Want to buy a channel setting for your engagement ring but don’t know the pros and cons that lie ahead?
Congratulations, you have come to the right place. This guide will teach you many things including:
- Is channel the best ring setting for your engagement?
- Difference between channel setting and pave setting and prong settings
- The most preferred jewelry store to buy channel setting engagement ring
- Tips for saving money when shopping for a channel setting
- And a lot more
A channel setting is one of the most modern and strong setting designs. In case you do not like dainty and delicate rings, a channel setting is one bold style that will give your engagement ring a daring look.
When you buy a channel setting, you will find a matching wedding band without much hustle. The wedding bands for both men and women are more saturated in the market than the channel set engagement rings.
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Channel set rings are good at creating an admirable flash and not a sparkle. It is very easy to find a wedding band that matches a channel setting ring and also one that matches with the groom.
A channel setting will best suit you if you like to get a bold and modern look from your new ring. In this article, we have all the information you need about a channel set ring to help you reach a decision.
Let’s jump right in.
What is a Channel Setting Engagement Ring?
Unlike other settings, a channel setting style refers to the style of the band and not how the center stone is set.
The gemstones or diamonds in a channel setting are usually put in a groove inside a precious metal. The groove can either be open or solid.
Princess cut and round cut diamonds are the most popular diamond shapes used in channel settings. Round cut diamonds are normally soldered on the bottom and top of the girdle and always placed very close to each other.
Princess cuts fit into the channel and always feature a metal strip on top and at the bottom, making a viewable window like the one shown below:
The Art Deco period was the inspiration behind the creation of modern channel settings; their design uses geometric shapes and bold lines in the setting. While channel set engagement rings are popular, channel wedding bands are more popular.
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With a channel setting, you can easily coordinate the wedding style with your groom or bride. Most men who love to wear wedding bands like to choose channel settings.
While looking around, you will find various classic channel settings that have been mixed with varying styles of rings. You will find many square diamond channels sitting alongside angular center stones such as emerald, princess, or radiant shapes. Although many ring lovers like square set stones, you will also find round set stones for geometric and modern diamond rings.
Should You Buy a Channel Setting Engagement Ring?
Just as you would have a hard time deciding which setting style to go with for other ring settings, a channel setting is not different. While there are many pros of a channel set, there are cons too. Are the drawbacks deal breakers? Let’s find out.
Stay calm, we shall help you decide if the channel set is what you really want.
- Easy to match with wedding bands
- Secure for tiny side stones
- Rarely snags
- Bold and flashy appearance
- Metal band is thick
- Limited choice for wedding bands
- Affects the brilliance
- Gets damaged easily
There are many reasons why you should be considering a channel setting for your engagement ring. You most probably have heard of small pave stones set in a halo ring and their likelihood of falling out.
A channel setting is the best option if you want side stones in a more secure setting. A channel set has a modern look because of the bold uniformly placed stones.
The channel ring has a thick shank which makes it durable as well as looks great on someone who has big fingers. On the good side, the stones in a channel set do not snag.
Finally, if by any chance the channel setting sets are damaged, the cost is going to be very high. The fact that you are wearing a precious metal that is soft, means it is likely to get destroyed somehow. Repairing a channel set is very hard and in most cases, the ring may not be saved.
Channel Setting vs Prong Setting
Let’s start by comparing an inset channel to a prong set. As already mentioned, a prong-set is more likely to snag while the inset channel is secure. Below are the pros and cons of each of the settings.
- Channel settings last longer
- Channel set rings are more secure
- Prong settings are more brilliant
- Prong settings are more dainty
- The metal in the channel set attracts more attention
- Channels are more expensive
- Snagging is common with prong settings
- Pave set ring look weird on big fingers
Channel Setting vs Pave Setting
A channel setting uses either princess, round, or emerald diamonds in the band while pave settings use only round cut diamonds that are compacted in a row on the band that covers the metal.
