If you have an active lifestyle or do a lot of hands-on work, then choosing a wedding set that isn’t going to get in the way of your daily activities can be tricky. It’s a common misconception, however, that a practical wedding set can’t be attractive as well as convenient. With the following activity-savvy settings, you’ll be able to wear your ring for just about any venture, and look great doing it.
If you use your hands a lot, you should avoid any ring with prong settings or raised stones. As you choose your wedding band, this likely won’t be a problem, but many engagement rings are incompatible with certain activities, tending to catch, scrape, and damage easily. Instead of using prongs, tension settings hold diamonds or gemstones in place through pressure alone. For optimal protection, choose a tension setting that is raised slightly above the stone it protects. That way, if you bump your ring against a hard object, you will be less likely to damage your diamond or gemstone.
True to their name, channel settings hold a continuous flow of diamonds or gemstones between two bank-like rows of metal. Often used in diamond wedding bands, this design is one of the most secure settings on the market. In engagement rings, channel settings are generally used to accent a raised center stone. For optimal practicality, however, avoid raised center stones altogether. If you want a center stone that really stands out, try combining a tension-set center stone with channel-set accent stones.
For an attractive, modernist ring that stands out in a crowd, try asking your jeweler about flush settings. Inlaid into the metal of your ring, flush settings are ultra-secure as well as great for practical wear. Incorporating no raised edges whatsoever, flush settings keep your ring from catching on clothing and other materials as well as protecting your stones from cracking. For a one-of-a-kind practical engagement ring, try a simple 3-stone flush setting featuring a diamond center stone and gemstone accent stones.
Invisible settings are just that–invisible. Held by no apparent prongs, invisible-set stones appear almost to float. Perhaps the most challenging setting to craft, invisible-set rings are often on the higher end of the price scale, but their charming elegance more than makes up for it. Because invisible settings are comprised of a myriad of stones, they are a great choice for hands-on ring wearers. If one stone in your invisible-set ring becomes scratched or damaged, the eye will glide right over the damage onto the next stone, making your scratches and contact marks almost as invisible as your setting itself!
Protected by a wide metal rim, bezel-set stones are well-cushioned from damage. If practicality is your end-game, try to choose a center stone surrounded by a thicker-than-normal metal rim. For your band itself, select either 10k or 14k gold. Anything higher will have a tendency to mark, bend, and damage easily. Popular in Europe, 8k gold is also a good choice, offering excellent gemstone security through its superior strength.