Gemstone Settings 

A complete guide to Gemstone settings.

The way stones are set in jewelery brings out their beauty and keeps them secure. The setting style highlights the gem’s unique features and cut. It also depends on your lifestyle, so the gems stay protected.

For example, a teacher who uses their hands a lot needs a sturdy setting that protects the stone. An active person wants their gems to stay put through sports and adventure. Someone into cooking and gardening needs settings that can handle some wear and tear.


The right gemstone setting showcases the gem’s sparkle while protecting it during everyday life. So your jeweler will consider how you live when choosing settings for your personal jewelery style. The goal is to get stones that dazzle and hold up for years to come!

Top 5 Types of Gemstone Settings  

The setting style greatly impacts a gem’s look and safety. Settings secure stones in place and showcase their beauty. Here are the main setting categories and how they differ: 

  • Prongs Setting 

The prong or claw setting has thin metal claws gripping the stone’s sides. This shows off the gem’s sparkle since light enters from all angles. But prong settings leave the stone sticking out, making it prone to scratches or snags.

The prongs also require maintenance as they can loosen over time. Variations like basket settings add horizontal bands for a crosshatch look. Overall, prongs offer visibility at the cost of security.


  • Basket setting: Extra horizontal bands with vertical prongs.
  • Compass setting: 4 prongs pointing north, south, east, and west.
  • V prong: V-shaped prongs fit square cuts.  


  • Illusion Setting 

The illusion setting uses a metal plate reflecting light to make a gem appear larger. It is popular for engagement rings. Moreover, it can also fit small stones in large settings.  

  • Pros: Visually expands smaller diamonds affordably.
  • Cons: Plates can get scratched or fade over time. Requires some maintenance.


  • Bezel Setting  

A bezel setting fully surrounds the gem’s edges with a rim of metal. This provides great protection for fragile stones like opal or turquoise. The rim creates a modern, understated look.

Partial bezels only cover part of the stone. Textured bezels have decorative engravings. While secure, bezels don’t maximize light entry compared to prongs.


  • Channel Setting 


Channel settings hold gems side-by-side between two metal walls. This creates uninterrupted lines of stones and sparkle. The gems have no exposed edges, making channel settings very secure.


Channel settings work well for smaller gems in repetitive patterns. But other shapes may not fit neatly into the channels. Great for eternity bands and tennis bracelets!


  • Invisible Setting 

Invisible settings use grooves on the bottom of gems to attach them to a hidden metal form. This removes visible prongs for a seamless surface of dazzling stones. But it’s extremely challenging to execute.

The grooves only work on certain shapes, like rectangles or squares, that can fit closely together. While invisible settings look amazing, they require immense skill and have less security than other setting types.


The ideal setting accents the gem’s natural beauty while keeping it safe during everyday wear. Consider your jewelery lifestyle and how different settings can make your gems pop.