You are probably familiar with the classic prong setting, which can be seen on so many rings, but what do you know about invisible settings? How are invisible-set diamonds and other gemstones held in their mountings, and should you buy such rings?
What Is an Invisible Ring Setting?
An invisible setting is a mounting that holds the stones in a ring so that the setting itself is not prominent.
Whereas in a regular setting you can see prongs or bezels, the gemstones in an invisible setting look as if they were held by nothing.
So how do invisible settings work?
The idea is actually pretty simple. There is a metal framework on which the diamonds are mounted. The stones themselves have small channels cut in their bases, and the framework’s rails fit into these grooves.
This is how the diamonds are fixed on the metal lattice, which remains invisible underneath.
The Problem with Invisible-Set Mountings
One of the biggest issues with invisible settings is that the stones may fall off.
This type of setting is very complex to create, and if the framework or the stone channels are not made to fit well, the gemstones may be loose in the mounting.
The most often heard complaint about this setting is indeed that the stones fall out easily.
Can Invisible Settings Be Repaired?
If one or more of your diamonds fall off, the jeweler may be able to put them back in, but this is not always possible, especially if the stone’s grooves are damaged.
The original diamonds usually cannot be replaced because they have a unique cut made specifically to fit the framework of the particular ring they come with.
If the framework has been damaged, it would also be nearly impossible to repair the setting as the alignment of the rails will be disrupted, and they will no longer be able to fit all of the diamonds. This is also why rings with these settings can rarely be resized – the process would just deform the framework.
In case there is damage done to an invisible setting, only the original manufacturer would be able to supply diamonds with the same cut or provide an identical metal framework.
Should You Buy Invisible-Set Diamonds?
Invisible settings are expensive because they are very complicated to make. However, many people like them because they look really good.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t buy such a ring if you intend to wear it while doing any vigorous activity. If the setting is bumped, hit or even shaken too hard, the stones could easily fall out.
By the way, check for loose stones before you even buy the ring – you never know how well the setting is made.
If you’ve decided to get an invisible setting ring, make sure the manufacturer provides a lifetime guarantee. You don’t want to end up with a ring that cannot be fixed or whose repair would cost as much as what the ring is worth.
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.