If you’ve heard the term “bezel-set diamond” but are not exactly sure what it refers to, read on. Let’s see what it means for a diamond to be set in a bezel and take a look at the pros and cons of this setting.
What Is a Bezel-Set Diamond?
A bezel-set diamond is simply a stone mounted in a bezel setting. This type of mounting is very popular, especially for diamonds cut in a round or rectangular shape.
How Is a Bezel Setting Made?
A bezel setting consists of a metal band that encircles the stone mounted in it. It can be made from any metal used in jewelry, but bezel-set diamonds are usually mounted in settings made of platinum or white gold. Since the bezel (the metal band) holds the diamond along its edge, the most visible part of the stone is its top.
Pros and Cons of Mounting Diamonds in Bezel Settings
The decision whether to put a diamond in a bezel setting comes down to a tradeoff between safety and diamond visibility. Let’s take a look at these considerations in more detail:
The biggest advantage of bezel settings is that they are among the safest mountings you could put your diamonds in. The metal band surrounds the stone’s edge (which is one of the most vulnerable parts of a diamond) and protects it from accidental hits. The setting also covers a large portion of the diamond, which would otherwise be exposed to potential damage.
Bezels hold diamonds much more securely than prongs, for example, and a bezel setting minimizes the possibility that your stone might fall off if you bump your piece of jewelry. Also, unlike prong settings, bezel settings do not have parts that can stick out and get bent by snagging on your clothes or hair.
The biggest disadvantage of bezel-set diamonds is that a significant part of the stone is hidden in the mounting. For that reason, some people feel that bezel settings can diminish the brilliance of diamonds by covering most of their surface and not letting light enter or come out of the concealed parts.
Bezel settings also tend to be more expensive as their construction is more complex and requires more metal than other mountings such as the prong setting.
Types of Bezel Settings
There are two main types of bezel settings: full and partial. The main difference between them is in the degree of safety and visibility they offer.
Full Bezel Setting
Full bezels surround the edge of the mounted diamond entirely. The good thing about this type of setting is that the stone is fully encircled by metal and is therefore well protected. The downside is that a lot of the diamond remains hidden in the mounting.
Partial Bezel Setting
Partial bezel settings cover only a portion of the diamond’s edge. They are usually made from two parts, each of which surrounds about one fourth of the circumference of the stone. Partial bezels thus leave more of the diamond visible. They are a good choice if you want to show as much as possible of your stone but are also concerned about its safety.For more information on diamonds: Read our Diamond Cut Quality Guide.