Pavé (pronounced “pa-vey”) is a setting that consists of a lot of small gemstones attached to the jewelry by droplets of metal. As a result, the surface of the piece with such a setting looks like it has been paved with diamonds or other stones. The word “pavé” comes from French and means “paved” (also “pavement”), but in the U.S., it is also spelled as “pave”.
Why Buy Pave Jewelry?
Jewelry with pave settings is a good choice if you want a piece that provides a lot of sparkle but also has an affordable price tag.
Since the individual stones in these settings are small and less visible, their cuts are simpler, and the gems are therefore cheaper.
In addition, the bead-like metal droplets that hold the stones together also add to the visual effect, as long as they are not too large.
Generally, pave settings don’t need much special care.
The stones are usually held pretty tight together by the tiny prongs.
And the prongs themselves are very safe as they are not worn out, bent or broken off as easily as larger, standard prongs.
As a result, pave settings are safer when it comes to everyday wear and tear.
All that doesn’t mean that pave settings can’t get damaged at all, so try to avoid hitting or bumping your jewelry as much as possible.
Tips for Buying Pave Jewelry
When shopping for jewelry with pave settings, you should pay attention to some important points to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.
First, pay close attention to the stones – it is very easy for them to break at the time of setting if they are forced too hard into the mounting.
Look at the small gems under a magnifying glass. If there are chipped stones in the setting, ask for another piece of jewelry.
Make sure the metal droplets acting as prongs are actually holding the stones well in the setting. There shouldn’t be any stones that are loose.
The surface of the setting should be smooth, and no stones should be out of alignment.
When looking at the setting using a loupe, the stones should be close to each other, but at the same time, they shouldn’t overlap. Otherwise, the pressure can cause some of the gems to chip.
The prongs shouldn’t be too big as they can obscure the stones, which are supposed to be in the foreground.
Also, the prongs should not be too high or they will be more exposed to accidental hits and easier to damage.
Wearing Pave Jewelry
When wearing your pave jewelry, make sure it is clean, as it is very easy for dust or other particles to get caught between the stones.
Be careful when wearing pave jewelry with other pieces because their hard or abrasive surfaces may damage your pave gemstones.
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.