setting, as already pointed out.
The Band’s Setting
There are a lot of possible ring settings to choose from, and the choice usually comes down to how a particular setting affects the safety and visibility of the diamond.
Prong settings are among the most popular. They leave most of the diamond’s surface visible, and since their structure is relatively simple, they are also among the cheapest options available.
The downside of prongs is that they expose a significant portion of a stone’s surface to potential hits.
You also need to be careful when doing work with your hands, as prong settings are easy to catch on clothes or other objects, and in such instances, the prongs might bend or break.
Bezel settings hold diamonds by encircling them in bands of metal. This type of setting is one of the safest and is highly recommended if you are concerned about damaging your stones.
However, diamonds in bezel settings are not as visible as stones set in prongs. If you care about visibility, a partial bezel setting, which does not gird a stone fully, is a good solution.
Flush settings are also a good option if you want your diamonds to be safely set. In this type of setting, the stone is embedded within the band. As with bezel settings, here you also sacrifice some of the visibility of your diamonds for their safety.
Channel settings hold stones between two walls of metal that form a “channel,” in which the diamonds are put next to each other. This setting is generally safe, although it only shows the top sides of the stones that are mounted in it.
The problem with channel settings is that if the band is bent as a result of a hit or bump, the channel’s walls will become misaligned and may no longer hold the stones securely.
This problem is very hard to correct, so if you are buying a band with a channel setting, make sure you protect it from damage when wearing your ring.
Where to Buy a Diamond Ring?
For diamond rings, we highly recommend James Allen (read our review) because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before having it set in a ring.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).
Also read our Diamond Buying Guide and check out our selection of eye-clean diamonds that we've vetted for quality.