- Channel sets hold small stones better
- Channel rings can be engraved
- The shanks in pave settings are thinner
- Pave settings highlight small center stones
- Inclusions can be seen easily in channel settings
- Channel rings have a lot of metal
- Pave setting use round cut diamonds only
- Stones in pave settings are likely to fall out
Where to Buy Channel Settings Diamond Engagement Rings
There are different jewelry stores that sell channel setting diamond engagement ring, but they are not so many in the selections. You will not find a category called channel settings since ring settings are normally identified by the style of the center stone.
If you are shopping in a physical store, your options of channel set rings may be very limited. You may need to go online to find diamond sellers that have a wider selection. Here are just some of the online vendors you should be thinking of:
You probably have already figured out that James Allen is our favorite online jewelry shop. This is because James Allen has top-notch customer service. You can access them at any time since they are available 24/7. You can email them, call them directly or go for a live chat with one of their diamond associates.
James Allen has arguably the largest collection of loose diamonds in their catalog. You have room to customize your ring using their slider and choose the diamond quality that you prefer.
You get to choose from different diamond grades the quality you prefer for your center diamond and keeping within budget while at it. Their channel listing section is, however, small. You may have to search a little more because channel diamond sets are normally mixed in other settings like cathedral and tension.
At James Allen, you also get the chance to look at the diamond grading report before purchasing the stone. Their team of experts is on standby and ready to help with any questions you may have.
What I like most about James Allen is their warranty. When you buy a channel set diamond engagement ring from James Allen, you don’t have to worry about the cost of routine repairs, the warranty covers all the repairs needed if your stone becomes loose, if the white gold needs rhodium plating, or cleaning and polishing the metals in the ring.
Blue Nile is another popular online jewelry store to buy diamonds. Similar to James Allen, they also have a large collection of loose diamonds that you can put in any of their settings. The collection of ring settings in Blue Nile is larger than that of James Allen, but not as unique.
Their 360-degree diamond viewing technology is not as clear as that you would find in James Allen. The view is also only on some diamonds, not the entire collection. There are a variety of designer settings including Veraggio that you can choose from.
Blue Nile has a lot of customers and judging from their reviews, the customer service at the retailer is exceptional. Their customer representative team is trained by GIA and they do not work on commission. There are no many channel setting designs at Blue Nile, this means when you choose diamonds for this setting you may have to search for a bit. This ¾ channel with baguette stones is beautiful and exceptional.
My only problem with Blue Nile is their warranty. It does not take care of prong and stone repairs or any other kind of wear and tear. If you want rhodium plating for white gold, you are on your own too. You may have to go to a local jeweler to get all your repairs done. The “lifetime warranty” at Blue Nile only covers the manufacturer’s flaws. However, you can return the diamonds within 30 days, the shipping is free and you will not be asked any questions.
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Whiteflash is a common online diamond seller, though not as common as the first two we have looked at. They are also the priciest. Whiteflash specializes in diamond optics, selling diamonds that have excellent brilliance, scintillation, and fire. They even have a patented collection of round-cut diamonds dubbed A Cut Above that makes rings using the highest quality of diamonds.
You can browse for loose diamonds from this patented collection in addition to other diamonds in their inventory. There are different diamond shapes too like Blue Nile and James Allen. Whiteflash has one of the best diamond viewing technologies; it features a revolving video show of their diamonds. There are diamonds from brand names like Tacori and Ritani.
Whiteflash likes to educate its customers about diamonds. If you have any questions, you will not miss the answer on one of their articles at the bottom of the page. You can also chat with one of their GIA-trained diamond experts and gemologists.
While Blue Nile and James Allen only have a number of their employees trained by GIA, all of Whiteflash’s diamond experts are trained by and graduated from GIA. This training makes it easy for them to make the customer’s shopping experience smooth.
All customers get a year free of service including routine metal works and resizing. While this may be a better warranty than that of Blue Nile, it does not match what is offered by James Allen.